Arrival and registration
All asylum-seekers arriving in Germany must report to a state organisation on arrival or immediately thereafter. They can do this as soon as they reach the border or later within the country.
Anyone already reporting as seeking asylum on entry reports to the border authority. This authority then sends asylum-seekers on to the closest initial reception centre.
Anyone who does not make a request for asylum until they are in Germany can report to a security authority (such as the police), an immigration authority, a reception facility or directly to an arrival centre.
All individuals reporting as seeking asylum in the Federal Republic of Germany are registered. This is carried out at "PIK" (Personalisation Infrastructure Component) stations by the Federal or Land police, by staff of the BAMF in the branch offices and arrival centres or by staff of the Länder at reception facilities, immigration authorities and arrival centres.
The opportunity is taken here to centrally store personal data, and a photograph as well as fingerprints (children aged under 14 are ruled out here). All public agencies which need them for their respective tasks later have access to these data.
Issuing a temporary identification document: the proof of arrival
Asylum-seekers receive a proof of arrival (Ankunftsnachweis) at the reception facility, arrival centre or branch office of the Federal Office which is responsible for them to prove that they have registered. They can however also receive in advance a certificate directing them to the nearest reception facility (Anlaufbescheinigung). This contains both personal data as well as the address of the reception facility which is responsible for them and where they will receive their proof of arrival.
As the first official document, the proof of arrival serves to document the entitlement to reside in Germany. And what is equally important is that it constitutes an entitlement to draw state benefits, such as accommodation, medical treatment and food.
The introduction of the proof of arrival for asylum-seekers gives to the "Asylum-seeker Registration Certificate" (BüMA), which previously was non-standard and varied from one Federal Land to another, a new design which is the same all over the country, and which furthermore contains security characteristics.