BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge - Refugee protection

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Refugee protection

On the basis of the Geneva Refugee Convention, people are regarded as refugees who are outside their country of origin and are unable or, because of a well-founded fear of being persecuted by state or non-state players, are unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of their country of origin for reasons of

  • race (The term "race" is used in accordance with the wording of the Geneva Refugee Convention.),
  • nationality,
  • political opinion,
  • fundamental religious conviction, or
  • membership of a particular social group (A group may also be regarded as a specific social group on the basis of the joint characteristic of sexual orientation.).

Examples of acts which may be regarded as persecution include:

  • use of physical or psychological violence, including sexual coercion,
  • legal, administrative, police and/or judicial measures which as such are discriminatory, or are applied in a discriminatory manner,
  • disproportionate or discriminatory prosecution or punishment,
  • refusal to provide judicial legal protection, leading to disproportionate or discriminatory punishment,
  • acts linked to sexuality or which target children.

display as attention: Reasons for not qualifying for protection

An entitlement to protection with regard to the three forms of protection mentioned above – entitlement to asylum, refugee protection and subsidiary protection – cannot be considered if reasons for not qualifying apply. These include:
If an individual has committed a war crime or a serious non-political criminal offence outside of Germany, has breached the goals and principles of the United Nations, is to be regarded as a risk to the security of the Federal Republic of Germany, or constitutes a danger to the public because he/she has been finally sentenced to imprisonment for a felony (Verbrechen) or a particularly serious misdemeanour (Vergehen).

Hervorhebung_Gesetzgebung: Background information

Substantive law on refugees makes it possible in terms of linguistic usage to receive persons seeking protection on humanitarian grounds, and includes both the standards of protection which are to be examined by the Federal Office within asylum proceedings and a further field of other humanitarian rights to remain which fall within the competence of the Länder, specifically of the immigration authorities and commissions on hardship cases.

Hervorhebung_Gesetzgebung: The legal basis and consequences

  • residence permit for three years
  • settlement permit possible after three or five years if other preconditions are met, such as the ability to make a secure living and adequate knowledge of German
  • unrestricted access to the labour market – gainful employment permitted
  • entitled to privileged family reunification

section 3 subs. 1 of the Asylum Act (AsylG)

Date 1 October 2016

Additional Information


Integrated refugee management

A new explanatory film introduces the "Integrated refugee management" concept of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

More: Integrated refugee management …