Asylum, immigration, free movement of people

A unique access to UE law and policies


DIRECTIVE 2013/33/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 26 June 2013 laying down standards for the reception of applicants for international protection (recast)

1.   An applicant shall be detained only for as short a period as possible and shall be kept in detention only for as long as the grounds set out in Article 8(3) are applicable.

Administrative procedures relevant to the grounds for detention set out in Article 8(3) shall be executed with due diligence. Delays in administrative procedures that cannot be attributed to the applicant shall not justify a continuation of detention.

2.   Detention of applicants shall be ordered in writing by judicial or administrative authorities. The detention order shall state the reasons in fact and in law on which it is based.

3.   Where detention is ordered by administrative authorities, Member States shall provide for a speedy judicial review of the lawfulness of detention to be conducted ex officio and/or at the request of the applicant. When conducted ex officio, such review shall be decided on as speedily as possible from the beginning of detention. When conducted at the request of the applicant, it shall be decided on as speedily as possible after the launch of the relevant proceedings. To this end, Member States shall define in national law the period within which the judicial review ex officio and/or the judicial review at the request of the applicant shall be conducted.

Where, as a result of the judicial review, detention is held to be unlawful, the applicant concerned shall be released immediately.

4.   Detained applicants shall immediately be informed in writing, in a language which they understand or are reasonably supposed to understand, of the reasons for detention and the procedures laid down in national law for challenging the detention order, as well as of the possibility to request free legal assistance and representation.

5.   Detention shall be reviewed by a judicial authority at reasonable intervals of time, ex officio and/or at the request of the applicant concerned, in particular whenever it is of a prolonged duration, relevant circumstances arise or new information becomes available which may affect the lawfulness of detention.

6.   In cases of a judicial review of the detention order provided for in paragraph 3, Member States shall ensure that applicants have access to free legal assistance and representation. This shall include, at least, the preparation of the required procedural documents and participation in the hearing before the judicial authorities on behalf of the applicant.

Free legal assistance and representation shall be provided by suitably qualified persons as admitted or permitted under national law whose interests do not conflict or could not potentially conflict with those of the applicant.

7.   Member States may also provide that free legal assistance and representation are granted:


only to those who lack sufficient resources; and/or


only through the services provided by legal advisers or other counsellors specifically designated by national law to assist and represent applicants.

8.   Member States may also:


impose monetary and/or time limits on the provision of free legal assistance and representation, provided that such limits do not arbitrarily restrict access to legal assistance and representation;


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.

9.   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.

10.   Procedures for access to legal assistance and representation shall be laid down in national law.

Article 9 – FMS Case C-924/19 PPU

* Required