Initial, follow-up and second applications
When implementing the asylum procedure, the Federal Office distinguishes between three types of asylum application, namely the initial application, the follow-up application and the second application. The differences are illustrated below.
The first asylum application which an individual files is referred to as an "initial application". In this application, asylum-seekers state in writing or orally that they are seeking protection from political persecution or applying for protection from being returned to a country in which they would be at risk of persecution or serious harm within the meaning of the Asylum Act (Asylgesetz).
As a matter of principle, the asylum application is to be filed in person with the competent branch office or arrival centre of the Federal Office.
Further information on filing an initial application, as well as on grounds for protection in accordance with the Asylum Act, can be found at "The stages of the asylum procedure".
A follow-up application is deemed to have been filed if the individual concerned files a renewed asylum application after an earlier application had been withdrawn or rejected with final effect. A further asylum procedure is only to be carried out in this procedure if certain preconditions apply, known as the grounds for resumption. These for instance include a considerable change to the circumstances in the country of origin, or new evidence becoming available which may lead to the individual in question being placed in danger should they be returned to their country of origin.
Only in this case is the processing of the application continued as with an initial application.
A second application is deemed to have been filed if the individual concerned lodges an asylum application in Germany after an asylum application had been rejected in a safe third country.
The Asylum Act (Asylgesetz) provides that the Member States of the European Union as well as Norway and Switzerland are to be regarded as safe third countries.
A renewed asylum procedure may only be implemented if the Federal Republic of Germany is responsible for implementing the proceedings and the same preconditions apply, that is the grounds for resumption stated above.
Only if these preconditions are satisfied is the processing of the application continued as with an initial application.