Asylum applications for accompanied children

Accompanied children in need of asylum are usually taken through the asylum application procedure by their parents. In some cases, however, depending on the legislation of the particular EU Member State, accompanied children may submit an asylum application independently.

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Key aspects

  • In most EU Member States, children accompanied by their parents are not entitled to apply for asylum on their own.
  • Four EU Member States (Belgium, Denmark, Portugal and the United Kingdom) provide that children accompanied by their parents can make an asylum application on their own, without defining a minimum age.
  • In the Netherlands, accompanied children have the right to make an application on their own behalf, if they are above the age of 12 years. In Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania, they have to be above the age of 14, whilst in Greece, above the age of 15. In Estonia, accompanied children can apply independently if they are at least 15 years old, provided that their legal capacity has been extended by a court decision.
  • In some Member States, the right of children to apply on their own behalf depends on their marital status (emancipation). In Luxembourg and Malta, married children can apply without an additional minimum age. Croatia sets the minimum age at 16, and Estonia at the age of 15 years.