The Dublin rules also apply to non-EU countries that have committed to the Schengen rules on open internal borders because they are considered a schengen package. The Dublin Agreement is a mechanism within the European Union that helps determine which country is responsible for processing the asylum application of a person belonging to a third country or a stateless person. In other words, the law defines the country that will process the claim of a person seeking asylum under the Geneva Convention. Signatories to the Dublin Regulation include the 28 EU Member States, as well as Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland. The regulation is also referred to as Dublin III (EC 604/2013), which replaces the old EU DUBLIN REGULATIONS (Dublin II) (343/2003) and the Dublin Convention, which was signed in 1990. As soon as a migrant seeks asylum, officials collect his basic information and take fingerprints. When defining asylum jurisdiction, officials ask for several criteria. These include, in hierarchical order, family considerations, the recent possession of a visa or residence permit issued by a Member State and the question of whether an applicant has entered the EU legally or illegally. In most cases, the applicant also attends a personal interview with officials who process asylum documents to explain why they are in danger in their country of origin and seeking protection in Europe. The purpose of the regulation is to determine the country responsible for processing an asylum seeker`s claim. As a general rule, it is the first EU member state that migrants rely on.
The regulation also aims to ensure that all applications in an EU country are subject to fair review. The Dublin system assumes that asylum legislation and practices are at the same level in all EU countries and that these claimants enjoy the same protection status throughout the EU. However, asylum practices vary from country to country. Member States at EU borders have also complained that the system places the full burden on them on migrants, who are usually the first point for refugees fleeing to Europe. Another problem with the Dublin system is that asylum seekers often have to wait a certain amount of time without knowing whether their application will be accepted. Meanwhile, they are forced to live in detention centres and be separated from their families. In some cases, their appeals are never heard, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). More information on asylum applications and the Dublin system in Germany is available on the website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.