BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge - Forms of protection

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Forms of protection

display as attention: Note on definitions:

The term refugee is often used in everyday language as a synonym for people who have been displaced, but the law on asylum only understands it as covering recognised refugees in accordance with the Geneva Refugee Convention, that is individuals who are given refugee protection once their asylum proceedings have been completed. In terms of its definition, it does not include other groups of individuals. As the authority responsible for implementing the law on asylum, we therefore need to apply a precise legal definition. The Federal Office hence distinguishes between the following groups of individuals:

Asylum-seekers: individuals who intend to file an asylum application but have not yet been registered by the Federal Office as asylum applicants.

Asylum applicants: asylum applicants whose asylum proceedings are pending and whose case has not yet been decided on.

Persons entitled to protection and persons entitled to remain: individuals who receive an entitlement to asylum, refugee protection or subsidiary protection, or who may remain in Germany on the basis of a ban on deportation.

Refugee protection

Refugee protection

Refugee protection is more extensive than entitlement to asylum, and is based on the Geneva Refugee Convention. It also applies to persecution by non-state players.

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Entitlement to asylum

Entitlement to asylum

Persons who have been persecuted on political grounds and who would be subject to a serious human rights violation should they return to their country of origin are entitled to asylum.

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Subsidiary protection

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.

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National ban on deportation

National ban on deportation

Should none of the three forms of protection be applicable, a ban on deportation can be issued if specific grounds apply.

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Additional Information

Screenshot aus dem Film

Film: Information on the Asylum Procedure. Your rights and obligations.

The film entitled "Information on the Asylum Procedure. Your rights and obligations" is a visual addition to the written information which, by law, must be provided to anyone applying for asylum.

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Wichtige Mitteilung


There have been several occasions very recently in which people have pretended to be employees of the Federal Office and asked for an interview at which they questioned asylum applicants intensively. This took place in some cases on the pretext that a second hearing was allegedly needed. Important: The Federal Office does not conduct home visits! These individuals do not work for the Federal Office. The Federal Office has therefore filed criminal charges. If something similar happens to you, or if you observe anything of this nature as a carer, please report this to your local police station.Interviewers from reputable survey institutes who are currently conducting interviews as part of research projects in which data are collected on a voluntary basis clearly state who they are working for. They also give the name of the survey institute and prove this by showing the appropriate documentation. This means that you can make enquiries should you have any doubts.

Fraud Phone Calls