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Please note that this country guidance document has been replaced by a more recent one. The latest versions of country guidance documents are available at

Last updated: February 2019

According to Article 8 QD, IPA can only apply if the applicant ‘can reasonably be expected to settle’ in the proposed area of internal protection.

General situation

The following elements should be examined based on available country of origin information:
■ the situation with regard to food security;
the availability of basic infrastructure, such as:
■ shelter and housing;
basic healthcare;
■ hygiene, including water and sanitation;
the availability of basic subsistence that ensures access to food, hygiene and shelter, such as through employment, existing financial means, support by a network or humanitarian aid.

The general situation in the area in consideration should be examined in light of criteria described above, and not in comparison with standards in Europe or other areas in the country of origin.

Based on the available COI, it is found that in order to establish the reasonableness of IPA, the analysis should take into account the individual circumstances of the applicant, such as socio-economic background, education, profession, etc. Support by state authorities, NGOs and social networks, including but not limited to the family (for example, it could also include colleagues, friends) could also be an important consideration, especially with regard to certain profiles.

Individual circumstances

In addition to the general situation in the area of potential IPA, the assessment whether it is reasonable for the applicant to settle in that part of the country should take into account the individual circumstances of the applicant, such as religion, ethnicity, status of ‘indigenes’ vs ‘settlers’, local knowledge, age, gender, state of health (illness or disabilities), social, educational and economic background, support network, etc.  

The individual considerations could relate to certain vulnerabilities of the applicant as well as to available coping mechanisms, which would have an impact when determining to what extent it would be reasonable for the applicant to settle in a particular area. It should be noted that these factors are not absolute and they would often intersect in the case of the particular applicant, leading to different conclusions on the reasonableness of IPA.


Conclusions on reasonableness: commonly encountered profiles

The list below includes general conclusions with regard to some profiles, which are commonly encountered in practice. For further guidance on elements which are to be assessed in this regard, see the common analysis section Conclusions on reasonableness: particular profiles encountered in practice.

The individual circumstances of the applicant should always be taken into account. In cases where the applicant is a child or the applicant is accompanied by a child, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.

Single able-bodied men
Although the situation related to settling in the IPA area entails certain hardship, it can still be concluded that such applicants are able to ensure their basic subsistence, shelter and hygiene, taking into account the fact that their individual circumstances do not pose additional vulnerabilities.
■ (Married) couples of working age
The individual assessment should further take into account whether in the situation of the couple sufficient basic subsistence can be ensured for both.
 Single able-bodied women
Women may encounter additional difficulties in relation to education, work, housing, etc. The assessment should take into account factors such as age, family status, socio-economic background, religion and ethnicity, local knowledge, support network, etc.
 Elderly applicants
Elderly people may face difficulties in accessing means of basic subsistence, in particular through employment. The availability of financial means and/or a support network should be taken into account, as well as the age and state of health of the applicant.
 Victims of trafficking
The assessment should take into account factors such as the age, state of health, socio- economic background of the applicant, the availability of support network, etc.
■ Unaccompanied children
Due to their young age, children are particularly vulnerable and in general need to depend on other providers for their basic subsistence.
■ Applicants with severe illnesses or disabilities
Individual circumstances, such as the availability of sufficient financial means, should, however, be taken into account.