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Guidance note
Last updated: September 2020

In case the criterion of ‘safety’ is satisfied, as a next step, case officers have to establish whether an applicant can:

Figure 7. Travel and admittance as requirements for IPA.

 Safely travel: When assessing the requirement of safety of travel, the presence of permanent and potential temporary checkpoints should be taken into account. Passing through checkpoints requires identification documents.It should be noted that in the context of Syria and in particular the security measures related to State actors, the three requirements should be read in conjunction.

Treatment at checkpoints was reported to include arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial detentions, torture and forced disappearances. Profiles at particular risk of arrest at checkpoints tend to be those who return to Syria without security permission or reconciliation in place prior to traveling, individuals who work or carry out activities believed to oppose the government, men of military age, and those with family members who were forcibly displaced to Idlib or Aleppo. Particular attention should also be given in the case of women, as the insecurity has affected them disproportionately and restrictions on them have intensified.

✓ Legally travel: According to the Syrian Constitution, Syrians enjoy freedom of movement, travel and residence inside Syria unless restricted by a ‘judicial decision or by the implementation of laws’.

✓ Gain admittance to: As from the beginning of 2019, the Syrian Ministry of the Interior announced that it would no longer require a security clearance as a prerequisite for registering a lease with municipalities, but that a lease would be registered at the municipality and the data then forwarded to the security authorities, so that the security authorities could only raise objections afterwards. This has reportedly been implemented in Damascus. However, all Syrians returning to the jurisdiction of the government of Syria are forced to interact directly with the security sector - including giving extensive background information that may incriminate them or their family members, with no guarantees about how information will be used.


For those applicants who meet the ‘safety’ criterion, the assessment of the availability of IPA in Damascus City should proceed with an assessment of the requirements of safety and legality of travel and of gaining admittance.
The profile and individual circumstances of the applicant should be taken into account in this regard. For individuals who would return to Syria without identity documents or without security permission or reconciliation in place prior to traveling, these requirements would not be satisfied.