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The implications of leaving Syria

Last update: February 2023

It is inherent in the situation of applicants for international protection that they have left their country of origin. In the context of Syria, and in particular of targeting by the government of Syria (GoS), this in itself could have implications for the treatment of an individual upon return. 3

The fact of having left Syria in itself would not normally lead to the level of risk required to establish well-founded fear of persecution. In most cases where a well-founded fear of persecution is substantiated, this would be related to circumstances falling under other profiles included in this guidance, and in particular Persons perceived to be opposing the government.

However, in some cases, returnees could be exposed to acts which are of such severe nature that they would amount to persecution (e.g. arrest, torture) and a nexus to a reason for persecution may be substantiated.

In cases where no nexus can be substantiated, the implications of having left Syria may be a relevant consideration with regard to subsidiary protection. They should also be taken into account when assessing the willingness of the GoS to provide protection in the meaning of Article 7 QD and in the assessment of an internal protection alternative (IPA).

Read more in the common analysis 

  • 3This section uses the terms ‘return’ and ‘returnee’ in their usual meaning in everyday language, and should not be understood as a reference to Directive 2008/115/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals (Return Directive).