Asylum shopping is a practice by asylum seekers of applying for asylum in several states or seeking to apply in a particular state after transiting other states. The phrase is used mostly in the context of the European Union and the Schengen area, but has been used by the Federal Court of Canada. The term is controversial as it implies an abuse of the asylum process.
One of the objectives of Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters is to prevent asylum shopping. The Dublin Convention stipulates that an asylum seeker is returned to the country where he or she first entered the Schengen area. Another objective of this policy is to prevent asylum seeker in orbit, where an asylum seeker is transferred between states, none of which is willing to accept the application.
To avoid abuses, European law requires that asylum seekers register as refugees in the first country where they arrive, yet in some cases the fingerprinting and registration is violently resisted, as asylum seekers often wish to apply for asylum in countries with more generous benefits.
- Select Committee on European Union Tenth Report, House of Lords
- "Out of Syria, Into a European Maze". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 4 December 2013.