A fast, effective path towards decision-making
A record number of asylum applications makes a reform act necessary.
Almost 260,000 asylum applicants in Germany was the new record in 1991. An Act Reforming Asylum Procedure (Gesetz zur Neuregelung des Asylverfahrens) was the necessary consequence in June 1992.
Because the new Act required considerable restructuring in the Federal Office, the immigration authorities and administrative courts, the amendments only became partially effective as per 1 July 1992. The structural changes did not take place until the next year.
The following reforms came into force in July 1992:
The Federal Office took on the review of impediments to deportation in accordance with section 53 of the Aliens Act (Ausländergesetz), as well as issuing the deportation notice. Prior to that, this task had been carried out by the competent immigration authority after it had received the decision on the asylum application from the Federal Office.
All asylum applicants were now fingerprinted and photographed. Previously, this was only customary when there was doubt as to their identity.
Administrative court procedures were accelerated.
The deadline for lodging an action was reduced from one month to two weeks (section 74 subs. 1 of the Asylum Procedure Act).
In the decision "manifestly unfounded", the deadline for actions and emergency applications was now one week (section 36 in conjunction with section 74 of the Asylum Procedure Act).
Admission of an appeal on points of fact and law by the Higher Administrative Court and reduction of the deadline for applications from one month to two weeks (section 78 of the Asylum Procedure Act)
Increased deployment of the individual judge (section 76 subs. 1 of the Asylum Procedure Act)
- Extensive exclusion of the suspensive efect of court actions for asylum (section 75 of the Asylum Procedure Act)
The following amendments came into force as per 1 April 1993:
Central, computerised management ("EASY" computer system, standing for "Erstverteilungssystem für Asylbewerber" [initial distribution system for asylum applicants]) accommodates asylum-seekers evenly in initial reception centres in the Federal Länder according to quotas (section 45 et seqq. of the Asylum Procedure Act).
Asylum applicants now file their applications in person with the Branch Office of the Federal Office allocated to their reception centre (section 14 subs. 1 of the Asylum Procedure Act). The immigration authority had previously been responsible.
- The availability of the foreigner is now ensured by his/her right of residence only applying to the area covered by the immigration authority in which the competent reception centre is located (section 56 of the Asylum Procedure Act).