A non-EU national or a stateless person who has made an application for asylum in respect of which a final decision has not yet been taken.
Asylum seekers waiting for a decision on their application must be provided with certain necessities that guarantee them a dignified standard of living.
The Reception Conditions Directive establishes common standards of conditions of living of asylum applicants. (The previous version of the Directive is still valid until 21 July 2015 when the new one becomes applicable). It ensures that applicants have access to housing, food, health care and employment, as well as medical and psychological care.
In the past, diverging practices among Member States could however lead to an inadequate level of material reception conditions for asylum seekers.
The new Reception Conditions Directive aims to ensure better as well as more harmonised standards of reception conditions throughout the Union.
- Includes an exhaustive list of detention grounds that will help to avoid arbitrary detention practices and limits detention to as short a period of time as possible;
- Restricts the detention of vulnerable persons in particular minors;
- Includes important legal guarantees such as access to free legal assistance and information in writing when lodging an appeal against a detention order;
- Introduces specific reception conditions for detention facilities, such as access to fresh air and communication with lawyers, NGOs and family members.
Access to employment for an asylum seeker must now be granted within a maximum period of 9 months.