Refuge and asylum

Asylum process

Foreigners who are seeking refuge in Germany for political reasons can apply for protection as a politically persecuted person.

In addition, in accordance with the Geneva Refugee Convention, a foreigner receives protection in Germany as a rule if he or she is threatened with political persecution in his or her home country. Political persecution is present in case of persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political views or membership of a certain social group.

A foreigner can also obtain protection in Germany if he or she is severely threatened in his or her own country, for example torture or the imposition or carrying out of the death penalty.

The asylum process is set out in the Asylum Law (Asylgesetz) in a standardised manner across German Federal States. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) is responsible for carrying out the asylum process. Within the framework of the asylum process, the BAMF takes a decision concerning any existing prohibition of deportation and certain conditions which prevent deportation. All decisions of the Federal Office can be examined by an administrative court by means of a lawsuit.

Following the submission of the asylum application, the applicant receives an approval for residency until the conclusion of his or her proceedings. Should the asylum application be successful, the foreigner receives a residency permit.

Departure obligation

Asylum applicants whose application is rejected must generally leave Germany. The individual German Federal States - in Baden-Württemberg the Regierungspräsidium Karlsruhe - enforce the departure obligation, if necessary by means of deportation.

However should the BAMF have decided that a prohibition of deportation exists, the deportation does not take place. A deportation is prohibited if, in the destination country of the deportation, torture, the death penalty, inhuman and demeaning penalties or treatment or other significant concrete dangers to body, life or freedom are threatening. In such cases, the Foreigners’ Authority will, as a rule, issue a residency permit for humanitarian reasons.

The deportation also does not take place if conditions which prevent deportation are present. For example, this is the case of foreigners who are seriously ill and cannot be sufficiently treated in their home countries. In such cases of prohibition of deportation, the Foreigners’ Authority will, as a rule, issue a residency permit for humanitarian reasons or a tolerance. Amongst others, this depends on how long the prohibition of deportation is expected to last and whether the foreigner is unable to leave Germany for reasons for which he or she is not responsible.

Should the asylum seeker have travelled to Germany via a country where he or she was safe from political persecution, his or her asylum process in Germany is generally unlawful or unjustified. In such a case, the BAMF itself will order deportation to this country. Should the travel to Germany take place via a Member State of the European Union or Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Iceland, a referral to this country generally takes place in accordance with the Dublin Procedure.

In the other cases where a departure obligation exists, the BAMF initially threatens deportation and sets a reasonable deadline for voluntary departure.

There are no assigned electronic applications available.

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Innenministerium released it on 18.08.2020. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.