Useful information for beneficiaries
Asylum system in the Republic of Moldova
International protection of foreigners in the Republic of Moldova is ensured in accordance with international standards in this field and the national legislation derived from them. Since 2001, the Republic of Moldova has been a party to the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees.
Law No 270/2008 on asylum in the Republic of Moldova regulates the procedure for determining refugee status, forms of protection, rights of beneficiaries of a form of protection, and other relevant issues.
According to the Law No 270/2008 on asylum, there are four forms of protection in the Republic of Moldova:
1. Refugee Status
Refugee status is granted on application to an foreigner who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to place himself under the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his lawful and ordinary residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return.
2. Humanitarian Protection
Humanitarian protection is granted to an alien who does not qualify for refugee status but in respect of whom there are serious and substantial grounds for believing that, if returned to his or her country of origin, he or she would face a real risk of suffering serious harm and is unable or, owing to such risk, is unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country.
Serious harm – present in one of the following situations:
(a) the existence of a death sentence or the existence of a danger of execution;
b) torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of the applicant in his/her country of origin;
(c) serious and individual threat to life or limb of a civilian by reason of generalized violence in situations of international or internal armed conflict.
3. Temporary Protection
Protection of an exceptional nature designed to provide, in the event of a mass and spontaneous influx of displaced persons who are unable to return to their country of origin, immediate and temporary protection to such persons, if there is a risk that the asylum system may not be able to process this influx without adverse effects on its efficient functioning, in the interests of the persons concerned and other persons in need of protection;
4. Political Asylum
Political asylum – protection granted by the President of the Republic of Moldova, upon request, in exceptional cases:
The application for asylum may be submitted exclusively on the territory of the Republic of Moldova to one of the following authorities:
Applications submitted to the Border Police, police bodies, structural and territorial subdivisions of the General Inspectorate for Migration, institutions subordinated to the National Administration of Penitentiaries or to the subdivisions of temporary detention of law enforcement bodies shall be sent to the Directorate for Asylum and Integration. The Asylum and Integration Directorate of the General Inspectorate for Migration is responsible for the implementation of asylum policies through the examination and settlement of asylum applications, the protection of asylum seekers, beneficiaries of international protection, temporary protection or political asylum.
Before a decision on the asylum application is issued, the asylum seeker is given the opportunity to be interviewed about his/her application. The interview is conducted as soon as possible, but no later than 21 days from the date of the application. The asylum seeker may be interviewed in the presence of an advocate and with the assistance of a translator. Representatives of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and non-governmental organizations may attend the interview with the consent of the asylum seeker. The interview will take place in the language of the applicant’s choice. Beforehand, the decision-maker must satisfy himself that the language in which the interview is to take place is sufficiently accessible to him.
The time limit for examining asylum applications is from one to six months but may be extended by three months.
The status of refugee or beneficiary of humanitarian protection confers the rights provided by law for foreign nationals and stateless persons, as well as the following special rights: