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The number of pending asylum applications falls below 100,000

Constant, steady reduction in the number of pending asylum applications

Date 11 October 2017

The number of pending asylum applications has fallen back to below 100,000, for the first time since January 2014, thus showing the constant reduction in the number of pending applications. "We have decided on about 515,000 asylum applications this year, so that we have given many people who were seeking asylum certainty as to whether they are entitled to remain in Germany or not. This means that we are working rapidly. Applicants who filed their applications in 2017 are receiving their notices within an average of two months", explained the President of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, Jutta Cordt.

Our processes operate according to a two-fold approach: As well as reducing the number of existing pending cases, we received 168,000 new asylum applications in 2017, and we have already decided on two-thirds of these new cases. It has been possible to systematically reduce the number of pending applications, which was still as high as 579,314 in September 2016. There are a total of 99,334 cases pending with the Federal Office at the moment.

The goal is to further reduce the number of applications which are still pending to just over 50,000. This would leave the Federal Office with a volume of work which could currently be referred to as "normal work in progress".

Applications currently processed within two months

Those people who have filed an asylum application with the Federal Office this year are receiving their notices within roughly two months, and therefore know whether they are to be entitled to remain in Germany or not.

The reduction in the number of existing cases means that people who applied for asylum before 2017 are now successively receiving their asylum decisions. Some of these people have been waiting for a very long time, and in some cases for years. The long processing times for these cases that have been decided on artificially increase the statistical average, so that the total statistical duration of the proceedings, whilst it has fallen a little in recent months, is still 10.8 months at present. The total statistical duration of the proceedings will continue to fall since the share of existing cases is being reduced.

The Federal Office is consistently continuing along the path on which it has embarked. In this context, we have fundamentally re-worked the quality assurance system in asylum proceedings, and we have launched a comprehensive package of measures.

A multi-tiered quality assurance system

We have enhanced both of the pillars of the new multi-tier quality assurance system, consisting of our local operative locations, and in addition of the central Quality Assurance division at our Headquarters in Nuremberg. "Quality is not something we only pay lip service to. We are concerned to provide our colleagues with further skills in order to ensure a careful asylum process", according to President Cordt.

To this end, we have considerably expanded the previous quality assurance practice with regard to asylum, the focus of which had previously been placed primarily on verifying the plausibility of the notices.

The new system includes the following in particular:

  • examining all notices on the spot using the four-eyes principle,
  • additional quality assurance of individual sub-steps of processing for some of the cases,
  • regular examination of a sample of notices by the central Quality Assurance division, and
  • transfer of knowledge from quality assurance to the further development of training concepts and decision-making tools.

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