People who want to claim asylum in the Paris region will now need to go through a call centre to book an initial appointment. (Photo: InfoMigrants)
People who want to claim asylum in the Paris region will now need to go through a call centre to book an initial appointment. (Photo: InfoMigrants)

If you are in Paris or the surrounding region and you want to claim asylum in France, then, from May 2, you will need to book an initial appointment by calling a special call center run by the French Office for Immigration and Integration. It is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 0800 144 414.

Starting from Wednesday, May 2, people in the Île-de-France region around Paris who want to file an asylum claim will need to book an initial appointment through a call centre run by the French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII, or the Office français pour l’immigration et l’intégration).

The phone number is toll-free: 0800 144 414.

An OFII employee, working with an interpreter, will answer your call and ask you to state your name, age and other basic personal information. After the phone call, you will get a text message (or an email) giving you a time and date for your appointment in a center known as a "Pada" (platform for asylum seekers) in the Ile-de-France region. When you go to your appointment, you will need to show staff your text message or email.

This call center is run in 12 different languages: French, English, Arabic, Tamil, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Pashto, Dari, Urdu, Turkish, Farsi and several different African dialects. It is be open from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

To meet with staff at a Pada or the police prefecture, you must book an appointment in advance. If you just show up at one of these locations without an appointment, you will not be able to speak with anyone. 



Tweet from the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII) (translated from French):

Asylum seekers: Starting on May 2, asylum seekers in the Île de France region will be received by the OFII call centre, available in 12 languages, from 10 a.m. to 3:30.p.m., Monday to Friday. #immigration #LOFIIsengage


Tweet from the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII) (translated from French):

Asylum seekers who don’t have a cell phone can go to one of three day centres* in Paris to book an appointment. Afterwards, they will be able to file their asylum claim at a special reception centre known as a CAES (centre for reception and evaluation of the situation).

"Our aim is to help asylum seekers get appointments faster," Didier Leschi, the director of OFII told InfoMigrants. "With the new system, asylum seekers will get an appointment in less than day tens. Currently, it is twice that. Our aim to get them an appointment without four days."

The goal of the new system is to "put an end to crowds and long queues," Leschi said.

Associations dedicated to helping migrants will be responsible for sharing information about the new system with those who want to claim asylum. However, those who spoke to InfoMigrants said that they were skeptical.

A member of Utopia 56 said that she was worried that the phone line would be overwhelmed with calls. She gave the example of the SAMU Social, a French municipal humanitarian emergency service for homeless people and others in social distress, claiming that their phone line was often overwhelmed.



Tweet from the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII) (translated from French):

Asylum seekers: May 2 will mark the end to queues in front of reception centres in Ile de France. All you need to do is present the text message or email that you received after your call to the OFII.  #immigration #LOFIIsengage

In an interview with InfoMigrants last March, Pierre Henry, the managing director of France Terre d'Asile, the association that manages the Padas in Paris, expressed his doubts about the new system.

"This won’t make things simpler," Henry said. "I don’t think that this helpline is a good model for helping asylum seekers access their rights. I fear that at least some migrants will struggle to understand this service."

According to Henry, the most pressing problem is that many asylum seekers struggle to find housing. He says any reform should address this issue.

Currently, neither the new call centre, nor the Padas, offer asylum seekers assisatnce in finding emergency accommodation.

"There's no correlation between initial appointments and housing," he said. "We need centres that combine Pada and accommodation. In that case, asylum seekers would get an appointment with the prefecture while also getting a roof over their heads."


>> The OFII call centre is open from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 0800 144 414.

* If you do not have a cell phone, you can visit one of three different day centers in Paris to help you file an asylum claim (open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.). They are located at:

  • 5 bis, rue André Mazet (6th arrondissement)

  • 82, avenue Denfert-Rochereau (14th arrondissement)

  • 1, boulevard du Palais (4th arrondissement).

  • A fourth day center should be opened soon  

These are the day centres in Paris where migrants without cell phones can seek appointments Credit France Terre dAsile

 

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