The decision of the Federal Office
The Federal Office decides on the asylum application on the basis of the personal interview and of a detailed examination of documents and items of evidence. The decision rests on the fate of the individual applicant as a matter of principle. It is reasoned in writing, and where appropriate is served on the person concerned, the applicant or the legal representative, as well as on the competent immigration authorities, with a notice on appeals and a translation of the operative part of the decision.
It may be necessary for further investigations to be carried out in order to clarify the circumstances prior to taking the decision. In order to do so, it is possible to access the Federal Office’s Asylum and Migration Information Centre and its "MILo" database system. The system provides information and analyses on world refugee and migration events, as well as on countries of origin and transit countries. Research can be carried out over and above this for instance by making individual enquiries to the Federal Foreign Office, carrying out language and text analyses (see Identity checks), physical and technical document examination, as well as obtaining medical or other reports. Guidelines for the most important countries of origin provide assistance in decision-making.
Possibilities for decision-making
The Federal Office examines each asylum application on the basis of the German Asylum Act (Asylgesetz) as to whether one of the forms of protection – entitlement to asylum, refugee protection, subsidiary protection or a ban on deportation – applies. If an entitlement to protection exists, applicants receive a positive notice (see Forms of protection).
Only when none of the forms of protection can be considered is the asylum application rejected. A distinction is made here between a simple rejection and a rejection as "manifestly unfounded" (see Termination of residence).
An asylum application is declared to be inadmissible if another Member State is responsible for it (see Examining the Dublin procedure).
Asylum proceedings can also be discontinued. This takes place if
- the asylum application is withdrawn, or
- the person in question does not pursue the proceedings, meaning that they do not appear at the personal interview, their whereabouts are unknown or they have travelled to their country of origin during the asylum proceedings.
Once the asylum proceedings have been finally completed, a renewed asylum application may be filed. This "follow-up" application claims that there has been a change to the factual or legal situation once the non-appealable decision has been handed down (see Initial, Second and Follow-up applications).