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Approaches to rejected asylum seekers in Germany

Date 4 November 2016
Order number FFWP69
type Working paper

The study sets out the obstacles for return with which the authorities of the Federal Republic of Germany have to deal and it describes which measures have been taken so far to enforce the obligation to leave the federal territory in spite of the major challenges in this field. This includes voluntary return and forced return measures as well as the legal framework for granting of a tolerated stay.

If the number of rejected asylum applications is compared with the number of voluntary and forced returnees, it can be concluded that a considerable part of people who are obliged to leave the country (on the basis of an enforceable order) stay in the territory of the EU member states. The reasons for this situation are obstacles for deportation of very different types. With the increasing number of asylum applications, the discrepancy between the obligation to leave the country and the actual departure has gained political importance. Against this background, the present study sets out the obstacles for return with which the authorities of the Federal Republic of Germany have to deal and it will describe which measures they have taken so far in order to enforce the obligation to leave the country in spite of the major challenges in this field.

In this context, it can be stated that although the asylum procedure itself and – as a consequence – the conditions for the fact that the obligation to leave the country becomes effective, are regulated on the federal level, however, the measures for promoting the return and the return policies have not. The enforcement of the obligation to leave the country is in principle a duty of the federal German states (the Länder) which in most cases delegate this task to the local Foreigners Authorities.

Return counselling and return policies are at present increasingly adapted to the special challenges related to the return of rejected asylum seekers. Individual and especially labour-intensive tasks connected therewith will increasingly be centralised. One of these tasks is in particular the procurement of passports and travel documents in lieu of passport; in part these tasks also include the execution of the return measure itself.

Working Paper 69 was authored as part of the European Migration Network (EMN).

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