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Questions about LGBTI+ Asylum

The need for international protection arises when a person is outside his own country and cannot return to it because he would be in danger, and his country cannot or will not protect him.

You cannot be returned or expelled and you can remain in Spain while your application is being resolved. In addition, you will be able to:
– Access information about your rights and obligations in a language you can understand; you will be authorised to live and work permanently;
– You will be given identity and travel documents, you will be able to access public employment services and various public and social benefits (education, health care, housing, social security, etc.);
– You will have the right to free movement;
– You will be able to access programmes to facilitate your integration or, where appropriate, your voluntary return, and you will have the right to family reunification.

To meet the definition of “Convention Refugee,” you must demonstrate that you meet all six of the following:

  • If I return to my country, there is a high possibility of persecution.
  • This persecution is based on my sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or my race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or other aspects that identify me as part of a particular social group (HIV, ethnicity, etc.).
  • I have a well-founded fear of returning to my country.
  • I have reason to associate my fear with the situation in my country
  • My government cannot protect me (police, courts, etc.).
  • I cannot live safely anywhere else in the country or it is not reasonable for me – given my identity – to move to another part of the country.

– If you arrive in Spain and are not allowed to enter Spanish territory, you can ask for it at the border post.

– If you are already in Spain:

  • – At the Asylum and Refuge Office (OAR).
  • – At the Foreigners’ Office.
  • – At authorised police stations.
  • – At Foreigners’ Internment Centres.
  • – In Detention Centres (Prisons).

In Barcelona, the Asylum and Refuge Office (OAR) is located at Passeig de Sant Joan, 189. Metro L4 Joanic (yellow line). But you must make an appointment by internet at the following address:


– If you are within Spanish territory within ONE MONTH of entering Spain or since the events that justify the request occurred. Even if you are more than one month old and need to apply for asylum, please contact us.

The possibility of applying for international protection at Spanish embassies or consulates, in cases where the applicant is outside Spain and provided that he is in a country other than that of his nationality, has been amended in the new law. Article 38 provides that, in cases where a person who is not a national of the country in which he is present approaches the authorities of the Spanish diplomatic representation, alleging danger to his physical integrity, the respective ambassadors may promote his transfer to Spain to enable him to submit his application in accordance with the procedure laid down.

The first step is to make an appointment (online) at the office of asylum and refuge (OAR) in Barcelona for an individual interview. In the interview you will be asked basically about your identity, the journey you have taken to reach Spain and the reasons for your persecution. You can write a history of persecution. In order to help you, it is important to know what happened. You can provide documentary evidence during the interview or throughout the whole process.

The OAR will decide within one month whether the application will be accepted. If you have applied at a border crossing point, the authorities have four days to decide.

If you register in Spain you will not be able to do so in another country.

The whole process is confidential and the people who talk to you (officials, police, interpreters, lawyers) are obliged to keep everything you say secret.

Only the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is informed of the request. The government of your country of origin or provenance will never be informed that you have requested international protection in Spain. Nor can you be returned to your country of origin or provenance until a decision is made on your case.

Yes. Asylum-seekers are entitled to free legal assistance and an interpreter.

Both SAIER and the Free Justice Processing Service (SERTRA) of the Barcelona Bar Association can provide assistance during the interview at the asylum and refugee office (OAR). Also other entities, such as ACCEM and the Spanish Commission for Refugee Assistance (CEAR).

Being an asylum seeker gives you the right to remain in Spain while the application is being resolved and to the suspension of any process of return and expulsion that might affect you, to receive legal assistance (you need to apply for this at an organisation) and health care, to receive specific social benefits (you must apply and it usually takes several months) and to be documented as an applicant for international protection.

The first document you will have is the so-called interview form, which certifies that you already have an appointment with the OAR to start the asylum application process.

Once you have conducted the interview at the OAR, you will have a white document with your personal data and your photograph that certifies that you have the right to remain in Spain while it is determined whether the application for asylum should be studied here. Once the application has been admitted for processing, this document will be valid for an extra 6 months. After this period of 6 months, you will have authorisation to work in Spain, which must be renewed every 6 months, until you are given a decision.

The Spanish Government is the only competent authority for asylum and refugee matters. It will be decided by the Spanish Minister of the Interior, on the proposal of the Inter-ministerial Commission on Asylum and Refugees (CIAR).

Once the application has been accepted for processing, it should be decided within a maximum period of six months. However, the process usually takes longer. If it is delayed, you should be informed of the reason for the delay (but usually respond within 6 months to 5 years). Remember that you have the right to consult your file and provide extra documentation to it.

You can appeal the rejection of your asylum application to a court of law with the support of a lawyer (you can ask for one by way of legal aid).

International protection ceases when you request it, if you have again voluntarily availed yourself of the protection of the country of your nationality, have regained your nationality or acquired a new one and have left Spanish territory or have taken up residence in another country, as it is considered that you have renounced your request. It will also cease in the event that the circumstances of your country of nationality have changed and you cannot refuse the protection of that country (or the one in which you resided in the case of statelessness).

However, the cessation does not prevent the continuation of residence in Spain, since the period that you have resided legally in Spain is taken into account in order to be able to access another type of residence permit.

You need an appointment that is later than your card’s expiration date:

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