folder VI.2.3.5 Extraterritorial Immigration Control and Extraterritorial Processing

Extraterritorial immigration control refers inter alia to the system of immigration liaison officers used for some time by EU Member States which post officials from their border services in other countries, to reinforce checks and controls on entry to their territory from the point of departure. In addition, recent years have seen several debates about the notion of ’extraterritorial processing’, which would involve the possibility of obliging asylum seekers to request asylum of the EU from countries outside the Union, with the implication that this would be accompanied by restrictions on entry and/or rights to seek asylum within the EU.

Main Debates

What are the potential arguments for and against the legality of processing requests for asylum in the EU while claimants remain outside EU territory?

What practical problems could result from such a policy?

What are the potential implications of making financial assistance to non-EU States conditional upon more restrictive border control?


Main Points

External relations policy as tool to persuade non-EU States to carry out EU policies

Potential future prospects for external processing of asylum applications



Editor’s Note:


See also Section V. on Safe Third Country.