Accelerated procedure

Poland

Author

Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

General (scope, grounds for accelerated procedures, time limits)

The application for international protection is subject to an accelerated procedure if the applicant:1

  • Provides other reasons for applying for asylum than well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, or a risk of serious harm; or did not provide any information on circumstances referring to the well-founded fear of persecutions or risk of serious harm (197 cases in 2016);

  • Misleads the authority by hiding or presenting false information or documents which are important in an asylum procedure (4 cases in 2016);

  • Makes inconsistent, contradictory, improbable or insufficient explanation of the persecution they are fleeing from, which are clearly inconsistent with the COI (11 cases in 2016);

  • Submits an application to delay or disturb enforcement of a return decision (13 cases in 2016);

  • Is a threat to national security or public order or was, on this ground, already expelled from the territory (3 cases in 2016)

 The statistics obtained from the Office for Foreigners show that in 2016 the Head of the Office for Foreigners examined 228 applications in accelerated procedure.2

The Head of the Office for Foreigners should issue a decision in the accelerated procedure within 30 calendar days. If a decision cannot be issued within 30 calendar days, the Head of the Office for Foreigners has to inform the applicant about the reasons for the delay and the date when a decision will be issued.3 There are no consequences of not respecting this time limit.

 

Until 12 November 2015 in the cases referred to above (where the Office for Foreigners considers that the applicant had others reasons for applying for asylum than a well-founded fear of persecution or had not provided any information on the fear of persecution) there was no mandatory interview by the Head of the Office for Foreigners, unless the applicant was an unaccompanied child.4 The rule is not applicable from 13 November 2015. This means that the interview in accelerated procedure is conducted according to the same rules as in regular procedure (see Regular Procedure: Personal Interview).5

In 2014 according to the Office for Foreigners, in 60% of cases considered manifestly unfounded, the personal interview was not conducted.6 No data from 2015 and 2016has been made available. If it does take place, the interview does not differ from the one in a regular procedure – it is in the same form and the same rules apply.7

 

Appeal

The appeal system is broadly the same in the accelerated procedure as in the regular procedure. However, there are two important differences:

  • The time limit to lodge an appeal is 7 calendar days instead of 14;8

  • Decisions on the appeal in this procedure are issued by only one member of the Refugee Board (instead of three as in the regular procedure).9

The short timeframe for lodging an appeal, while extended from 5 to 7 calendar days in November 2015, still constitutes a significant obstacle in practice, because it is a short time, even more so if it falls on a weekend.

 

Free legal assistance is offered in the same context described in the section on Regular Procedure: Legal Assistance. State legal aid introduced on 1 January 2016 covers preparing an appeal and representation in the second instance.10

 

  • 1. Procedure regulated in Article 39 Law on Protection, as amended in November 2015.
  • 2. The Office for Foreigners letter to HFHR from 1 February 2017 no BSZ.WAiSM.0361.7.2017/TB.
  • 3. No data was made available upon request if the time limit is respected in practice.
  • 4. Article 34(2)(1) Law on Protection applicable until 12 November 2015.
  • 5. Article 44 Law on Protection, as amended in November 2015.
  • 6. E-mail from the Office for Foreigners, Department of Asylum Proceedings from 1 April 2014.
  • 7. The Office for Foreigners letter to HFHR from 1 February 2017 no BSZ.WAiSM.0361.7.2017/TB.
  • 8. Article 39(2)(3) Law on Protection, applicable from 13 November 2015.
  • 9. Article 34(2)(4) and (5) Law on Protection (applicable until 12 November 2015). From 13 November 2015: Article 39(2) Law on Protection.
  • 10. Article 69e Law on Protection, as amended in November 2015.

About AIDA

The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) is a database managed by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), containing information on asylum procedures, reception conditions, detenti