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Eritrean asylum seekers (front row) and their integration helpers in the eastern German city of Jena. Eritreans, as well as Christians, Mandeans and Yazidis from Iraq, often don't have to go to an official hearing to name their reasons for fleeing their country of origin. Instead, they are able to do it in writing, in order to speed the asylum-seeking process along / Photo: Jördis Bachmann

How your country of origin affects your chances for asylum in Germany

If you come from some countries, your chances of success are very high while for some other nationalities, you have to have a very special case to be considered at all. This is how the situation is:

Countries with a high rate of protection
At the moment, if you come from Syria, you have a good chance of being granted asylum in Germany.

The German Office for Migration and Refugees uses a term called the “rate of protection” to classify asylum seekers according to their country of origin. It is on that bases that applicants are granted political asylum, are given refugee status or are simply tolerated to stay in Germany.

In the case of Syria, the rate of protection is almost 100 percent, putting it at the top of the list at the moment. In the case of so-called “quota refugees” from Syria, who are flown in from collection points in Lebanon straight to Germany, they don’t even have to go through the asylum-seeking process. However, this right to stay is for only a limited time.

People from Iraq, where the civil war continues, also have a good chance of being taken in by Germany.

It’s the same for people from Eritrea, a country with arguably one of the most repressive regimes in the world. Here, the rate of protection is almost 80 percent.

Syrians, Eritreans, as well as Christians, Mandeans and Yazidis from Iraq, often don’t have to go to an official hearing to name their reasons for fleeing their country of origin. Instead, they are able to do it in writing, in order to speed the asylum-seeking process along.

This isn’t the case however when the German Ministry for Migration and Refugees has “justifiable doubts” about the identity of the person, or if another country is responsible for the asylum process or if the applicant doesn’t seem to have any clear grounds to be seeking refuge in Germany.

Countries with a medium rate of protection
The group of countries with a medium chance of having their citizens taken in by Germany is obviously pretty broad. And, the term ‘medium’ is always relative. But still, there are similarities to be seen here too.

In all of these countries, applicants have to prove individually why they seek asylum. It isn’t enough to simply come from one of these countries in order to be taken in by Germany – even if the country is politically unstable or unsafe.

Afghanistan is the top source of applicants in this group.

Many other countries also land in this group, but the number of asylum seekers from each of these countries is relatively low.

Countries with a low rate of protection

These days, applicants from the western Balkan states have almost no chance of obtaining asylum in Germany. Still, asylum seekers from these countries make up one of the largest contingents of the applicants in Germany.

The countries in this region include Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. The German government is planning to include Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria in this list.

The German government has already declared Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia as “safe countries of origin.” According to Germany’s federal law guiding asylum procedures, the legal presumption in the case of these countries is that neither political prosecution, nor inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment occurs.

At the moment, every European Union country has its own list of safe countries of origin. The European Commission wants to give all member states an EU-wide list of safe countries. On that list are the nations that are trying to enter the EU, including the six Balkan states and Turkey.

If people from these countries are able to make a case for themselves as to why they are being persecuted, then they can still be granted asylum. But, their chances are low, and the probability that they will be deported is high.

Ghana and Senegal are considered safe countries of origin too. EU countries are also considering putting various African states on a bloc-approved list of safe nations.

© Deutsche Welle

For information in English about the German asylum process, visit: http://www.bamf.de/EN/Startseite/startseite-node.html

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