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The OFPRA interview

Before the interview

After sending the written form, the asylum seeker receives a summons by email, SMS or post indicating the date and time of their interview. 


The quality of his interview is decisive: either he is recognized as a refugee, or he is dismissed. 


As a general rule, the asylum seeker is heard only once, in the presence of an interpreter. 


The asylum seeker can ask to be accompanied by a lawyer or by a member of an authorized association. The accompanying person can make comments only at the end of the interview. 


After having waited in the outside queue, the asylum seeker goes through the security checks and presents his invitation to reception. He then walks to the waiting room and waits for an OP to call him by his number or name. 


He is received in a small room, furnished with a table, three chairs and a computer. The rooms follow one another and the police may be present in the corridors.


The PO may be assisted by a trainee protection officer.


the course of the interview

At the start of the interview, the OP says, “This interview is recorded. A button, however, allows you to interrupt the recording at any time. The PO then asks questions relating to the civil status and then to the asylum seeker's exile journey. These formalities last ten to fifteen minutes.


From the start of the interview, the OP examines the consistency of the answers and can proceed to a geography quiz. 

It is very important to specify the identity of the spouse, parents, siblings and children because, in the event of obtaining refugee status, the family can benefit from the same status. The administration will then check that the identity of the persons corresponds to that stated by the refugee during his interview.


After the civil status, the OP asks: “Why did you leave your country? ” This part lasts from one to two hours.

At the end of the interview, the PO concludes by asking: “Do you have anything to add? »

The interview is confidential. The asylum seeker can express himself freely.


Ahmed has just had his asylum application rejected. Stunned, he remembers his interview.

– The OP asked me a lot of vocabulary questions. He wanted me to translate words into Dari…

The volunteer who accompanies him in his asylum application process cuts him off:  

– Why did you choose to speak the Dari language? You left Kabul when you were ten years old. You grew up in Pakistan. You should have spoken in Urdu!

Ahmed looks at her, surprised.

– I am Afghan. It is a pride for me to speak my native language: Dari. 

The choice of language

The choice of language for the OFPRA interview is important.

The asylum seeker chooses a language that he masters perfectly. He writes his choice in his written form


In Ahmed's case, the OP asked him vocabulary questions to verify his nationality. Having failed the translation exercise, Ahmed was not recognized as Afghan.


Please note, it happens that asylum seekers speak French in order to prove their ability to integrate.

This effort is not taken into account in the final decision of the PO.

After the interview


The PO writes a proposal for agreement or a proposal for rejection. He submits his decision to his section head. After a few years of seniority, certain POs obtain a delegation of signature. This means that they sign their decision themselves, without hierarchical approval. 

A registered letter containing a summary of the interview and the final decision is sent to the asylum seeker at the address indicated in their written form.

The interview is not a conversation

The PO enters the asylum seeker's statements into his computer as he speaks. 

His gaze is essentially turned towards his screen. Visual contact is therefore punctual. 

The translation by the interpreter delays the exchanges between the PO and the asylum seeker.

sound recording

The rejected asylum seeker can 

ask OFPRA to consult 

audio recording of his interview.


This option is very little used 

while it offers an excellent way to challenge the OFPRA rejection with de 

the National Court for the Right of Asylum. 

The CNDA appeal


The asylum seeker can challenge the OFPRA's rejection before the National Court of Asylum Law (CNDA).

He has a period of one month from the date of notification of the OFPRA decision. He may be assisted by a lawyer of his choice.

He can also apply for legal aid.

The OFPRA review

After a rejection by the CNDA, the asylum seeker can ask the OFPRA to re-examine their case by putting forward a new element. He writes to OFPRA to report a fact that occurred subsequently or a fact of which he became aware after the date of the rejection of the CNDA appeal.

The rejection of the re-examination by OFPRA may be the subject of a further appeal to the CNDA.

Ahmed's re-examination

Ahmed writes to OFPRA to report a suicide attack targeting the Afghan community that occurred in the town where he lived in Pakistan. He attached a dated English newspaper article to his re-examination file. He thus asserts new fears of persecution in the event of a return to Pakistan. 

Get help

by a lawyer

During the hearing at the CNDA, it is advisable to be assisted by a lawyer. 

Legal aid allows you to benefit from the free assistance of a lawyer. 

A request must be made to the CNDA within 15 days of OFPRA's rejection.


Dispute an OQTF

following rejection 

If the CNDA rejects the asylum seeker's appeal, the prefecture can issue him an Obligation to Leave the Territory (OQTF). 

This can be challenged before the Administrative Court within 15 days.

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