What is the red card in the asylum procedure in Spain
We explain what is known as the red card in the asylum procedure, its requirements and benefits
The white card, a first step
The asylum process begins with requesting an appointment before the corresponding office. At the end of the appointment, they issue you a document, known as a white card, stating that you have requested protection and that the application is in the process of being processed.
In principle, the Spanish State must resolve within the month following the appointment, whether or not the request is admissible. The fact that he does admit it does not mean that he will ultimately grant asylum or subsidiary protection. It only means that the procedure will continue until a final decision.
Initial red card: what you can and can not do
Once the asylum application has been accepted, it issues an identification document, which is commonly called a red card, by the color of the card on which it is printed. Its official name is “Document accrediting the status of applicant in international protection proceedings”.
The initial red card is valid for six months and does NOT authorize you to work. However, it includes the foreigner identification number (NIE), which will allow you to open a bank account, for example, to receive your health card and to assign you a bedside physician.
Red card renewal: authorization to work
If the asylum application has not been decided after six months, the red card is renewed, and the express mention “AUTHORIZA A TRABAJAR” is included. Every six months they will renew it under the same conditions until they issue the definitive resolution. If you are granted asylum, the red card will be replaced by a Foreigner Identification Card. This is similar to who gets a residence and work permit.
Red card: Can I travel outside of Spain?
Not at the beginning. For two reasons: the first is that to obtain the initial red card you must give your passport, which is in the custody of the Spanish authorities. Additionally, the red card has an express mention that says: “This document is not valid for border crossing”. I mean, legally you could not leave Spain. In practice, if you travel by land within the European common space, it is unlikely that you will be asked for a document. But if you are going to travel abroad, they will demand your passport and if you do not have it you will not be able to leave.