Lately, many Venezuelans are considering the possibility of applying for asylum in Spain. But is it really an available option? We will try to clarify the doubts about it in this article.
Apply for asylum in Spain: the numbers
According to official data, the Spanish government favorably resolved 1585 requests for asylum or refuge to foreigners in 2015. This is a figure that needs to be carefully analyzed.
In fact, we must keep in mind that in comparison with such a number of petitions approved, more than 2,000 were denied. On the other hand, the total number of applications filed during that year was 15,000. In other words, only 20% were decided, while the rest of foreigners are still waiting for a response.
In that year, the Venezuelans filed about 600 applications, being the fifth country with the highest number of applications (preceded by Syria, Ukraine, Palestine and Algeria). During the first two months of 2016, it has ascended to the third place.
Applying for asylum in Spain: the reasons
Following the standards set out in the international agreements to which Spain is a party, refugee matters are often referred to as International Protection, which includes both the right to asylum itself and the so-called subsidiary protection.
The first refers to cases in which a person is persecuted in his / her country of origin, based on race, sexual orientation, nationality or ethnicity, political position, religion or membership of a particular social group.
In turn, acts of persecution can take various forms, including the application of physical or psychological violence, discriminatory legislative measures or denial of judicial protection, for example.
The second occurs when there are serious threats to the lives of civilians motivated by situations of indiscriminate violence in situations of internal or international conflict.
Asylum in Spain: the case of Venezuelans
It is undeniable that in Venezuela there is a situation in which certain people could qualify to apply for asylum in Spain and obtain it, as regards persecution for political reasons.
However, persecution must be serious and must be demonstrated. In other words, membership in a political party opposed to the government would simply not be enough to secure asylum.
Nor is it obvious that subsidiary protection can be requested, at least for the time being, as there is still no openly declared internal conflict situation.
However, it will depend on the specific case and how it is documented and justified, whether a Venezuelan may or may not seek asylum in Spain and obtain it. Ideally, if you think about this option you will consultants in detail.
Please note, on the other hand, that if the application is admitted to processing, you could legally reside in Spain until it is decided, which may take several months (even years), as explained in the following article: What is the red card And what benefits it offers.