Normally, when talking about political asylum, little is thought about the opportunities that can be found on the African continent, since they are countries that are characterized by radical cultures and high rates of poverty. However, the reality is that there are territories like Algeria, where those who flee their nations due to persecution and violence start a new life in a satisfactory way.
Algeria is the ninth most populous extension of Africa, with approximately 43 million inhabitants, of which 250 thousand are immigrants. Of this 0.6% of foreigners, the majority live under refugee status, coming from Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Indonesia, Malaysia and Somalia.
The reason for this migratory movement is attributed to the fact that Algeria has a fairly solid economy, which is based on the exploitation of natural resources such as oil, iron, silver, gas and phosphate. In addition, that financial strategies have made it possible to pay off the external debt and increase its Gross Domestic Product.
Considerations for applying for asylum in Algeria
One of the important aspects to consider is that Algeria manages all international protection procedures through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). So it is through them that you will start the application procedure and consult any doubts you have about it.
Likewise, it is essential that you know that the asylum procedure is totally free, which includes legal advice and an interpreter if you do not speak Arabic, English or French. If you have any questions before starting the process, you can contact UNHCR by phone at +213 23 05 28 53.
Procedure for applying for asylum
When you are in the territory of Algeria, you must immediately contact UNHCR virtually and follow the steps that will be indicated. They are:
Step 1. Contact ACUR
The correct way to contact UNHCR is by email, whose address is: email@example.com. Here you must explicitly and specifically explain your personal information and that of your relatives, in the following order:
- Name and surname
- Date and place of birth
- native language
- Date and border site through which you entered the country (if you entered the country by air, specify which of the 15 international airports)
- Current address in Algeria
- Current contact phone
- Clarify if you have made any registration with UNHCR, even if it is in another nation
- Brief and compelling reason(s) why you wish to apply for asylum in the country
- Full names of relatives with whom you entered Algeria
- Digital signature
Later, you will receive a confirmation response after a maximum of 48 hours. However, if before that time you are arrested and, in addition, there are intentions to return you to your country of origin, you must call 0661696841.
It should be noted that currently only email is available, since since September 1, 2022 the fax was out of service. Therefore, if you use it, you will not get a response and, therefore, the case will not progress.
Step 2. Registration and initial interview
The aforementioned confirmation response also includes the appointment date to attend the UNHCR offices and make the official registration of the application. That day, to complete the information sent in the email, an official will take photos of you, scan your eyes and fingerprints.
Likewise, it will ask questions about the reasons that led you to leave your native country and request international protection. Then, they will give you a certificate that guarantees your status as an asylum seeker in the country. This document must always be carried with you when you leave home.
Step 3. official interview
Although in the previous meeting they will ask you some questions about leaving your country, it is actually this day where they will put more emphasis on understanding the basics of the request. Therefore, try to be detailed and gather the evidence that supports the statement.
It may take several months to receive notification of this interview, so don’t despair. But if you have any questions about the progress of the process, you can contact the UNHCR through +213 23 05 28 53.
Step 4. Decision
The last step is to receive the case decision, which can be positive or negative. The first instance means that you have been accepted as a refugee in Algeria and they will give you an identification document. In the second case, UNHCR has considered that you do not meet the requirements for humanitarian aid in the country and you should leave it as soon as possible.
However, in the event of a response rejecting protection, you can appeal to the same commissioner, by means of a written appeal within a period not exceeding 30 days. Now, keep in mind that this decision is also generated when:
- You do not respond, within a period of three weeks, to the communication to complete the registration.
- You do not show up for registration and you do not justify the absence.
- You do not respond to the official interview notice within 30 days.
Hence, it is essential that you keep your contact information and address up to date with UNHCR. To do this, go to the authorized offices or send an email with said change to algalprt@unhcrorg.
Rights and duties of applicants
The Algerian government and the UNHCR have established the rights and duties of asylum seekers in the country, in order to guarantee harmony in society. Therefore, it is important that you know the benefits and obligations that you have during the waiting time, which are:
|Reside in the country and not be expelled to the nation where you fear for your integrity.||Respect the laws and religious beliefs of the country.|
|Access to the public education system for children and adolescents between 6 and 16 years of age.||Respond as soon as possible to calls from UNHCR.|
|Access the public health system.||Have the asylum applicant certificate with you at all times|
|Have legal advice and an interpreter of your native language in everything related to the process||Advise UNHCR of any change of residence or contact information.|
|Have identification document to move within the territory.|
|Opt for refugee camps endorsed by the UNHCR, with basic services: electricity, water and food.|
Undoubtedly, Algeria, through the UNHCR, offers excellent development opportunities to foreigners who request help in their country. And it is that, constantly, the government system and its economic policies have shown that there are resources for its inhabitants to have a decent life. Therefore, if you are persecuted, keep in mind that here you can find a new and warm home.