How to apply for asylum in Chad

You can apply for asylum in Chad at the closest administrative authorities of Chad or at any office of the National Commission for the Reception and Reintegration of Refugees and Returnees (CNARR). The application can be written or oral. You can find on the CNARR website their branch offices throughout Chad. You want to apply in the first ninety days you come to Chad. You can also apply after the ninety days if you can justify the delay.

Chad is a member state of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and São Tomé and Príncipe are all member states of ECCAS. All citizens of these countries should enjoy freedom of movement in any of these countries. That means that they can travel, work and study in any of these countries.

Most websites linked in this article are in Arabic and French. If you need, use Google Translate, Tarjimly, or any other translation app.

Asylum process in Chad

An asylum seeker is any person who, having expressed their will explicitly or implicitly to the nearest administrative authorities or to the CNARR, requests protection in the Republic of Chad within a period of ninety (90) days following their entry into the national territory.

However, asylum applications submitted outside this period for reasons of force majeure may be examined at the discretion of the eligibility sub-committee.

Any person on Chadian territory at the time of the loss of the protection of his country of origin and who seeks it in the Republic of Chad is also considered an asylum seeker.

The asylum request, accompanied by the minutes of the declarations or interviews relating to the request for refugee status, is sent to the Permanent Secretary of the CNARR.

An asylum seeker certificate valid for six months, equivalent to a residence permit, is issued to the applicant by the CNARR. The asylum seeker certificate is renewed until the Eligibility Sub-Committee takes a final decision on your refugee status.

The decisions of this Eligibility Sub-Commission are justified. The minutes and conclusions are signed by all present members.

Decisions granting or rejecting refugee status are notified to the applicant and to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees by the Permanent Secretary of the CNARR.

Those who are granted refugee status are endorsed by an order of the Minister of Territorial Administration.

The working sessions of the Eligibility Sub-Committee are held at least four (4) times a month by a simple majority of its members. A simple majority of the members present takes these decisions. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees participates in the working sessions of the Eligibility sub-committee as an observer.

How to appeal a negative decision?

In the event of a challenge to the decision of the Eligibility Sub-Commission, the asylum seeker may file a duly formulated request with the Appeals Sub-Commission within a period of thirty (30) days from the date of notification of the said decision.

The Appeals Sub-Committee requires the appearance of the asylum seeker during its working session, which guarantees the confidentiality of its hearing. In this case, the applicant may be assisted by counsel of his choice and at his expense. The Appeals Sub-Commission makes available to it
an interpreter if necessary.

The Appeals Sub-Committee renders its decision by a majority of its members present.

The appeal entitles the asylum seeker to an authorization to remain on the territory of the Republic of Chad until the Appeals Sub-Commission has definitively ruled on his application.

The decision of the Appeals Sub-Commission is substantiated and ratified by an Order of the Minister in charge of Territorial Administration. It is notified to the person concerned and communicated to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees within thirty (30) days.

The appeal in cassation remains possible under the legal provisions in force.

All asylum application procedures are free.

Can asylum seekers work in Chad?

No, asylum seekers need to become lawfully residing refugees to have the right to work officially in Chad. The Republic of Chad grants to any refugee lawfully residing in its territory the most favorable treatment accorded, in the same circumstances, to nationals of a foreign country
concerns the exercise of a salaried, self-employed and/or liberal professional activity.
However, refugees will be exempted from certain restrictive measures imposed by the regulations in force on the employment of foreigners in the exercise of a salaried, self-employed and/or liberal profession.

Rights of asylum seekers and refugees in Chad

Any refugee or asylum seeker in possession of a provisional document enjoys, under the same conditions as nationals, respect for fundamental human rights, in particular:

  • the right to travel;
  • the right to residence;
  • the right to public relief and public assistance;
  • the right to health;
  • the right to education and vocational training;
  • the right to sue; and
  • the right to practice one’s religion.

Sources: Law No 027/PR/2020, Portant Asile en Republique du Tchad

The cover image is somewhere in Chad. Photo by Johannes Ludwig on Unsplash