EMN publishes the report on the challenges and practices for establishing the identity of third-country nationals in migration procedures


EMN identity study

This EMN study Challenges and practices for establishing the identity of third-country nationals in migration procedures is based on contribution from EMN National Contact Points in 26 Member States and Norway, collected via a common template to ensure comparability.

  • The importance of identity management in migration procedures has increased significantly in recent years in light of the rise in the number of applications for international protection since 2014/2015 and of current heightened security challenges. The ability to unequivocally establish the identity of a third-country national is of key importance in all migration processes.
  • (Member) States face challenges related to identity establishment of third-country nationals in all migration processes; however, due to the significant rise of applicants for international protection in recent years, these have become particularly visible in asylum and return procedures. Generally, (Member) States observed an increase in the number of international protection applicants unable to provide a valid proof of identity.
  • EU-wide information management systems, such as Eurodac, the Visa Information System (VIS) and Schengen Information System (SIS) play an increasingly important role in the identity establishment process, by storing biographic and biometric data of third-country nationals.
  • Next to travel and identity documents, (Member) States use a wide range of methods to support the process of identity establishment. Cooperation between competent authorities on a national, bilateral and European level has been established in the form of pilot projects, shared databases, etc.
  • The importance of identity establishment for the outcome of the application depends on the type of procedure. While a valid proof of identity is crucial for a positive decision in legal migration procedures, many (Member) States also grant international protection if identity cannot be (fully) established. In return procedures, the importance of an established identity generally depends on the requirements of the (presumed) country of origin.