“Asylum“ is the protection Kosovo offers to the refugees. The asylum includes the right to reside in the Republic of Kosovo as well as other rights as provided for in this law. “Asylum-seeker” is a foreigner, who has submitted his/her request for asylum or Complementary Protection. He/she is considered as such from the time of his/her submission of an application for asylum until the final decision is taken. “Asylum-seeker” is a foreigner, who has been granted the status of asylum in the Republic of Kosovo.
A person interested in applying for asylum or for the status of the refugee may request protection by Republic of Kosovo owing to a fear of persecution in his/her country of citizenship or in the country with permanent residence permission, for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular political and social group or because of political convictions. This person is called refugee.
The request for asylum by a foreigner may be done orally or in writing during the check at the border crossing, at any police station and in the offices of the Department for Borders, Asylum, and Migration (DBAM). The registration of the asylum-seeker is done by filling out a questionnaire for registration. The police notify the DBAM about any application for asylum and the DBAM sets the procedures for adequately notifying the UNHCR about the application for asylum.
In the registration procedure, the asylum-seeker is provided the service of translation into his mother language or into the language he/she understands. The competent body making the registration is obliged to take the fingerprints and the photograph of the asylum-seeker. In case the registration of the asylum-seeker is made at the border crossing or at the police station, all registers and forms are forwarded to the DBAM, for carrying out the asylum procedure. The registration form will be signed by the asylum-seeker to confirm the accuracy after it was translated into the language he/she understands.
After the submission, the request for asylum is forwarded to the respective authorities competent for such matters, which also take the final decision.
The competent body is the body within the structure of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, responsible for making decisions on applications for asylum, complementary protection and related applications and decisions on the termination of Asylum and complementary protection.
After the application for the status of Asylum, the asylum-seeker is registered in police station and is issued a document showing that the person has the status of temporary residence in Kosovo until a final decision is taken by the competent authorities of the country. The person applying for the status of the refugee has the right to:
- Defend his/her matter on his/her own, or
- Enable him/her legal assistance or to render him/her legal assistance if he/she does not have financial means
- Have the assistance of a translator free of charge
- Communicate orally or in writing with the authorities of UNHCR or with another authorized international organization, which is competent for such matters
- Enable him/her to medical visit or treatment whenever necessary
- Inform him/her about the procedures related to the application for the status of refugee and his/her rights and obligations during these procedures in the language he/she understands
- In order to take a decision on such a matter the competent authorities enable the applicant for the status of refugee or his/her legal representative to present all necessary evidence related to the application. Evidence may be requested from competent international organizations or UNHCR about the matter.
- The relevant competent authorities should give an answer in writing about the decision taken regarding the matter, after the evidence was presented. This decision is given to the applicant for the status of refugee, or to his/her legal representative and a copy is submitted to UNHCR and international organizations in Kosovo, which are competent for this matter. The decision clarifies the right for reviewing the matter and the deadline for submitting the request for review.
In accordance with the law on asylum, the asylum and the complementary protection is granted to undisputable close family members of the asylum-seeker.
The competent body for taking the decision in the first instance related to the application for asylum comprises of officers of the Department for Borders, Asylum, and Migration Department (DBAM). An appeal against the decision of the competent body of first instance is decided by the National Commission for Refugees (NCR). Judicial review may be sought against a final decision of the Commission according to the procedures set forth in the law relating to judicial review of administrative decisions.
For more information about these laws please visit the official page of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.