Who can apply for asylum?

The following information was published by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) and describes the current legal situation in the Federal Republic of Germany:

Persons who are entitled to political asylum and therefore politically persecuted are those who will be exposed to serious human rights violations in the event of their return to their country of origin because of their

  • Race (the term “race” is used in reference to the text of the Geneva Convention on Refugees),
  • Nationality,
  • political beliefs
  • religious decision or
  • Belonging to a particular social group (a group based on the common characteristic of sexual orientation may also be considered as a particular social group),

without having an alternative escape route within the country of origin or other protection against persecution.

Not every negative state measure – even if it ties in with one of the personal characteristics mentioned above – constitutes a persecution of asylum. On the one hand, it must be a deliberate infringement of the law and, on the other hand, it must be intensely aimed at excluding those affected from the Community. Finally, it must be a measure that is so serious that it violates human dignity and goes beyond what the inhabitants of the state in question would otherwise have to accept in general.

In principle, only state persecution, i. e. prosecution by the state, is taken into account. Exceptions apply if non-governmental persecution is attributable to the state or if non-governmental persecution itself has taken the place of the state (quasi-governmental persecution).

Emergency situations such as poverty, civil wars, natural disasters or a lack of prospects are thus excluded as grounds for granting asylum in accordance with Article 16a of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany.