contents table
Qualification Directive
Article 4

Article 4 — Assessment of facts and circumstances

  1. Member States may consider it the duty of the applicant to submit as soon as possible all the elements needed to substantiate the application for international protection. In cooperation with the applicant, it is the duty of the Member State to assess the relevant elements of the application.
  2. The elements referred to in paragraph 1 consist of the applicant’s statements and all the documentation at the applicant’s disposal regarding the applicant’s age, background, including that of relevant relatives, identity, nationality(ies), country(ies) and place(s) of previous residence, previous asylum applications, travel routes, travel documents and the reasons for applying for international protection.
  3. The assessment of an application for international protection is to be carried out on an individual basis and includes taking into account:
    1. all relevant facts as they relate to the country of origin at the time of taking a decision on the application, including laws and regulations of the country of origin and the manner in which they are applied;
    2. the relevant statements and documentation presented by the applicant including information on whether the applicant has been or may be subject to persecution or serious harm;
    3. the individual position and personal circumstances of the applicant, including factors such as background, gender and age, so as to assess whether, on the basis of the applicant’s personal circumstances, the acts to which the applicant has been or could be exposed would amount to persecution or serious harm;
    4. whether the applicant’s activities since leaving the country of origin were engaged in for the sole or main purpose of creating the necessary conditions for applying for international protection, so as to assess whether those activities would expose the applicant to persecution or serious harm if returned to that country;
    5. whether the applicant could reasonably be expected to avail himself or herself of the protection of another country where he or she could assert citizenship.
  4. The fact that an applicant has already been subject to persecution or serious harm, or to direct threats of such persecution or such harm, is a serious indication of the applicant’s well-founded fear of persecution or real risk of suffering serious harm, unless there are good reasons to consider that such persecution or serious harm will not be repeated.
  5. Where Member States apply the principle according to which it is the duty of the applicant to substantiate the application for international protection and where aspects of the applicant’s statements are not supported by documentary or other evidence, those aspects shall not need confirmation when the following conditions are met:
    1. the applicant has made a genuine effort to substantiate his application;
    2. all relevant elements at the applicant’s disposal have been submitted, and a satisfactory explanation has been given regarding any lack of other relevant elements;
    3. the applicant’s statements are found to be coherent and plausible and do not run counter to available specific and general information relevant to the applicant’s case;
    4. the applicant has applied for international protection at the earliest possible time, unless the applicant can demonstrate good reason for not having done so; and
    5. the general credibility of the applicant has been established.