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Introduction to the EASO Practical Guide: Qualification for international protection

What is the scope of this practical guide? This guide focuses on who qualifies for international protection, referring to both refugee status and subsidiary protection. The term ‘qualification’ is preferred for consistency with the  terminology used in the qualification directive. It is understood as being equivalent to terms such as ‘eligibility’ and ‘inclusion’, used in other relevant European Asylum Support Office (EASO) products.

The guide was developed in the context of ongoing negotiations on a proposed qualification regulation. However, its content is based on and refers to the provisions of the current qualification directive. At any time, the user should read it in relation to and be informed by the corresponding provisions of the respective legal instrument in force.

The guide looks at the legal requirements for qualification for international protection and does not consider issues of factual analysis and assessment. For guidance on those issues, the user should refer to the EASO Practical Guide: Personal interview and, in particular, the EASO Practical Guide: Evidence assessment.

Moreover, the issue of the exclusion of those found not to be deserving of international protection is outside the scope of this practical guide. Guidance on this can be found in the EASO Practical Guide: Exclusion. Exclusion and refugee status protection under Article 1D of the Geneva Convention and Article 12(1) of the qualification directive are also not addressed in detail within the scope of this guide.

Who should use this practical guide? This guide is primarily intended for case officers, interviewers and decisionmakers in the national determining authorities. Additionally, it could be a useful tool for policymakers, quality officers and legal advisers, along with anyone interested in the topic of qualification for international protection in the EU context.

The practical guide aims to cater for the needs of case officers with various degrees of experience. This ranges from new case officers to those with years of experience. Its layers and content could be used in different ways depending on the needs of the user.

How to use this practical guide. The practical guide is structured in four layers that could be used independently or in an interlinked manner.

In addition to providing structured guidance, this practical guide can be seen as a tool for self-evaluation. It could also be used as a quality supervision and/or coaching tool.

How was this practical guide developed? The guide was created by experts from EU+ countries and with valuable input from the European Commission and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The development was facilitated and coordinated by EASO. Before its finalisation, a consultation on the guide was carried out with all EU+ countries.

How does this practical guide relate to national legislation and practice? This is a soft convergence tool that  reflects the common standards and incorporates dedicated space for national variances in legislation, guidance and practice.

Each national authority can include relevant pieces of legislation and guidance in the practical guide in the designated spaces in order to provide case officers with onestop guidance on qualification for international protection.

How does this practical guide relate to other EASO support tools? EASO’s mission is to support Member States through, inter alia, common training, common quality and common country-of-origin information. As with all EASO support tools, the EASO Practical Guide: Qualification for international protection is based on the standards of the Common European Asylum System. It is built upon the same framework and should be seen as a complement to other available EASO tools. Its consistency with those tools has been a primary consideration, especially in relation to the closely related EASO training curriculum modules on ‘Inclusion’ and ‘Inclusion advanced’. Qualification for international protection (Directive 2011/95/EU) — Judicial analysis (produced by IARLJ-Europe under contract from EASO) was also a valuable source in the development of this tool.

This is a practical guide developed within the EASO Quality Matrix process and it should be used in conjunction with other available practical tools: