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Refugee policies - Germany

Germany’s #refugee policy, known as Flüchtlingspolitik, rests on two legal bases. The first is the 1951 Geneva Convention, which defines the criteria relating to the status of refugees and delineates their rights and benefits, as well as the responsibilities of the signatory nations. The second is Germany’s own constitution or Grundgesetz, whose article 16 (added in 1948–49) establishes that "[p]olitically persecuted persons have the right of #asylum."

According to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), Germany accepted around 190,800 asylum applications in 2021.

In certain cases in which applicants cannot be recognized as refugees or asylum seekers, there is still the possibility of obtaining the status of “persons entitled to #subsidiaryprotection.” This applies to situations of general dangers to which civilians could be exposed during war, and it grants a 1-year residence permit with the possibility of extending it for 2 more years if the situation in the country of origin has not improved.

#Germany is the only high-income country to take a significant number of refugees despite not neighbouring any of the countries most represented within the refugee community. As of last year, over 605,000 Syrian refugees, 147,000 Afghan refugees, and 146,000 Iraqi refugees were living in German territory.

According to different data sources, Germany possesses a far higher acceptance rate of refugee applications than any other EU country. Within the three months leading to the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, Germany had approved more than half (16,200 out of 29,970) of the applications made in that period. In contrast, #France accepted less than a third of its applicants (9,425 out of 33,325). Whereas #Poland approved only 8% of the applications made in 2020, Germany had approved 74% of the applications reviewed during the same period.

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