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Resettlement and humanitarian admission programms in Germany

Date 10 October 2016
Order number FFWP68
type Working paper

The study provides an overview of the legal stipulations, central administrative processes, selection criteria and authorities involved in individual humanitarian reception programmes and procedures in Germany.

The study provides an overview of the legal stipulations, central administrative processes, selection criteria and authorities involved in individual humanitarian reception programmes and procedures in Germany.
There have been several reception procedures in recent years for selected vulnerable groups of individuals which have enabled them to enter Germany directly from the crisis states or from initial reception and transit countries. This study aims to provide an overview of the individual humanitarian reception programmes and procedures, and in doing so to document the legal stipulations, the central administrative processes, as well as the selection criteria and main authorities involved. The focus here is on four reception procedures that were carried out very recently:

  • the resettlement programme,
  • the humanitarian reception programmes for a total of 20,000 individuals entitled to protection from Syria, the neighbouring countries as well as Egypt and Libya (“HAP Syria”),
  • the admission procedure for local Afghan staff, and
  • the privately-sponsored programmes of the German federal Länder for Syrians (‘private sponsorship programmes’/admission via declarations of commitment).

In addition to the legal and organisational frameworks, as well as the latest developments in the political arena, this study also presents results from studies, documentations and evaluations of Ministries in the federal Länder, welfare associations and research facilities. The most important sources were acts and ordinances in the field of residence law and the admission orders for the individual admission procedures of the Federation and the federal Länder.. The responses of the Federal and federal Länder Governments to minor and major interpellations in the Parliaments since 2012 which were relevant to the topic were used to establish the figures on the population and case numbers regarding the individual reception procedures. It was possible to obtain further data directly from specialist divisions at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

Conclusion

Since 2012 the individual reception procedures have enabled more than 40,000 vulnerable individuals to obtain temporary or permanent prospects to remain in Germany. This has eased the strain on the initial reception and transit countries, at the same time as protecting people from taking high-risk travel routes to Europe.
The different target groups among the contingents of individuals admitted (persons who are permanently vulnerable in resettlement, reception from “hot conflicts” in the humanitarian reception programmes, and the reception of relatives involving support from private individuals in the federal Länder programmes) receive different residence titles, so that benefit claims and participation entitlements differ – including in comparison to beneficiaries of international protection who have gone through the asylum procedure. These differences increase the level of complexity for the staff of the immigration authorities and employment agencies and social offices responsible, at the same time as requiring a high level of transparency so that those concerned are also informed of the different procedures and legal consequences. The challenges that are posed by facilitating different and varied legal access routes lie in forming a comprehensive view of the different stipulations applying to the individual status groups and making them comprehensible for the individuals in question.

Early support and advice for the individuals who are to be received in the municipalities are considered to be a measure which make things easier for the displaced persons and which are helpful to them. The civil society commitment of local citizens has proven to be particularly positive in the municipalities themselves. In turn, the reception programmes of the federal Länder describe the release of the sponsors from specific cost items, as well as the limitation of the sponsor’s commitment to a specific time period during which they are liable, as particularly positive.

Working Paper 68 was authored as part of the European Migration Network (EMN).


The study was drawn up by: Janne Grote Maria Bitterwolf, Tatjana Baraulina,

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