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Unaccompanied minors who are on French territory may be justified in requesting asylum and obtaining international protection. They are qualified as "unaccompanied minors" when they are under 18 and are not accompanied by their father or mother, or by any adult authorized to represent them.

Formulaire de demande d'asile
© A. Dodelin

The asylum application procedure for unaccompanied minors

Like adults, unaccompanied minors must contact the prefecture of their place of residence to initiate the procedures in order to apply for asylum in France. However, as minors, they cannot initiate legal or administrative proceedings without having a legal representative.

Therefore, if an unaccompanied minor presents himself at the prefecture without a legal representative, the staff of the prefecture will inform the Public Prosecutor so that an ad hoc administrator can be appointed. Only the legal representative can withdraw an asylum application form from the prefecture. He is also responsible for carrying out all the administrative procedures for the foreign unaccompanied minor. If the unaccompanied minor benefits from a State guardianship pronounced by a judge, it is the services of the Social Assistance to the Childhood (ASE) of the department of residence of the minor which will take charge of undertaking all these steps.

Applying for asylum at the border

When an unaccompanied minor presents himself at the border, without a travel document, without a visa, he is not authorized to enter French territory. He is placed in the waiting area. The border police then approach the judge to inform him and an ad hoc administrator is appointed. This person assists the unaccompanied minor for the duration of his stay in the waiting zone.

For the rest of the procedure, the steps are similar to those for adults (see the section "Applying for asylum at the border").

Mis à jour le 01 December 2022