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Asylum In Germany: Everything you need to know

Asylum In Germany: Everything you need to know


Asylum in Germany is the protection granted by the state to foreign nationals who have fled their home countries due to persecution, conflict, or significant danger, and are unable or unwilling to return.

Before 1993,German Constitution guaranteed the right to asylum. Article 16A of the constitution got amended in December 1992.

Germany implemented significant changes to the asylum laws aimed at managing deportations more efficiently, attracting skilled labor, and modernizing nationality laws.

  1. Deportations and Repatriation: aims to increase the number of deportations for rejected asylum seekers.
  2. Asylum Process and Benefits: aims to reduce the asylum process duration by three to six times.
  3. Nationality Law Modernization: aims to simplify the path to citizenship for well integrated individuals.
  4. Skilled Labor Immigration: The income requirement for skilled immigrants has been lowered, and it is easier for them to bring family member.
  5. Training and Employment: Conditions for employment toleration have been updated, reducing the minimum working hours and employment duration required for eligibility.

The primary two laws governing the rules for seeking asylum in Germany are :

Complete procedure

The asylum seeking process in Germany follows 4 steps:

1. Arrival and Registration:

    • Asylum seekers arriving in Germany must first register at a reception center, where they are provided with basic necessities and initial health checks.
    • They receive a temporary stay permit or certificate of arrival called “Aufenthaltsgestattung.”

2. Application:

    • The formal asylum application should be filled and submitted at the branch office of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).
    • Applicants are assigned accommodation centers across Germany based on a distribution quota system (Königsteiner Schlüssel).

3. Interview and Decision:

    • Applicants undergo a detailed interview to explain their reasons for seeking asylum.
    • BAMF evaluates each case individually, considering the applicant’s country of origin and personal circumstances.
    • Decisions can result in following three categories:
      1. full asylum (recognized refugee status):
      2. subsidiary protection: For those who face serious harm if returned to their home country.
      3. rejection or national ban: for those who do not qualify above factors, lack of valid reasons and other such factors.

4. Appeals:

    • The decisions may turn into a positive response or a negative one.
    • If the response is negative or application is rejected, the applicant is required to leave Germany but they can :
      1. file an appeal regarding the decision in court or
      2. Apply for Toleration Status or temporary suspension from deportation.
      3. If the decision turns out to be a positive one the seeker can avail the integration measures along with granted stay and protection and enjoy the benefits.

Special Considerations

Asylum cases usually involve some exceptional cases which have to be specially considered for further proceedings:

1. Accelerated procedures: The accelerated procedure is a fast-tracked asylum process applied to specific groups of applicants:

    • Safe Countries of Origin: Countries designated as generally safe, where it is presumed that political persecution or serious harm is unlikely.
    • Manifestly Unfounded Applications: Applications that are clearly without merit based on the initial information provided by the applicant.

The cases which are deemed less likely to qualify for protection are under this category.

2. Airport Procedures: The kind of procedures applies to those seekers :

    • who arrive at airport without any proper documentation or valid visa, identity
    • want to seek asylum immediately after they arrive.

This procedure aims for a quick decision regarding the applications under these categories.

3. Vulnerable Groups: These group of asylum seekers include :

    • Unaccompanied minors(under the age of 18 and are without an guardianship),pregnant women, victims of torture, old citizens and the ones undergoing serious medications.
    • These groups receive special support and accommodations to ensure their safety, well-being, and fair treatment.
    • The rights of vulnerable asylum seekers and the obligations of the state ensures to provide support and assistance.

Benefits of seeking asylum in Germany

1. Legal protection and rights

Asylum seekers in Germany have the legal right to stay in the country while their application process is ongoing.

2. Employment and Education

Asylum seekers get access to free German language courses , vocational programs and other educational facilities.

3. Legal residency and path to citizenship

After a certain period of lawful residence, recognized refugees can apply for permanent residency eventually leading on a path to achieving German citizenship.

4. Other Social Benefits

German government not only provides asylum seekers with accommodation facilities but also supports them financially for their personal expenses and health care services .

General challenges with asylum seekers in Germany

Asylum seekers in Germany face a variety of challenges that can complicate their efforts to secure safety and rebuild their lives.

1. Lengthy asylum procedures and complex framework

  • The process of seeking asylum is usually a prolonged process may take years to arrive at a final decision leading to uncertainty among the seekers. Navigating through the various procedural requirements and laws for the seekers without any legal assistance is often a difficult process.
  • Appeals and Rejections: A large no of applications are initially rejected due to missing procedures and documents which can delay resolution and increase uncertainty.

2. Language Barriers: Learning German language for asylum seekers can be a challenging step which affects their access to services and facilities.

3. Employment Restrictions: Asylum seekers face restrictions on their ability to work, especially during the initial period of their stay.

4. Access to limited Facilities: Asylum seekers are provided with only basic facilities such as health care services, access to vocational training programs and housing and accommodation facilities which are in substandard conditions. They lack access to specialized healthcare procedures having only limited employment opportunities.

Current Scenario

Germany continues to be one of the most favourable destinations for asylum seeking. There has been an influx of applications with the continued increase in trend as observed in 2023. A significant no. of asylum seeking applications are from countries Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran, among others.

Overall Approval Rates: On an average, 40-50% of asylum applications in Germany receive a positive response. These may include protection in the form of complete refugee, subsidiary protection and other forms of humanitarian protection.

What to Expect?

In the times of adversity, Germany stands as a beacon of hope for all the asylum seekers and continues to be one of the leading destinations for seeking asylum due to strong legal framework, comprehensive social support, economic stability, and humanitarian commitment that the German government offers. It is expected that continued support will be provided to asylum seekers also streamlining the asylum procedure which would turn out to be more favourable for the refugees increasing their chances for seeking protection under the government.

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