With the ultimate goal of achieving convergence in the implementation of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), the EUAA develops practical tools and guidance to help increase the knowledge and technical skills of asylum practitioners working in the field of international protection.
The tools translate the legal obligations, standards and good practices into commonly agreed guidance in various user-friendly formats, including checklists, pocket books, posters, web-based interactive tools, etc. The purpose of the tools is to provide practical support to Member State authorities such as national asylum and migration authorities, to regional or local services and those on the ground.
The practical tools and guides are developed based on Member State expertise and analysis gathered and shared in the framework of dedicated thematic networks on key areas of asylum.
In addition, the tools are drafted with valuable input from the European Commission, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other relevant organisations, which are consulted according to the topic and nature of the tool. Built within the framework of CEAS, they complement each other and are to be used in conjunction. They are also fully consistent with the EUAA Training modules and complementary to the EUAA professional development materials for courts and tribunals
Areas of support
Practical guide on registration: lodging of applications for international protection
This practical tool presents a comprehensive approach for the lodging of applications for international protection. The tool is based on the relevant EU legal provisions and good practices gathered from Member States. It provides practical guidance to registration officers in their daily work and supports managers in strengthening the national registration process.
The tool provides structured guidance on registration procedures, including procedures related to special needs and Dublin considerations.
Access to the asylum procedure
This toolkit on access to the asylum procedure was jointly developed by EASO and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), and in close collaboration with the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and UNHCR.
The toolkit is intended to support the identification of third-country nationals and stateless persons who may wish to apply for international protection.
Each toolkit folder includes:
- Practical guide: providing guidance on core obligations of the first-contact officials, the rights of persons in need of international protection and information on applicable procedural guarantees;
- Poster: presenting the 10 main messages on access to the asylum procedure;
- Pocket book: featuring the core principles and main messages;
- Leaflet on frequently asked questions: providing answers to some of the common questions that first-contact officials may have on access to the asylum procedure.
- Video: Access to the asylum procedure
Practical Guide on Information Provision in the Dublin Procedure
Providing information on the Dublin procedure to applicants for international protection is an integral part of the procedure itself. This practical guide was developed to support all officials tasked with providing such information in an effective manner.
Practical tools, guidance and recommendations
- Practical guide on the implementation of the Dublin III Regulation: personal interview and evidence assessment [EN]
- Guidance on the Dublin procedure: operational standards and indicators [EN]
HTML version available here
- Recommendations on Information Exchange between Dublin Units [EN]
- Recommendations on the Operational and Technical Use of DubliNet [EN]
- Additional Recommendations on Dublin Transfers During the COVID-19 Pandemic [EN]
- Recommendations of the EASO Network of Dublin Units on Dublin Transfers [EN]
Practical Guide on Exclusion for Serious (Non-Political) Crimes
This guide provides a brief reminder of the main elements of the exclusion examination and explains the constitutive elements of the serious (non-political) crimes ground, the interplay between exclusion for serious (non-political) crimes and closely related provisions, as well as its relation to criminal proceedings.
Additional information on circumstances that can be taken into account as part of the individual analysis of the seriousness of a crime and regarding relevant principles and notions of criminal law and criminal procedure law can be consulted in the annexes.
Practical guide on the application of cessation clauses
This practical guide aims at providing guidance to case officers when examining the application of cessation clauses and to policy officers as well when implementing national workflows in the context of the cessation process.
The tool is structured in two layers of content, which address the application of the cessation clauses in a comprehensive manner:
Guidance on the substance of the assessment of the cessation provisions: individual behaviour of the beneficiaries leading to cessation; change of circumstances in the country of nationality / habitual residence; exemptions to the application of cessation; legal consequences of cessation; special circumstances when examining cessation;
Guidance on the implementation of the cessation process in practice: workflows of the cessation process; procedural considerations during the implementation; checklists, points to consider and practical examples in the context of personal interviews on cessation, application of the burden of proof in cessation, legal analysis of cessation decisions.
The guide also reflects on the special circumstances when examining cessation such as on practical challenges encountered when communicating with beneficiaries and on the organisation of large-scale cessation exercises.
Practical guide on subsequent applications
The aim of this tool is to provide guidance to case officers on the examination process and the special procedural rules for assessing subsequent applications. To this end, the tool is focusing on three main aspects:
- specific rules of procedure applied for the assessment of subsequent applications;
- interpretation and application of relevant concepts related to subsequent applications;
- exploration of the specific situations in which a subsequent application could be submitted.
Practical guide on the internal protection alternative
This practical tool aims at providing guidance to case officers and decision makers on the internal protection alternative (IPA) and its application. The guide reflects on relevant case law, national practices and provides practical examples for when case officers explore and assess the IPA during all steps of the procedure, such as during the interview and decision-making.
The guide outlines the parameters that need to be taken into consideration by case officers when identifying a potential IPA location and when assessing the IPA criteria in order to decide on its application. This includes the examination of safety; travel and admittance; and the reasonableness to settle in the IPA location.
This practical guide is complemented by commonly encountered profiles of applicants and points to consider when case officers assess the IPA criteria, as well as with specific considerations regarding the application of IPA in relation to cessation clauses and subsequent applications.
Practical guide on the use of country of origin information by case officers for the examination of asylum applications
This practical tool provides guidance to case officers on the practical use of country of origin information (COI) at different stages of the asylum procedure – when preparing and conducting the personal interview and when carrying out the credibility assessment and the risk assessment of the application for international protection. The practical guide is complemented with information about COI sources and practical tips for basic COI research.
The tool is structured in two layers, which can be used independently:
- guidance through the different parts of the procedure of examining the application for international protection highlighting the role of COI and its standards;
- a checklist of recommended steps during the procedure of examining the application for international protection related to the use of COI.
Practical recommendations on conducting remote/online registration (lodging)
This document was developed in the context of the COVID-19 emergency situation. The document focuses on alternative solutions for registration (lodging) of an application for international protection. It provides practical recommendations on how to introduce remote, online or IT elements into the registration process in order to render the overall process more efficient and better organised. The guidance has been developed as a result of thematic meetings held by the EASO Asylum Processes Network and builds on information provided by EU+ countries, good practices, as well as EASO practical tools. Furthermore, this document elaborates procedural safeguards and practical recommendations that asylum authorities may want to consider when facilitating the lodging of applications for international protection online/remotely.
Practical recommendations on conducting the personal interview remotely
This document was developed in the context of the COVID-19 emergency situation. The aim is to provide brief guidance on remote personal interviews based on good practices from across the EU+ countries and existing EASO guidance. Furthermore, this document elaborates procedural safeguards and practical recommendations that asylum authorities may want to consider when preparing and conducting a remote personal interview, including the following aspects:
- technical arrangements, security and confidentiality;
- practical arrangements prior, during and after the interview;
- legal considerations;
- interview techniques and quality-related consideration;
- vulnerability-related considerations.
Guidance on membership of a particular social group
This practical tool aims to support Member States in applying the concept of membership of particular social group (MPSG) as one of the 1951 Geneva Convention grounds of persecution in the examination process of applications for international protection. This soft convergence tool provides guidance in applying the same legal criteria and common standards when determining who qualifies for international protection.
The guide provides a set of principles and their application, structured in four main parts:
- legal basis of the concept of MPSG;
- legal analysis of the MPSG definition;
- the nexus between MPSG and presence or absence of persecution;
- commonly encountered profiles for which MPSG might be considered.
Practical guide: Qualification for international protection
This practical guide intends to assist case officers and decision-makers in the examination of applications for international protection and application of the legal criteria on who qualifies for international protection, referring to both refugee status and subsidiary protection.
The guide includes checklists, guidance and references to legislation and case law in order to support the case officer in assessing whether the individual applicant qualifies for international protection.
The practical guide, which is also available in html format, includes a decision tree that describes all the steps in the decision-making process.
The decision tree flow chart is available in poster format.
The guide is also available on the EUAA’s mobile app for Practical Tools.
Practical guide: Exclusion
EASO has developed a practical guide to assist in the detection and examination of potential exclusion cases. The guide focuses on exclusion grounds under Article 12(2) and Article 17 Qualification Directive (2011/95/EU) and covers the following aspects:
- what is exclusion?;
- detection of potential exclusion cases;
- referral and procedural guarantees;
- interview with a focus on exclusion: preparation and conducting the interview;
- evidence assessment;
- legal analysis: qualification of excludable acts and individual responsibility;
- drafting the decision elements related to exclusion;
- referral for investigation and/or prosecution.
This tool consists of checklists, brief guidance and references to relevant legislation and case law. It also envisages dedicated space for capturing national approaches.
Practical guide: Evidence assessment
This guide is designed in a similar way to the Practical guide: Personal interview. It is intended to provide support for the daily work of case officers and addresses the challenging tasks related to evidence assessment:
- gathering information
- credibility assessment
- risk assessment.
A structured approach to evidence assessment, following the three steps above, is presented in checklists and brief guidance on every entry of the checklist. The guide further offers legal references, case law and a dedicated space for possible variations of national practice.
The guide also encloses a template, which can be used to apply the structured-evidence assessment method on individual cases.
The guide is also available on the EUAA’s mobile app for Practical Tools.
Practical guide: Personal interview
Being the first practical tool developed within the EASO Quality Matrix process, this practical guide is designed to assist case officers across the EU and beyond in their daily work by providing a practical checklist and brief guidance in five stages relating to the conduct of the personal interview.
This includes preparation for the personal interview (Section 1), opening the interview and providing information (Section 2), conducting the interview (Section 3), including guidance regarding the substance of the application which needs to be explored during the interview (Section 4), and closing the interview and post-interview actions (Section 5).
The guidance provides hyperlinks to legal references which can be accessed directly for further consultation.
It is also available on the EUAA’s mobile app for practical tools.
Quality in the context of the asylum procedure (animation)
The animation presents the main principles of quality in the context of the asylum procedure and explains how the EUAA supports the EU+ countries in assuring quality. Good quality is achieved through a procedure that is fair, efficient, transparent and in accordance with legal standards.
Quality Assurance Tool: Examining the application for international protection
EUAA has developed a tool to provide EU+ countries with a common framework for internal quality assessment and assurance of applications for international protection.
The tool provides standards and indicators, as well as methodology for the quality assessment of the two core aspects of the examination of the application for international protection: substantive personal interview and first-instance decision on the application for international protection.The tool is available as a stand-alone assessment form and as an IT app which allows the creation of reports on the overall quality of the interviews and decisions, for example taken over a certain period of time, or by a specific unit, or related to a particular country of origin, etc.
The Quality Assurance Tool includes:
- EASO Quality Assurance Tool: Examining the application for international protection [EN]
- Providing guidance on the methodology for the quality assessment of applications for international protection.
- Assessment forms:
- EASO Quality Assurance Tool ‘app’
- Including interactive electronic forms for assessing the quality of interviews and decisions as well as reporting functions which allow you to gain insights in the overall quality of the interviewing and decision-making processes in your office and to identify possible weaker points for which follow-up actions may be needed
Guidance on asylum procedure: operational standards and indicators
The overall objective of this guidance is to support Member States in the practical implementation of key provisions of the Asylum Procedures Directive (2013/32/EU) to achieve fair and effective asylum procedures and to strengthen the CEAS at an operational level. The guidance can also serve as tool to strengthen national asylum procedures at policy level and as reference for the development of national monitoring frameworks and conduct of self-assessments of the asylum procedure. Built on existing practices that can be found within the EU, this guidance formulates commonly acknowledged operational standards and indicators that are realistic and achievable across all Member States and provides examples of good practice.
The guidance is structured in three areas of interest: access to procedure, guarantees for the applicants and examination of the application.
Tool for the Assessment of Reception Conditions (ARC)
This IT tool provides a practical solution for EU+ countries as it allows authorities to conduct self-assessments of reception conditions at national level. It rests on the common reception standards and indicators outlined in the two EASO guidance documents on reception published in 2016 (general) and 2018 (unaccompanied children).
Available both as an app and as an offline software, the tool allows EU+ countries to collect, process and share data on performance of reception facilities.
Core technical functionalities of the tool include:
- assessment along with a check box of each relevant indicator with tips and guiding examples provided;
- report production including statistics, graphs and comments on the implementation of standards and indicators;
- voice recognition (EN) for easy recording of comments during an assessment.
Additional content is also available:
- operational tips for indicators with practical examples on how to assess a given indicator;
- assessment methodology including participatory approach and residents’ feedback (to be developed upon completion of the tool);
- a qualitative and quantitative reporting format.
Guidance on reception conditions for unaccompanied children: Operational standards and indicators
This guidance is intended to provide support to EU+ countries in the implementation of key provisions of the Reception Conditions Directive (2013/33/EU), while ensuring an adequate standard of living for unaccompanied children that takes into account their special reception needs. It can be used at both policy and operational level as a framework for further development of reception standards at national level and as a tool to support reception authorities working with unaccompanied children in planning and in running of reception facilities and providing adequate care according to specific needs.
The standards and indicators laid down in this guidance address the specific needs of unaccompanied children in reception facilities, though the guidance may also be applicable for accompanied children.
The guidance is structured in nine sections providing respective standards, measurement indicators as well as good practice:
- information and representation
- identification of special reception needs of children
- day-to-day care
- food and clothing
The tool is complemented by the IT app arc.easo.europa.eu
Guidance on contingency planning in the context of reception
This guidance aims to assist Member States’ reception authorities in their preparedness and ability to cope with situations of mass influx or unexpected events.
The tool provides detailed guidance on contingency planning to facilitate early action, manage future uncertainty and help anticipate and solve problems related to potentially high-influx situations.
The guidance is structured in 13 sections, complemented with checklists and following an integral approach to contingency planning.
These sections include:
- management and decision-making
- information management
- external coordination
- budget management and financial resources
- housing capacity
- resource management
- human resources
- minimum standards relating to reception conditions
- security/safety and prevention.
Guidance on reception conditions: Operational standards and indicators
This guidance is intended to provide support to Member States in the implementation of the key provisions of the Reception Conditions Directive (2013/33/EU). It can be used at both policy and operational level as a framework for further development of reception standards at national level and as a tool to support reception authorities in planning and in running of reception facilities.
The guidance is structured in eight key sections, reflecting key areas of directive, providing respective standards, measurement indicators as well as good practice:
- clothing and other non-food items
- daily expenses allowance
- provision of information and counselling
- identification, assessment and response to special needs
- staff training.
The tool is complemented by the IT app arc.easo.europa.eu.
Consultation with Applicants for International Protection on Mental Health
This consultation report aims to capture the voices of applicants for international protection with respect to mental health concerns some face in asylum and reception. The report lists a set of recommendations by applicants on how to improve reception and the personal interview setting to strengthen resiliency.
Age assessment booklet for children
The age assessment booklet for children complements an animation produced by the agency on the topic of age assessment for children. The content in the booklet is prepared in a child-friendly manner to further inform young persons arriving in Europe who might have to take part in an age assessment.
Special needs and vulnerability assessment tool
This tool is designed to support relevant Member State authorities with the assessment of special needs of applicants and identification of timely actions within the reception and asylum process. To this end it provides a common understanding and step-by-step guidance on how to assess special needs.
The tool offers a carefully composed questionnaire in seven thematic sections and a case analysis guide for a special needs assessment of individual cases and related decisions. The tool can be used either on paper or electronically and is an integral part of the EASO Vulnerability Toolkit comprising the EASO Identification of Persons with Special Needs Tool (IPSN) and the EASO Referral toolkit.
This practical tool is intended to support relevant authorities in improving their referral mechanisms for all categories of vulnerable persons in need of international protection. It presents a structured system of referral which can serve as a model for the development or improvement of national referral mechanisms and includes regional and local perspectives. It could also serve as an information provision tool for applicants looking for support.
The tool offers guidance in three main parts:
- standard referral form
- mapping practical tool
- referral mechanisms guidelines.
The tool is an integral part of the EASO Vulnerability Toolkit comprising the EASO Identification of Persons with Special Needs Tool (IPSN) and the EASO Special needs and vulnerability assessment tool.
Practical guide on the welfare of asylum and reception staff
This guide is intended to assist managers and staff working in the field of asylum and reception with methods, tools and a roadmap to maintain staff wellbeing and ensure a safe and healthy working environment for asylum professionals working with applicants for international protection. The guide is composed of three interlinked parts.
Part I: Standards and policy proposes eight standards to guide staff welfare policy formulation, implementation and evaluation in the asylum and reception settings of EU+ countries.
Part II: Staff welfare toolbox proposes a range of practical tools, measures and soft skill training suggestions to be used by managers and first-line workers to meet the standards in staff well-being introduced under Part I.
Part III: Monitoring and evaluation recommends measures to be put in place to evaluate staff welfare policies and assess how and if the well-being of staff is positively impacted by measures introduced.
The guide is complemented by a video animation on the early identification of signs of stress. It is aimed at promoting staff welfare in the area of reception and asylum. The animation presents the key elements of recognising signs of stress in an easy to understand way. It also presents the responsibility of teams and colleagues in this process and the simple steps to take to address the well-being of the staff members concerned.
The importance of early identification of signs of stress
Video animation: Registration of persons with special needs
This animation points to basic safeguards and guarantees that are to be provided during registration. It is built on the story of a 17-year-old girl who is applying for asylum in Europe together with her husband.
The animation could be used for information sharing purposes, as well as during training courses as a discussion trigger with staff working for asylum authorities.
Report on mental health of applicants for international protection in Europe
The report is part of EASO’s effort to support Member States to enhance identification and response to the mental health concerns of applicants for international protection in the reception context and in the asylum procedure. The report maps the main signs and sources of mental health concerns in applicants for international protection and main challenges faced by first line workers in their daily engagement with such applicants.
The report traces practices across EU+ countries in dealing with mental health concerns of applicants and highlights gaps, good practices as well as formulates recommendations in four key areas:
- identification and response
- referral and collaboration
- monitoring, documentation and sharing of information.
Video animations: Age assessment for practitioners and for children
Two video animations complement the practical guide on age assessment:
The animation on “Age assessment for practitioners” is directed at reception and asylum officials, migration and law enforcement officers, social workers, radiologists, paediatricians, public prosecutors and other stakeholders. It presents in an easy-to-understand way the key elements of the guidance and the necessary safeguards to ensure a right compliant and reliable age assessment.
The animation on “Age assessment for children” intends to inform children and youth about what to expect when asked to undergo an age assessment.
Report on asylum procedures for children
The report is part of EASO’s effort to help Member States mainstream child-related issues in asylum procedures. The report presents national practices and policies on asylum procedures for children, identifying gaps and areas of diverging practice across Member States, highlighting good practices, and providing key recommendations to strengthen the protection of children across the EU.
The report traces the practices across EU+ countries along four key topics:
- best interests of the child in asylum procedures;
- asylum procedures for children;
- specialisation and training of staff.
The report provides operational definitions and recommendations to respond to the identified challenges undermining the effective protection of children in asylum procedures.
Practical guide on the best interests of the child in asylum procedures
This practical guide is intended to support competent Member State authorities in applying the principle of the best interests of the child and enhancing the guarantees within asylum procedures for children.
The guide is structured in four sections:
- background elements of the best interests of the child;
- relevant guarantees;
- guidance on how to assess the best interests in practice;
- vulnerability and risk indicators.
The guidance is complemented with an overview of the terminology, a comprehensive checklist as well as relevant policy, guidance and legal framework documents.
Tool for Identification of Persons with Special Needs (IPSN)
The IPSN Tool is an interactive online solution which allows the user to identify potential special needs in the context of the asylum procedure and reception.
It supports the identification of 14 different categories: accompanied and unaccompanied children, disabled people, elderly people, pregnant women, single parents with minor children, victims of human trafficking, persons with serious illnesses, persons with mental disorders, persons who have been subjected to torture, to rape or to other serious forms of psychological, physical or sexual violence, LGBTI and people with gender-related special needs.
The tool suggests special guarantees focusing on five aspects:
- first contact – making an application
- reception support
- lodging the application
- personal interview
- end of the first instance asylum procedure.
Based on the selections made by the user, the tool generates a report, which can be further individualised with a reference number and relevant notes, before being saved and/or printed.
Practical guide on age assessment - Second edition
This practical guide is intended to support EU+ countries in the implementation of the principle of the best interests of the child when assessing the need for age examination and when designing and undertaking age assessment.
The guide is structured around five interlinked pillars and offers:
- analysis of the impact of age assessment on other rights of the applicant;
- guidance on the application of the necessary principles and safeguards in the assessment process;
- guidance on implementing the assessment process using a holistic and multidisciplinary approach;
- overview of age assessment methods conducted by EU+ countries;
- key recommendations to address practical challenges.
The practical guide provides a set of tools and reference documents such as glossary of terms, international, European and national legal framework and a checklist. It is complemented by two video animations for practitioners and children, respectively (more on page 29).
Practical guide on family tracing
This guide provides a set of guidance and reference materials to support EU+ countries regarding family tracing, as well as a mapping of current practices of family tracing across EU+ countries.
The guide is constructed around four interlinked pillars:
- introduction to the topic by outlining the circumstances of family tracing;
- a visual outline of the family tracing process, including applicable principles and guarantees;
- overview of current family tracing practices across the EU+ countries;
- conclusions and recommendations promoting consistent standards and guarantees.
Reference materials in the guide include glossary of relevant terms, legal framework, list of relevant projects and initiatives, relevant publications, and a mapping of the practice of EU+ countries.