Asylum Visas



In very few cases asylum applicants can enter the asylum country legally without a visa. In most cases, however, a visa is required.


For a refugee, there are three basic ways of reaching the targeted country of asylum when he needs a visa in this country: (1) obtaining a valid visa; (2) using the target country as a stopover on the way to a third country, seeking asylum in transit; or (3) entering the country without a visa and seeking asylum once there.

To travel with a valid visa is the safest way, but the most difficult one

In order to really enter an asylum country legally you need

  • valid passport;
  • a valid visa (in most cases);
  • mostly some money to demonstrate your capacity to finance your journey,
  • sometimes an insurance for health care or a travel insurance,
  • sometimes a financial guarantee of somebody legally residing in your country of destination.

To use a stop-over at an international airport is legally a safe way, but not always in practice

Some border control officers pretend not to hear the word asylum even if you shout it at them. One better informs a lawyer, a refugee assisting organisation or at least a friend before arrival.

In order to transit via an international airport of your targeted asylum country you need

  • almost always a valid passport to get into the plane (only few people reach international airports without passport but with bribery),
  • sometimes a transit/airport visa of your targeted asylum country,
  • and often you have to fulfill the conditions for a legal entry of the country you are officially travelling to (the “destination” country of your flight mentioned on the airplane ticket).

To apply for asylum in a port/heaven is even more dangerous.

Border guards there are not always trained to deal with asylum seekers. There is no control by non governmental organisations or even normal passengers. We do not know whether this is the reason why so few asylum seekers apply for asylum in a port/heaven. But we assume that most of the asylum seekers entering by ship first hide, enter the asylum country illegally and apply for asylum later.

To travel by land to the targeted country and to apply at the border is also not very safe either.

Border guards do not appreciate asylum claims and sometimes do not listen to them.

Furthermore the Dublin system and the safe third country rule limit the freedom of choice.



Gill Laing is a qualified Legal Researcher & Analyst with niche specialisms in Law, Tax, Human Resources, Immigration & Employment Law.

Gill is a Multiple Business Owner and the Managing Director of Prof Services - a Marketing & Content Agency for the Professional Services Sector.

Legal disclaimer


The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

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