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The admission procedure for asylum seekers is governed by the Asylum Procedure Act (AsylVfG). Asylum seekers whom border authorities permit to enter the Federal Republic of Germany or who are found in the country without a residence permit are transferred to the nearest reception centre of the relevant state.
Using the nation-wide system for initial distribution, they are assigned to reception centres of the individual German states according to a formula defined in the Asylum Procedure Act.
The asylum process in Germany
Next, their asylum application is submitted to the responsible branch of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) for examination and decision. Asylum seekers receive a certificate of permission to reside which grants a preliminary right to stay in the Federal Republic of Germany during the asylum procedure.
BAMF case workers personally question asylum seekers (with the help of an interpreter) on their travel route and the reasons for persecution. Upon request, female asylum seekers may be questioned by a trained female case worker if the reasons for flight are specific to women. The interview is recorded in writing and translated into the asylum seeker’s language, with a copy given to the asylum seeker. The decision on the asylum application is based on the interview and any further investigations as needed. Asylum seekers are notified of the decision in writing and given information on legal remedy.
If the asylum application is accepted, persons granted asylum status and those granted refugee status receive a temporary residence permit and are given the same status as Germans within the social insurance system. They are entitled to social welfare, child benefits, child-raising benefits, integration allowances and language courses as well as other forms of integration assistance.
If neither asylum nor refugee protection can be granted, the BAMF examines in the course of the asylum procedure whether there are grounds for a deportation ban. This obligation to conduct an extensive review is intended to ensure that there is no delay in processing. Separate from the asylum procedure, the responsible foreigners authority requests an expert opinion from the BAMF and examines whether a deportation ban applies.
As a rule, asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected are required to leave the country.