Those wishing to apply for asylum should contact an initial reception facility where their personal data will be recorded. Applicants will receive a temporary residence permit.

Foreign nationals who are seeking protection from persecution in Germany must register as asylum-seekers. To do this, they must first contact an initial reception facility in person. The next step is to make an application for asylum. This takes place in the branch of the Federal Office to which the initial reception facility has been allocated. Applicants must appear in person at the branch office.

Personal data and finger prints

Next, the asylum-seeker’s personal data is recorded in the branch office. The data is compared with that of asylum applicants already registered by the Federal Office, and with the Central Register of Foreigners. This procedure helps to establish if an initial application is being made or a subsequent application or possibly even a duplicate application.
Finger prints are taken, and the applicant is also photographed. The exception to this rule are those who have not yet turned 14. The Federal Criminal Police Office then checks the finger prints, which are also compared against other existing records using a system that records finger prints taken throughout Europe. This checks whether an applicant has already made an application for asylum in another EU Member State.

Right of residence during the process

Applicants for asylum may live in the Federal Republic while the asylum process is pending. Once applicants have made their application, they will receive a residence title for specific purposes. This restricts residence to the area in which the initial reception facility that has accepted the asylum applicant is located. This restriction has now been withdrawn in some of the Federal Länder. The Federal Office will inform asylum applicants of the progress of the asylum process and about their rights and responsibilities during the process.

Written applications permitted only in exceptional cases

Applications for asylum may only be made in writing in special cases. This affects asylum applicants who have a residence title with a total validity period of more than six months, who are in prison or other public custody, in hospital, a care institution or a youth welfare institution, or have not yet turned 16 and whose legal representative is not obliged to live in a reception institution.