Applying for Asylum and Refugee Status in Germany

When speaking about asylum and refugees in Germany, the federal government recognizes several categories:

  • Category 1 – Protection from Political Persecution
  • Category 2 – Protection as a Refugee
  • Category 3 – Subsidiary Protection
  • Category 4 – Prohibition of Deportation

If you fall into any of these categories then you can apply for asylum in Germany.

Category 1 – Protection from Political Persecution

To be politically persecuted means there is a state or quasi-state (state-sponsored militia or group) that is violating your rights with such an intensity that you cannot have normal peace as an individual. These violations must be against the freedom of your personal religious beliefs, political convictions, or other intangible characteristics that define you as an individual. These violations must be so severe that they violates your human dignity beyond what is acceptable in your home country.

Poverty and civil war do not necessarily qualify you for asylum based on political persecution.

Category 2 – Protection as a Refugee

You can earn refugee status if you face a justified fear of persecution in your home country based on your race, nationality, religion, membership of a social group, and/or political beliefs.

Any of the following can qualify as a persecutor:

  • State
  • Groups who are part of the state
  • Non-state groups who physically dominate a territory

Persecution is defined as acts that severely violate your basic human rights, or a combination of acts that taken together severely violate your basic human rights.

Category 3 – Subsidiary Protection

If you don’t qualify as being politically persecuted or as a refugee, you may qualify under subsidiary protection if you are at risk of serious injury in your home country. Examples in this category include:

  • Your life is at risk due to an armed conflict in your country
  • You face torture or inhumane/degrading treatment in your home country
  • You face the death penalty in your home country

Category 4 – Prohibition of Deportation

If you did not qualify under the previous three categories, you may be granted Prohibition of Deportation status if either of the following are true:

  • You face a substantial concrete danger in your home country
  • You face an extreme general danger in your home country

Making an Application

To get this process started you need to apply for asylum, which can be done at places like:

The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) reports that you can also make an application for asylum at an initial reception facility. Asylum-seeker processing facilities are growing throughout the country on a large scale and now it seems these are located in virtually every medium to large city, as well as in many small cities and towns.

German law says that you need to apply for asylum “immediately,” upon entering the country. You won’t be considered as an asylum seeker officially until you have registered as such with a federal authority.

Asylum Personal Interview

After you make your application you will be interviewed about your personal details and circumstances, as well as fingerprinted. The interview is the most important part of your application; the decision to grant you asylum or not is based largely on the interview, which is video recorded. You will also have an interpreter at your interview.

You will be asked to provide specific details about how you are being persecuted, and you are strongly encouraged to provide evidence of this persecution, if possible. Keep in mind that what you say will be cross-checked with information from UN agencies, non-profit organizations, German foreign intelligence, academic reports, and news stories.

Decision for your Case

While your application is processed you will be assigned to an initial reception facility. These are located throughout the country, in large cities and small towns. Where you will be assigned depends on which federal office you apply for asylum at, as well as the capacity of nearby initial reception facilities.

During the time your application is processed you have the right to live in Germany, and will be issued a temporary residence permit.

Once a decision is reached in your case you will be mailed a notification. If needed this will contain a translation of the decision.

If your application for asylum on refugee or political persecution grounds is accepted you will receive instructions for the next steps you can take, as well as a residence permit that is valid for up to three years. If you receive subsidiary protection you will receive a residence permit that is valid for up to one year. If you receive a “prohibition of deportation” decision you may also get a residence permit valid for up to one year.

If your application is rejected you will receive a deportation notice with additional information about how you can appeal and find legal help.

Can you work while you’re in Germany?

BAMF is the agency that will rule on your asylum application. It will make one of the following five decisions:

  • You have the right to political asylum – you can work without restrictions
  • You have refugee protection status – you can work without restrictions
  • You have subsidiary protection – you can work without restrictions
  • You will not be deported immediately (prohibition of deportation) – the immigration authority may grant you permission to work if it finds that you have not provided false information about your identity
  • Your application for asylum is denied – you cannot work and must return to your home country or appeal the decision

While you are waiting for your decision

From the time you apply for asylum until your decision is made, you have the right to reside in Germany, but you cannot start working immediately. If you want to work during the period you are waiting for your application to be processed, you will need to be granted permission to work by BAMF. At minimum this can be granted after three months from your application. Technically you will also need to obtain permission to work from your local employment agency, however BAMF will often do this for you when it issues your right to work while your application for asylum is being processed. You can find specific information on working while your application is processed here.

In Conclusion

It should be noted that the current government policy for asylum is somewhat different from what is written in law. In August of 2015 the government announced it would prepare to accept 800,000 refugees. As this stated policy is implemented, it remains to be seen how strictly and to what extent all laws written on paper will be enforced. At the time of this writing EU officials are conducting meetings to try and determine a comprehensive immigration plan.

You can find more information on the asylum process with the following links:

Note for readers: I compiled this information by reading various government websites. I don’t have direct experience with asylum/refugee cases so I can’t be of much more help. Feel free to leave a question or comment though and perhaps someone with helpful information will respond.

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47 thoughts on “Applying for Asylum and Refugee Status in Germany

  1. Tommy

    If u get german refugee and then can i go back my country after sometime???
    If i can go and can i come back german???
    How it possible please give me answer and i m just 19 year old.

    Reply
    1. Administrator Post author

      Hello Tommy,

      The best information I can find is on this website: http://www.resettlement.eu/country/germany

      According to this it is possible. I believe you would apply with BAMF but I can’t find specific information about what the application asks. According to this website, what kind of travel document you apply for depends on what type of refugee you are (formal refugee or resettled refugee). Here is what it says: “Formal refugee status also means that recognised refugees can request a Convention Travel Document to facilitate travel outside of Germany. This is not available to resettled refugees, who can instead apply for the much less widely-recognised German Travel Document for Foreigners.”

      Hopefully someone else reading who knows more specific information will comment on your question. Good luck

      Reply
  2. Amadou Touray

    Hello my dear friend thanks for your wonderful written.
    I would like to ask you ,am a refugee in Germany here and am working paying my house, insurance, health insurance,
    Is there is any law grant me of Germany document? As I’m working? And how long I shall work to Grant of document? And what procedure I shall took or which office’s?
    And if I have document here did I allow to go my home country? Best regard hope to hear from you.

    Reply
  3. Pavel

    Hello.

    I and my family has difficult and dangerous situation in my native region( Doneck, Ukraine).
    Two years ago we have moved in another region , but our government doesn`t help ( can`t offer work for us, we can`t take credit in bank , can`t rent the appartment, because we are from Doneck. Political situation is very frightfully too…)
    Can we ask for refugee status, what our chances and how we can go to germany( what type of visa do we need) ?
    Thank you
    Best regards
    Pavel

    Reply
    1. Ernest

      Hello everyone i’m Ernest an asylum seeker in Italy but I was reject by the Italian government, and I have a girlfriend who from England got a England resident and we have a son together that is almost two years . She always come to visit me here in Italy because I can’t travel without nothing. Now I am thinking of going to Germany for asylum and she pregnant again I was told because she is a EU citizen I can get my stay if she give birth in Germany. I really need help guys what do you all think?

      Reply
  4. Karim Saed Shinwari

    I am recognized refugee to UNHCR Pakistan . I am Afghan
    I have all UNHCR documents .
    Am I eligible for asylum in German .

    Reply
  5. Karim Saed Shinwari

    I am recognized refugee to UNHCR Pakistan . I am Afghan
    I have all UNHCR documents .
    Am I eligible for asylum in German ?

    Reply
  6. Chacks

    Is it possible to seek asylum while in Transit lounge at Germany Airports without a visa to enter the country ?And how long does it take with the decision,what do they do with you soon after

    Reply
  7. Abi

    Hi
    I am a single mum of two who flee my country to seek protection in canada but we were rejected and are been deported but I fear going back to my country bcus my life and that of my kids is in danger.
    Is it possible to seek assylum in Germany airport while enrouting from Canada…..bcus going back to my country is suicide for me.

    Reply
  8. Samer

    hello my name is samer im 19 years old boy I’m Christian Syrian I’ve been in lebanon sense 2006 there is a war in my country war against everybody they kill and turture Christian’s in ways I Never seen it even on TV and now I’m forced to go back there I don’t have any related family in Syria I don’t know anyone there help me I don’t want to get burned alive ..

    Reply
  9. Olalekan owolabi

    Hello Sirs, Olalekan is my name I’m seeking for asylum here in Italy, but I’ve thumbprint for entry but i which to come to Germany and thumbprint for permit which they’re calling sourgeona here in Italy, because I’ve noticed that wherever​ asylum seekers thumbprint for permit, that is where he/she will be paying taxe so due to this i like to come there in Germany and do all the necessary registration,so that I’ll be able to leave and work comfortable.

    Reply
  10. Mohammed parvez

    If I get number 4 prohibition of defortation can Stay like others status ? Like no 2 or 1? Or I will be Deforted? And if I can stay how long time need to get permanent residence permit?

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

    Stop lying on people you guys are playing with lives of people. I’m a refugee from Afghanistan and everyone knows what the fuck is going on in Afghanistan. But you’re rejected me I say you because you publish information about what I’m counted.
    Note: remember what goes around it comes around.

    Reply
  12. Sanjeevan kaur

    Hi
    I belong to Sikh educated family and I have being married on papers to a hindu guy.but my family is not acceptable to this relationship and always threatened me and my husband that they will kill both of us if we started living together . Being so educated they react like they are illiterate. For this reason I think my and my husband life is in danger and we want to migrate to Germany as a refugee. Can anyone help us for the same so that we can give a safe future to our coming generation

    Reply
  13. Georgia West

    I really need help. I have children and I’m very scared I really don’t want to leave south africa but I’m afraid for my life. I have an interim protection order against this person who is going to fight it. He’s a lawyer and has people following and beating up people around me. My family is too scared to visit me I’m becoming too scared to go outside and I’m a singlemother. Please i don’t want anything free i will work doing anything to earn a decent living i feel like i am going crazy. Some of these things don’t feel real.

    Reply
  14. Char

    Was refused asylum in Italy and Im in Germany and have applied for asylum , am waiting in decision , can they deport me back to Italy the Dublin convention?

    Reply
  15. Saint Michael

    NON-CAUCASIANS make me laugh !!! [Don’t know you’re born !!]

    I have been trapped in the u.k. for 30 YEARS against my will.Denied living with my own CAUCASIAN family in Australia for 30 years, since 1987.

    I am not british. The british have molested me, burnt my house down, killed all my pets, attacked me, attacked me whilst homeless,murdered a friend in Ireland, U.D.R. man threatened us,protestant orangeman man threatened to murder us,NEVER arrested anyone even ONCE, but have arrested me for defending myself and arrested me, locked me up in hospital, called me “MAD” because I do not want to mix with them after all the INJUSTICE, NO COMPENSATION & Post Traumatic stress they gave me.

    I now live in a land where there are barely any CAUCASIANS left and muslims look at me like I am a piece of sh1t when I do my shopping.

    The U.N. KALERGI PLAN and BARBARA SPECTRE LERNER are all behind this sh1t. THE MAGOG INVASION, led by satans’ immigration policies. The african APEX GANG of Melbourne Australia were allowed in….and now RIOT & ATTACK CAUCASIANS. Just adds INSULT TO INJURY !

    WE WHITE CONQUERED THESE LANDS AND NOW STRANGERS IN OUR OWN LANDS.

    IF THAT MAKES ME RACIST, TOUGH SH1T.

    Reply
  16. Sering faye

    What can I do as a migrant when my asylum is denied by Germany and also was asked to leave the country with one week.
    But I don’t know why,this is confusing at the moment…
    Secondly my love is in Germany am in a relationship planning to get married as soon as possible,to work…I have no where to go Germany is the only country that put roof above my head ever since I leave my country for other reasons.
    Can someone please tell me what to do..

    Reply
  17. Ahmdd ali

    Hello
    My name is ahmed ali.i am from pakistan.now i apply asylum in germany.and also living in germany.may 2016 i was do marriage with a dutch girl in amsterdam.now she register in germany.and searching the work.how can i get the residence card now.please help me

    Reply
  18. Bouin Charles

    My name is Bouin Charles an i vorian refugee currently residing in Liberia and also a student at a college,and i want to extend my education in Germany for a bright future in order to serve the humanity

    Reply
  19. khizer hayat

    Sir Im from pakistan i want to study and work in germany and live there forever .but i belong to a poor Family i dont have much Money So i just need help to go fast from here forever.

    Reply
  20. S.SOTHEESWARAN

    S.SOTHEESWARAN
    U.N. I’D NO:815-13C00274
    Bangkok,Thailand.

    SIR/MADAM!
    I am Sotheeswaran. I am from kilinochchi, srilanka. I am refugee in Thailand five years.
    I kind requst
    How do I apply for resettlment.
    Please save my life.
    Thank you
    With faithfully
    S.sotheeswaran

    Reply
  21. Mehmood

    Mr. Administrator , can a person be eligible to apply for asylum on the basis of discriminatory and full of hatred behavior of society towards a specific profession which a person had in past and he is suffering with unemployment ( more then 3 years ) just because of conservative social noms facts. I am talking about liquor manufacturing profession in pakistan.

    Reply
    1. Ivan

      I am not administrator, but by reading the article, you can clearly see that social norm does not classify as state actor, as for category 1 and 2 stated.

      However, if you can proof that you are until stress by a non state actor with formal/informal territorial control of your land, and are prosecuting you. You might be able to petition your case.

      Hint: Criminal organisation, Religious Zealots, terrorist organization, might occasionally fit into this category, bare in mind if the group was removed from territory, your deportation might follow (if you only granted temporary permit rather than formal refugee status). And you need at least 6-7 year to get permanent residency.

      Also, Pakistan is classified as a SAFE country, absurd as it might sound, there are good chance that category 2 application will not be granted.

      As for category 1, good luck, but this would be a case that require lax interpretation of law, hopefully you know the right people in Germany.

      Reply
  22. Henry

    Plz am a Nigerian but working in Dubai UAE but my wife and 2kids were in my home country, my wife just called me that my family said they want to circumcised my 6yrs old daughter according to our family rite, and most children don’t usually survived the circumcision. Am now planning to go back home and seek asylum for my wife and kids in germany. Plz how do i go about it. Thanks

    Reply
  23. Abdul Malik sidiqi

    Hello sir I am Abdul Malik sidiqi I have worked more than ten years in Kandahar Afghanistan airfield as shopkeeper . these shops names were.(Saturday Bazaar in KAF .and it’s belong to ISAF so I got warning letter from Taliban . Taliban gave the letter to my home but now I am in Risk if you are can help me and protect my family it’s your kind me and I have certificate and paper and photo’s.thanks

    Reply

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