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.