The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has produced a video explaining the rights and obligations of asylum applicants in Germany during the asylum procedure.
It provides detailed answers to the following questions: What rights and obligations do asylum applicants have during the asylum procedure? What documents do they need to present? What is the Dublin check? What do I need to consider if I change address?
Anyone planning to apply for asylum in Germany is strongly advised to watch the video before starting the procedure.
The brochure of the same name “Information on the Asylum Procedure. Your rights and obligations” also provides information to asylum applicants to enable them know their rights and obligations.
The brochure also contains a personal “checklist” for applicants. The list covers all five stages of the procedure, and provides an overview and a personal orientation.
Watch the video
Information on the asylum procedure: Your rights and obligations
by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF)
You are in Germany to claim asylum
We are here to tell you about the asylum procedure in Germany and your rights and obligations.
Fundamentally, you have the right to an asylum procedure. But you also have the obligation to cooperate actively and to always tell the truth. That is important, otherwise you jeopardise your asylum procedure.
1. Arrival & registration
Upon arriving in Germany, you will first be registered. We will ask you for your name, country of origin, your date of birth, your religion, your language and ethnicity. We will take a photograph of you and take your finger prints. We do not take the finger prints of children under the age of 14. Once you are registered, you will receive an Ankunftsnachweis [proof of arrival] and will apply for asylum at the arrival centre directly. You may first be taken to a reception facility. There you will receive your Ankunftsnachweis, an identification document, and will find out when you can apply for asylum in person.
2. Application in person
When you make your application, please bring your Ankunfts nachweis [proof of arrival] and all of the important documents and records that you have. This could be your birth certificate or your passport, or it could also be travel documents or evidence for why you had to flee such as photographs, for example. We will ask you for your personal details and your place of resi dence, your education or training, language skills and about how you came to Germany.
Please also tell us if you already have family members in Germany, where they live and if they are going through the asylum procedure or have already been through it. Once you have applied for asylum, you will receive a temporary residence permit – Aufenthaltsgestattung – your identifi cation document – which will last the length of your asylum procedure. Carry this with you at all times.
3. The Dublin procedure
But before your procedure can begin, we need to assess whether Germany is responsible for examining your asylum application or if another European state is responsible. This is called the Dublin Regulation. You cannot decide which state examines your asylum application. This is why we clarify when and where you arrived in the EU, whether you have family members in other member states and whether you have already applied for asylum in another member state among other things. You have the right to name reasons why you cannot go back to this state.
If the federal office decides that another state is responsible for you, you have to go back to this state so that your applica tion can be examined there. You can file against this decision. Be aware of the deadline stated in the letter. You should also consult a lawyer.
4. The personal interview
If Germany is responsible for your asylum application, a hearing will take place at the federal agency.
After your application your reasons for fleeing will be heard directly in the Ankunftszentrum [arrival centre]. Or, you will receive an appointment for your private hearing in writing later. You have to attend this appointment in person.
If you are ill that day or are running late, you must tell us that day – if you are ill please send the doctor’s note by post at a later date.
If you do not do this, your application can be rejected and your procedure can be stopped.
At the hearing, we will ask you about your reasons for fleeing. Our staff are familiar with the circumstances in your country of origin.
And an interpreter will interpret everything that you say. You are also allowed to bring a confidant to assist you. There is no need to be scared and you will be given plenty of time to describe why you have left your country of origin and why you cannot return. It is important that you always tell us the truth and only report what you have experienced yourself. Do not listen to others if they tell you to report things that did not happen to you. That can jeopardise your application.
And remember to show all of the records you have brought with you.
Anything that you do not say or do not show during the hearing may not be allowed to be considered later at the federal office or in court.
The whole hearing will be written down in the minutes and read back to you in translation. You can make any corrections or add to it if necessary.
You will either receive the minutes at the end of the hearing or later in the post.
If you do not understand the interpreter or feel ill, please tell us at the start of the hearing.
If necessary, due to personal reasons, the hearing can be conducted by a person of the same sex. This also applies to the interpreter.
There are specially trained staff for the hearings of certain groups of people. They are there to support victims of genderbased violence, torture victims, or victims of human trafficking, people who are traumatised and unaccompanied minors.
If this applies to you then please let us know, preferably when you make your application.
At the beginning of your asylum procedure you will live in a reception facility.
It is possible that you will stay there until a decision has been made about your application, or you will move into another accommodation. If you move, you must give your new address to the federal office, the immigration authority and possibly to the court. This is very important because letters will always be sent to the last address that you told the authorities.
5. The outcome of the asylum procedure
We will send the federal office’s decision to you in writing. If you have a legal advisor, your lawyer will receive the letter.
If you do not agree with the decision made by the federal office, you have the right to file against it. Be aware of the deadline stated on the letter. You can only file before this deadline. It is highly recommended that you consult a lawyer.
If your application has been rejected by the BAMF (Federal Office for Migration and Refugees) and then also by the court, you will have to leave Germany by the date given to you. If you do not leave voluntarily you may be deported. The immigration office will decide this. Use the consulting services for voluntary return early on, they are available across Germany.
The information centres can tell you more about your oppor tunities to return.
If your application is accepted, you will receive a residence permit from your immigration office.
How long it is valid for will depend on your refugee status, it can be between one and three years.