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Asylum Procedures Directive
Article 21

Article 21 — Conditions for the provision of legal and procedural information free of charge and free legal assistance and representation

  1. Member States may provide that the legal and procedural information free of charge referred to in Article 19 is provided by non-governmental organisations, or by professionals from government authorities or from specialised services of the State.

    The free legal assistance and representation referred to in Article 20 shall be provided by such persons as admitted or permitted under national law.

  2. Member States may provide that legal and procedural information free of charge referred to in Article 19 and free legal assistance and representation referred to in Article 20 are granted:
    1. only to those who lack sufficient resources; and/or
    2. only through the services provided by legal advisers or other counsellors specifically designated by national law to assist and represent applicants.

    Member States may provide that the free legal assistance and representation referred to in Article 20 is granted only for appeals procedures in accordance with Chapter V before a court or tribunal of first instance and not for any further appeals or reviews provided for under national law, including rehearings or reviews of appeals.

    Member States may also provide that the free legal assistance and representation referred to in Article 20 is not granted to applicants who are no longer present on their territory in application of Article 41(2)(c).

  3. Member States may lay down rules concerning the modalities for filing and processing requests for legal and procedural information free of charge under Article 19 and for free legal assistance and representation under Article 20.
  4. Member States may also:
    1. impose monetary and/or time limits on the provision of legal and procedural information free of charge referred to in Article 19 and on the provision of free legal assistance and representation referred to in Article 20, provided that such limits do not arbitrarily restrict access to the provision of legal and procedural information and legal assistance and representation;
    2. provide that, as regards fees and other costs, the treatment of applicants shall not be more favourable than the treatment generally accorded to their nationals in matters pertaining to legal assistance.
  5. Member States may demand to be reimbursed wholly or partially for any costs granted if and when the applicant’s financial situation has improved considerably or if the decision to grant such costs was taken on the basis of false information supplied by the applicant.