BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge - Subsidiary protection

Navigation and service

Subsidiary protection

Subsidiary protection applies when neither refugee protection nor an entitlement to asylum can be granted and serious harm is threatened in the country of origin.

People are entitled to subsidiary protection who put forward substantial grounds for the presumption that they are at risk of serious harm in their country of origin and that they cannot take up the protection of their country of origin or do not wish to take it up because of that threat. Serious harm can originate from both governmental and non-governmental players.

The following are regarded as constituting serious harm:

  • the imposition or enforcement of the death penalty,
  • torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, or
  • a serious individual threat to the life or integrity of a civilian as a result of arbitrary force within an international or domestic armed conflict.

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: The legal basis and consequences

  • residence permit for one year
  • if extended: two more years in each case
  • settlement permit possible after five years (the duration of the asylum procedure is included) 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
  • not entitled to privileged family reunification

section 4 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 …