Can I claim a refugee status by entering an embassy?


Well, I'm Syrian refugee in Turkey and things doesn't getting better, let's say that I have entered the Canadian Embassy in Istanbul, and claim a refugee status there, what will happen next ?

Mohammad Eliass Alhusain

Posted 2017-05-13T05:05:06.703

Reputation: 123



There have been prominent cases before (József Mindszenty, Julian Assange) but that's only because the sending country supported them for political reasons. In that case, the host country cannot simply send police into the embassy and snatch the person, that would be a major breach of international laws and customs.

In all likelihood, however, you won't be able to enter the embassy and if you do, you will be handed over to the Turkish police. Canada is likely to consider that Turkey is a safe country and therefore that this is a regular intrusion by someone who is not in immediate danger. Note that in the cases I mentioned, Mindszenty or Assange were seeking protection from the country where they were physically present, which is not your case, at least if you plan to argue that you were persecuted or threatened by the war in Syria (as opposed to being somehow threatened by the Turkish authorities).

Some countries do have provisions to apply for asylum from a consular post abroad but that doesn't mean they welcome you forcing their hand by showing up on embassy grounds. They would rather have you lodge a proper application or go through the UNHCR resettlement programs. In both cases, the chances of success are very low.


Posted 2017-05-13T05:05:06.703

Reputation: 24 058

Another interesting case are the thousands of East-German refugees who camped in the Prague embassy in 1989, and were eventually allowed to settle in West-Germany. – None – 2017-05-13T13:42:11.697

@Carpetsmoker Yes, I also thought of mentioning that one too. But I think the main issue was securing safe passage from the Czechoslovak authorities and the consent of the East Germans and the Soviets. IIRC, East Germans never required any sort of special status to settle in West Germany as they had always been considered citizens by the Federal Republic. – Relaxed – 2017-05-13T13:53:03.997

@Relaxed What about I mention to the Canadian Embassy I can't work legally, is that effect my claim ? – Mohammad Eliass Alhusain – 2017-05-14T05:33:17.213

@MohammadEliassAlhusain I am not sure what you mean but that's unlikely to change anything. I answered the question at a theoretical level since this is politics.SE but the reality is that you have little chance of success. If you go there and insist on staying on embassy grounds, they will throw you out. If you go there and ask how to apply, they might give you an application to fill in, tell you to go home and give you a decision later but that decision is very unlikely to be positive. – Relaxed – 2017-05-14T08:01:15.017

@Relaxed To make things clearer, I got a temporary protection Document form the Turkish Gov. with ID number it's equal to UNHCR refugee status also I'm filling the application for resettlement to Canada with private sponsors, and this protection ID is valueless like you can't open a bank account with it, but you could send your children to school, you can't travel to another state, but you could buy the ticket .... and so on and so forth. – Mohammad Eliass Alhusain – 2017-05-14T08:12:01.673

@MohammadEliassAlhusain That's not a basis for a successful application. – Relaxed – 2017-05-14T08:40:11.150

@Relaxed Could you explain more, please ? ! – Mohammad Eliass Alhusain – 2017-05-14T08:42:08.560

@MohammadEliassAlhusain You don't have a right to go to Canada or any other country because you cannot work in Turkey or travel, nobody can force them to issue visas and they don't want to take more than a few thousands people every year through resettlement programmes. – Relaxed – 2017-05-14T09:20:07.513

@Relaxed But a lot of Syrians last year resettled from Turkey just like my situation worse or better. – Mohammad Eliass Alhusain – 2017-05-14T09:25:23.467

@MohammadEliassAlhusain I know but that's at the discretion of the destination countries, with a limited number of spots each year. It's not at all like claiming refugee status, which should in principle be granted based on your situation, no matter how many people are in the same situation. That is only possible if you make it to the country's territory, not in its embassies. – Relaxed – 2017-05-14T09:32:37.257

@Relaxed I understand every thing you meant, but if you got any tips to my application, would made it successful, I'm all listening !

1) I can't go from Turkey to Greece because they won't let me leave and put me on camps, 2) also to Italy it costs 4K $ USD after 5 days in water (this is suicide). – Mohammad Eliass Alhusain – 2017-05-14T09:40:54.957