Travel to your country of origin

Travel to your country of origin

Last update6 juil. 2021

What is it?

In principle, being a refugee, you are not allowed to return to your country of origin. International protection being granted on the basis that there is a danger for you in your country.

However, if there is a compelling reason ( ie an exceptional and compelling reason, such as a family death or someone in your family who is ill ), a "safe-conduct" may be granted. This is a document allowing you to stay or travel to your country of origin.

To get it, a request must be sent to the prefecture so that the prefectural services and OFPRA measure the risks you take on returning to your country.

Be careful, not informing the French authorities of your trip could cause you to lose refugee status.

Who is it for?

Location

France entière

Impossible without
Visa or residence permit
Location

France entière

Impossible without
Visa or residence permit

What to do?

1

Have a compelling motive

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The "safe conduct" (ie the document authorizing you to travel to your country of origin) is granted in very rare cases.

You must therefore have a compelling reason to justify your request.

Examples: funeral of a family member, sick family member, resolution of administrative procedures (divorce, inheritance, etc.)

2

Request a safe conduct at the prefecture

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The request for safe conduct is made at the prefecture of your place of residence. You will need to contact the prefectural services to find out the procedure to follow (reception, making an appointment, list of documents to provide, etc.).

Please note : The request for safe conduct is considered on a case-by-case basis.

Documents should be sent to the prefecture:

If you are of legal age (above 18) , you will need to provide:

  • A cover letter specifying the reasons for the safe-conduct request and the planned trip. You can attach any document justifying the trip (death certificate, hospitalization certificates, etc.) , copies of your plane tickets, accommodation reservations, etc. You can specify the transit countries through which you will pass during your trip.
  • Your valid residence permit.
  • Your refugee travel certificate.
  • Proof of address (EDF receipt, cell phone bill, etc.) or a domiciliation certificate valid for 3 months before the document expires.
  • A sworn statement that the prefecture has informed you that it is up to you to assess the risks incurred in the event of return to your country of origin.
  • 3 identity photos (front and bare head).
  • Fiscal stamps.

If you are a minor, you will need to provide:

  • A cover letter specifying the reasons for the safe-conduct request and the planned trip. You can attach any document justifying the trip (death certificate, hospitalization certificates, etc.) , copies of your plane tickets, accommodation reservations, etc. You can specify the transit countries during the trip.
  • The residence cards of both parents.
  • The child's refugee travel document.
  • The republican identity document (TIR) or movement document (DCEM) of the child if he/she has one.
  • Proof of address (EDF receipt, cell phone bill, etc.) or a domiciliation certificate valid for 3 months before the document expires.
  • A sworn statement that the prefecture has informed you that it is up to you to assess the risks incurred in the event of return to your country of origin.
  • The child's recent full birth certificate.
  • The OFPRA administrative certificate.
  • 3 identity photos (front and bare head).
  • Fiscal stamps.
3

Time period for investigating the case

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After submitting your documents (cover letter, documents justifying the overriding reason, the sworn statement, tax stamps and identity photos), an examination period of at least one month will be required for the prefectural services decide on your request.

Please note :You can ask for details on this time limit when submitting your request.

4

Get the safe-conduct

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If your request is granted, you will be able to exchange your residence cards, TIR / DCEM and travel documents for the safe conduct.

To do this, you will have to come personally (minor accompanied by both parents) to the prefecture. The details will be communicated to you by it.

And after?

Once you are back in France

On your return to France, you can go to the prefecture with a copy of your safe-conduct to collect your residence permits and documents.

If you want to return to your country permanently

Refugee status is granted on the grounds that there is a danger in your country. Returning to your home country may mean that the situation is likely to have changed and that the risk is no longer present.

If you wish to return to your country permanently , this is possible. This return is organized by the OFII: it is called the "Voluntary Return".

Please note : For more information on "Voluntary Return", you can consult this page.

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