BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge - Humanitarian refugee intake

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Humanitarian refugee intake

Germany reacts to humanitarian crises by accepting people from acute crisis areas who need protection, thus enabling larger groups prompt entry to Germany.

Humanitarian intake to date:

  • acceptance of 200 refugees from Tunesia (2012)
  • acceptance of 50 Iranian refugees (2010/2011)
  • acceptance of 102 refugees from Malta (2010/2011)

    Due to its geographical position, Malta is a popular destination for African refugees. Within the framework of a Maltese EU project with 10 European partners, people who had received refugee status protection or other subsidiary forms of protection on Malta were resettled within the EU. In total 255 people were resettled. Germany accepted 102 of these refugees

  • acceptance of 2,501 Iraqi refugees from Syria and Jordan (2009/2010)
    Between 2009 and 2010 Germany accepted 2,501 Iraqi refugees who had fled to Syria and Jordan. The people who were resettled were members of persecuted minorities who were particularly in need of protection (about 1,700 people), people in need of medical help (124) and single women with family care obligations (140).
    A three-year residence permit was given, renewable where deemed necessary. After seven years a settlement permit can be issued in individual cases if the applicant meets the relevant requirements.
    The basis for accepting the refugees was a decision made by the European Ministers of the Interior in November 2008 to accept a total of 10,000 Iraqi refugees.
  • acceptance of 11 refugees from Malta (2009)
  • acceptance of 20 refugees from Malta (2006)
  • acceptance of 14 refugees from Uzbekistan (2005)
  • acceptance of approximately 15,000 war refugees from Kosovo (1999)
  • acceptance and temporary protection of just under 350,000 Bosnian war refugees (from 1992 onwards)
  • acceptance of approx. 3,000 Albanians seeking embassy refuge (from 1990 onwards)
  • acceptance of approx. 35,000 Vietnamese boat people (from 1979 onwards)
  • acceptance of approx. 13,000 Hungarian refugees (1956)

In 2008, a "Humanitarian Special Procedures" project group was formed at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. This was responsible for the Iraqi refugees acceptance programme – now completed – and is now dealing with the continuing political discussion of resettlement as an instrument for refugee protection.


A standard translation for the term "resettlement" does not yet exist in Germany because the English term is also used here as far as possible. However the most common German translation is "Neuansiedlung".

With resettlement, a state accepts people from a country other than their country of origin and guarantees refugee protection to them. Even though the term is not restricted to this meaning, resettlement is often a permanent programme. Countries like the USA, Canada and Australia, for example, conduct an ongoing resettlement programme with the UNHCR with yearly target statistics.

Date 9 May 2011