Border procedure (border and transit zones)

Germany

Country Report: Border procedure (border and transit zones) Last updated: 21/04/22

Author

Paula Hoffmeyer-Zlotnik Visit Website

General (scope, time limits)

In Germany, the border procedure is a so-called “airport procedure” regulated in Section 18a of the German Asylum Act and applied in international airports. There is no special procedure at land borders, although as part of the reintroduction of border controls, a refusal of entry and return procedure has been installed on the German-Austrian border for cases of persons who have previously sought asylum in Spain and Greece (see Access to the Territory). The following section thus refers to the airport procedure (Flughafenverfahren).

Legal framework

The airport procedure is legally defined as an “asylum procedure that shall be conducted prior to the decision on entry” to the territory.[1] Accordingly, it can only be carried out if the asylum seekers can be accommodated on the airport premises during the procedure, with the sole exception that an asylum seeker has to be sent to hospital and therefore cannot be accommodated on the airport premises, and if a branch office of the BAMF is assigned to the border checkpoint. The necessary (detention) facilities exist in the airports of, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt/Main, Hamburg and Munich, although the BAMF does not have a branch office assigned to all of those places. The airport of Berlin (Schönefeld), which ceased to operate in 2020, also disposed of the facilities for the airport procedure. The newly opened airport in Berlin (BER) will also host an “arrival and departure centre” with facilities for the airport procedure as well as for returns (see Place of Detention).[2]

The German Asylum Act foresees the applicability of the airport procedure where the asylum seeker arriving at the airport:[3]

  • Comes from a “safe country of origin”;
  • Is unable to prove his or her identity with a valid passport or other means of documentation.

The second ground merits particular consideration. German law triggers the airport procedure as soon as it is established that the asylum seeker is unable to prove identity by means of a passport or other documentation. It does not condition the applicability of the procedure upon requirements of misleading the authorities by withholding relevant information on identity or nationality, or destroying or disposing of an identity or travel document in bad faith.[4] The scope of the airport procedure in Germany is therefore not consistent with the boundaries set by the recast Asylum Procedures Directive.[5]

Yet, practice suggest that the second ground is most often used for activating the airport procedure. As demonstrated in countries of origins of applicants in the procedure, many applicants in the airport procedure in 2019 came from Syria, Iraq, and Turkey, as well as other countries such as Afghanistan, Iran or Somalia (see table below). These are all countries which are not considered as “safe” and which have a relatively high chance of recognition at national level. A fortiori, this means that the airport procedure is mostly activated on the second legal ground, when a person is unable to present proof of identity.

The BAMF reported that the formal examination of the application of the Dublin regulation lies with the Federal Police (and the Dublin-Unit of the BAMF). If there are reasons to believe that another Member State is  responsible for the application, the responsible BAMF unit takes the decision of inadmissibility without an additional interview, based on the information provided during the first interview with the federal police (see Personal interview).[6] The Frankfurt/Main Airport Refugee Service reported that persons falling under the responsibility of another country are usually held in the airport facility in Frankfurt/Main until their transfer. One exception applies to persons falling under the responsibility of Greece, who have been reportedly granted entry to the territory after a few days.[7]

Number of airport procedures

From January 2021 to the end of November 2021, 161 airport procedures had taken place. In 2020 the airport procedure was applied in 145 cases, compared to 489 cases in 2019.This decrease is likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the reduced air traffic. Out of the 161 procedures carried out until end of November 2021, 107 procedures took place at the Frankfurt/Main Airport, 15 at the Munich Airport, and 39 at the Berlin Airport. No airport procedures took place at the Düsseldorf airport in 2020 or 2019. At Hamburg airport, no procedure took lace in 2021 while in 2020, 3 procedures took place. As the statistics show, the overwhelming majority of procedures have been taken place at Frankfurt/Main Airport over the last years.[8] However, in Germany, the number of airport procedures remains very low compared to the total number of applications:

Countries of origin of persons subject to the airport procedure

The countries of origin of persons subject to the airport procedure in 2020 were as follows:

Applicants subject to the airport procedure:  2020-2021
Nationality 2020 2021 (until 30.11.2021)
Iran 24 28
Syria 20 19
Iraq 14 10
Yemen 12 3
Egypt 7 4
Congo (Dem. Republic) 7 8
Turkey 6 19
Afghanistan 5 10
Morocco 5
Cuba 4
Total 145 97

Source: Federal Government, Response to parliamentary question by The Left, 19/32678, 14 October 2021, p. 28 and 19/28109, 30 March 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3ftiZQw, p.37.

Two out of the three main countries of origin of applicants in Germany in 2020 (Iran, Syria and Iraq) were among the main nationalities in the airport procedure in 2021 (until 30 November). The top three nationalities in the airport procedure were Iran, Syria and Turkey. Other countries represented in the airport procedure in 2021 included Afghanistan, Iraq, Russia (9 persons), the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Egypt and Armenia.[9] Overall, between 2015 and 2021, Syrians and Iranians were systematically part of the top 3 nationalities represented in the airport procedure.[10]

In contrast to previous years, in 2020 and 2021 there seems to be more divergence between the top nationalities in airport procedures and among all asylum applications. However, this might be related to the overall lower number in 2020 and 2021 and fewer flights as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The top nationalities further indicate that so-called “safe countries of origin” are not among the 10 most frequent nationalities in the airport procedure.

Time limits in the airport procedure

The maximum duration of the airport procedure is 19 days:

  • The BAMF examines the application for international protection, carries out the personal interview and decides within 2 days whether the applicant can enter the country, or if the application is to be rejected as manifestly unfounded; [11]
  • In the case of rejection, applicants can lodge an appeal within 3 days to the competent Administrative Court and request an interim measure (i.e. the granting of suspensive effect to the appeal);;
  • If the Administrative Court grants the provisional measure or if it does not rule within 14 days, the applicant can enter the territory of Germany.[12]

These time limits are thus much shorter than the 4-week time limit laid down in the recast Asylum Procedures Directive.[13] Nevertheless, where the BAMF decides to examine an application for international protection under the airport procedure, the two-days time limit is always respected in practice. If the application cannot be rejected as manifestly unfounded within two days, the applicant is granted access to the territory and enters the regular asylum procedure (see also below).

Outcome of the border procedure

Potential outcomes of airport procedures are as follows:

  1. The BAMF decides within 2 calendar days that the application is “manifestly unfounded” and entry to the territory is denied. A copy of the decision is sent to the competent Administrative Court.[14] The applicant may ask the court for an interim measure against removal within three calendar days;
  2. In theory, the BAMF can decide within the 2 calendar days that the application is successful or it can reject the application as “unfounded”. In these cases, entry to the territory and, if necessary, access to the legal remedies of the regular procedure would have to be granted. However, this option seems to be irrelevant in practice since the BAMF always grants entry to the territory for the asylum procedure to be carried out in a regular procedure if an application is not rejected as manifestly unfounded; [15]
  3. The BAMF declares within the first 2 calendar days following the application that it will not be able to decide upon the application at short notice. Entry to the territory and access to the regular procedure are granted;[16] or
  4. The BAMF has not taken a decision within 2 calendar days following the application. Entry to the territory and to the regular procedure is granted.

In practice, the third option has been the most common outcome, including in cases where the Dublin Regulation is considered to be applicable. Whereas prior to 2018 the majority of airport procedures were halted because the BAMF notified the Federal Police that no decision would be taken within the timeframe required by law,[17] a notable increase in decisions rejecting the application as manifestly unfounded was reported since 2018.

According to available statistics, manifestly unfounded decisions rose from around 10% in 2015 up to 50% in 2019 and have remained at ca. 45 % in 2020 and 2021.[18]

The increase of manifestly unfounded decisions in the context of the airport procedure has been subject to particular scrutiny in Germany. A study analysed the decisions issued by BAMF’s branch office at the Frankfurt/Main, which is responsible for the majority of airport procedures in Germany. It was demonstrated that, compared to the rejection rates recorded at national level, the rejection rates of the Frankfurt/Main Branch office were much higher. For asylum seekers from Iraq, the protection rate at the branch office Frankfurt/Main in 2019 was only 18.3%, compared to 51.8% at national level; for Afghanistan: 50% compared to 63.1%; for Iran: 16.2% compared to 28.2%; for Nigeria: 4.1% compared to 14.5%; for Turkey: 30.2% compared to 52.7%.[19] In addition, as a result of the set-up of the airport procedure, rejections as manifestly unfounded are much more likely than “regular” rejections. By way of example, and according to a study by PRO ASYL, 67 % of all applications form Iranian nationals were rejected as manifestly unfounded in the airport procedure in 2020, whereas the overall rate of rejection s as manifestly unfounded of Iranian applicants was 3.7 %.[20]

The difference in the rejection rate at national level and in the airport procedure may be linked to a variety of objective factors, such as the profile of applicants and individual circumstances of the asylum applications. Nevertheless, these figures seem to indicate that BAMF has a more restrictive approach to claims in the airport procedure compared to procedures elsewhere in Germany, a practice that has been criticised by various stakeholders,[21] and confirms EASO’s analysis according to which recognition rates are prone to be lower in the border procedure than in the regular procedure.[22] The difference in recognition rates is particularly worrying taking into consideration that many asylum seekers at airports in Germany originated from countries of origin with high recognition rates nationwide (i.e. Syria and Turkey).[23] In addition, the lack of access to the outside world, the tight time limits and the fact that there is no systematic screening for vulnerable applicants on the side of authorities means that vulnerabilities are less likely to be detected during the airport procedure.[24] At Munich Airport, concerns are expressed with regard to the lack of risk assessment prior to rejections of applications as manifestly unfounded, even in cases where asylum seekers bring forth evidence such as political activity in the country of origin.[25] Finally, it should be highlighted that at Munich Airport, where the BAMF decides within the time limit of 2 days, it occurs that the notification of the decision to the applicant can take up to a week.[26]

As regards the outcome of airport procedures in 2020 and in the first half of 2021 between the different airports, it was as follows:

Outcomes of airport procedures: 2020
  2020 2021 (as of 31.08.2021)
Airport No decision within two days Manifestly unfounded No decision within two days Manifestly unfounded
Frankfurt/Main 67 58 35 29
Munich 6 6 6 2
Berlin 2 3 7 13
Hamburg 3 0 0 0
Total 78 67 48 44

Source: Federal Government, Response to parliamentary question by The Left, 19/32678, 14 October 2021, p. 28 and 19/28109, 30 March 2021, 37, available at: https://bit.ly/3ftiZQw, p.37.

Personal interview

During the airport procedure, two interviews are carried out: first an interview with the border police upon apprehension at the airport, followed by a second interview with the BAMF. If the Dublin procedure applies, the BAMF does not carry out an additional interview.[27]

Interview with the border police

The Federal Police is the first authority involved in the airport procedure, as it is usually the first authority interviewing individuals apprehended at the airport. It may apprehend individuals either directly on the airport apron or in the airport terminal. The Border Police is responsible for assessing whether the case falls under the airport procedure and writes a report collecting detailed information (e.g. travel routes and modes of arrival in Germany) that will be shared with the BAMF.

The Federal Police may conduct a preliminary interview which includes questions on the travel route and on the reasons for leaving the country of origin. Practice varies from one airport to another. At Frankfurt/Main Airport, the person is interviewed by the Federal Police in the airport terminal and subsequently upon arrival at the detention facility, whereas at Munich Airport the only interview with the Federal Police takes place upon arrival at the facility, usually late at night. Where interpretation is needed for the Federal Police interview, it is ensured by phone. The asylum seeker does not receive a copy of the report of these interviews.[28]

Concerns have been expressed regarding the level of detail in the interviews conducted by the border police. This includes lengthy questions on travel routes and on people met en route and/or the people who helped in the flight, as well as cases where the border police asked the exact date of issuance of a visa; the reason for not having declared the same amount of money during a first and second interview; and whether there would be objections against a potential removal to the country of origin etc.[29] Inconsistencies and/or contradictions between an applicant’s statements during the personal interview with the determining authority and the interview with the border police may be used against the applicant, including on elements such as travel route, duration of stay in transit, and personal details of relatives.

In this regard, concerns have been raised that the determining authority would use even minor contradictions, to voice serious doubts about the credibility of the statements of applicant and would proceed to a rejection of the application as “manifestly unfounded”. This is especially concerning since the two authorities conducting interview – the Federal Police and the BAMF – have very different mandates (border protection vs. refugee protection) and approaches that also reflect in the way the interview is conducted [30]

Interview with the BAMF

The relevant interview for the purpose of admission to the territory is carried out by the BAMF in person, with the presence of an interpreter. Whereas the BAMF has a branch office in the facility of Frankfurt/Main Airport, for procedures at the airports of Munich and Hamburg officials travel to the facility from Munich when interviews need to be conducted. At the new airport in Berlin, opened in October 2020, an “entry and exit centre” is planned which would also accommodate BAMF staff for the airport procedure, according to the Federal Ministry of the Interior.[31]

The standards for this interview are identical to those described in the context of the regular procedure (see Regular Procedure: Personal Interview). However, the setting of the interview in the airport procedure increases the risk of problematic interviews. The situation of being detained at the airport during the procedure, with the first interview just after arrival and the lack of contact to the outside world, weighs heavily on applicants, who are frequently disoriented and anxious vis-à-vis the authorities.[32] Similarly to the regular asylum procedure, caseworkers of the BAMF follow a specific questionnaire throughout the interview. As opposed to more experienced caseworkers, less experienced caseworkers tend to strictly follow the questionnaire, which results in prolonging the time of the interview and asking questions that may be irrelevant to the case concerned.[33]

While the average length is three to five hours, there have been cases lasting much longer, e.g. the interview of an Iraqi female applicant lasting about 6 hours or the interview of a Sri Lankan applicant taking up to 8 hours.[34] While this could provide the opportunity for an in-depth assessment of the application for international protection, it seems that questions on individual circumstances are asked at a late stage of the interview, after a few hours. The first part of the interview largely focuses on basic information such as the travel route and identification, i.e. questions that have already been asked by the Border Police. This part of the interview may take up to several hours and aims to identify potential inconsistencies and contradictions with previous statements.[35] It is only after this that the BAMF asks questions relating to the grounds for applying for asylum and the reasons for having fled from the country of origin. At this stage, asylum seekers are already very tired and stressed from the interview; yet the BAMF is reluctant to stop the interview given the tight deadlines within which it has to issue its decision. It thus generally tries to conduct the interview within the same day.[36]

As regards interpretation during the BAMF interview, interpreters are contracted by the BAMF. Interpretation has been highlighted as very problematic at the airports in Frankfurt/Main and Munich, where the majority of airport procedures are conducted (see statistics).[37] When interpreters are not deemed fir for the interview at hand and need to be replaced, the BAMF at times calls for a replacement on the same day, prolonging the already long and stressful interviews even more.[38]

The Border Police resorts to interpretation services via phone in most cases, especially during the first interview at the airport upon apprehension of the individual, and the BAMF often struggles to find adequate interpreters for the interview. There have been cases where the interview was conducted in a language not understood by the applicant,[39] or where it was clear that the interpreter was lacking the necessary terminology.[40]

 

Appeal

Manifestly unfounded decisions are generally subject to restrictions in legal remedy, but in the airport procedure the law has placed even stricter timeframes on the procedure. Thus, if an application is rejected as manifestly unfounded in the airport procedure, a request for an interim measure must be filed with an Administrative Court within 3 calendar days. The necessary application to the court can be submitted at the border authorities.[41]

The Administrative Court shall decide upon the application for an interim measure in a written procedure, i.e. without an oral hearing of the applicant.[42] The denial of entry, including possible measures to enforce a removal, is suspended as long as the request for an interim measure is pending at an Administrative Court. If the court does not decide on this request within 14 calendar days, the asylum seeker has to be granted entry to the territory.[43]

The overwhelming majority of requests for interim measures have been systematically rejected by Administrative Courts in recent years, thus upholding the BAMFs’ rejections as manifestly unfounded and refusals of entry into the territory. The number of interim measures granted did not exceed five in 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively, while the chances of success was under 10% in 2018 and 2019 and just above 10 % in 2020 and 15 % 2021.[46] This might also be partially attributed to the high standard required for a decision to halt a removal order. The enforcement of the BAMF decision may only be suspended if there are ‘serious doubts about the legality’ of the BAMF decision.[47]

NGOs have also reported that Administrative Courts do not provide a real opportunity to further clarify inconsistencies between the reports of the interviews conducted by the BAMF and the Federal Police.[48] The tight deadlines for the appeal make it extremely challenging to adequately prepare the necessary documentation, including translations of documents.[49] Moreover, where an application has been rejected as ‘manifestly unfounded’, the court has to decide on a request for an interim measure by written procedure, i.e. without an oral hearing and solely based on case-files.[50] The right to appeal in the context of airport procedures has thus been described as severely limited in practice.

 

Legal assistance

According to a decision of the Federal Constitutional Court (‘Bundesverfassungsgericht’), asylum seekers whose applications are rejected in the airport procedure are entitled to free, quality and independent legal assistance.[51] This is the only procedure where asylum seekers are entitled to a form of free legal assistance in Germany.[52] However, legal aid is made available only after a negative decision by the BAMF. This means that legal aid is not provided during the first instance airport procedure, i.e. prior to the interview with the BAMF.

In Frankfurt Airport for example, asylum seekers can not easily reach out to lawyers prior to their interview and must heavily rely on relatives or the support of Church Refugee Services to establish contact with a lawyer.[53] Subject to available capacity, organisations such as PRO ASYL provide funding for lawyers to support asylum seekers from the outset of the procedure in individual cases, mostly for especially vulnerable applicants.[54] This has led to about 80 to 90 cases being supported at first instance by PRO ASYL-funded lawyers in 2018.[55] More recent figures are not available, but it has been confirmed that only a minority of asylum applicants have access to legal assistance at this stage of the procedure.[56]

Legal practitioners witness a notable difference in the procedure depending on whether they are present or not during the interview with the BAMF. When the interview is conducted without the presence of a lawyer, it has been reported that the interview may be shorter and that interviewer transcript display a tendency to make superficial assessments of the claim and to omit asking questions on important elements such as health conditions.[57] NGOs and practitioners have thus highlighted that access to quality legal assistance prior to the BAMF interview in the airport procedure would increase the likelihood of a positive first instance decision by the BAMF.

As regards access to legal aid following a negative BAMF decision and potential requests appeals before the Administrative Court (Verwaltungsgericht, VG), the bar association of the airport’s region coordinates a consultation service with qualified lawyers. For example, the Bar Association of Frankfurt currently had a list of 43 lawyers dedicated to the airport procedure as of May 2019, who are on stand-by for free counselling with asylum seekers when needed, paid for by the BAMF on the basis of an agreement between the BAMF and the Frankfurt bar association.[58] In practice, however, the chances of success of appeals seem to be very low (see Appeal) and the scope of the legal assistance is limited. The lack of trust of asylum seekers towards lawyers who are appointed to them on the basis of this list has also been reported as problematic.[59]

NGOs have also very limited access to the airport procedure as they need to be accredited. At Frankfurt airport, the Church Refugee Service provides counselling prior to the asylum interview, and in practice is also represents the only possibility to identify especially vulnerable applicants before the interview with the BAMF.[60] Presence of NGOs during the asylum interview conducted by the BAMF at Munich Airport is not clearly regulated. As a result, authorisation for the Church Refugee Service to attend the interview depends on the individual caseworker, which is usually allowed in the case of female applicants.[61] On the other hand in Frankfurt Airport, the presence of the Church Refugee Service during the interview is not a problem if the BAMF has been informed beforehand. The Church Refugee Service further provides psychosocial assistance to asylum and helps reaching out to lawyers depending on available capacity.  Access to other NGOs than the Church Refugee Service, however, remains limited in practice at the Frankfurt/Main Airport.[62]

 

 

 

[1]   Section 18a(1) Asylum Act.

[2]   Information provided by the BAMF, 10 March 2022.

[3]  Section 18a(1) German Asylum Act.

[4]  Article 31(8)© and (d) recast Asylum Procedures Directive.

[5]  See also Dominik Bender, Das Asylverfahren an deutschen Flughäfen, May 2014, p. 41.

[6]  See PRO ASYL, ‘ABGELEHNT IM NIEMANDSLAND. Vom Flughafenverfahren zum  »New Pact on Migration and Asylum« – Warum Asylgrenzverfahren unfair und mangelhaft sind’, June 2021, available in German at https://bit.ly/31XOpvv, p.8.   

[7]  Information provided by the Frankfurt Airport Church Refugee Service, 25 August 2020.

[8]  Federal Government, Response to parliamentary question by The Left, 19/32678, 14 October 2021, p. 28 and 19/28109, 30 March 2021, p. 37.

[9]  Federal Government, Response to parliamentary question by The Left, 20/432, 14 January 2022, 20.

[10]  Information provided by the BAMF, 11 September 2020; for 2020: Federal Government, Response to parliamentary question by The Left, 19/28109, 30 March 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/2FSXg67, p.37.

[11]  Section 18a(6)(1) and (2) German Asylum Act.

[12]  Section 18a(4) and (6) German Asylum Act.

[13]  Article 43(2) recast Asylum Procedures Directive.

[14]  Section 18a(2)-(4) Asylum Act.

[15] This practice of granting access to the regular procedure rather than protection even in clear cut protection cases is rooted in the administrative framework for dealing with asylum procedures. The granting of protection to persons that have not been assigned to a specific Federal State (and accommodation facility) is not foreseen in the administrative framework and would therefore lead to administrative challenges for the authorities involved.

[16]  Section 18a(6) Asylum Act.

[17]  264 out of 444 in 2017; 191 out of 273 in 2016, 549 out of 627 in 2015.

[18]  This increase is even more striking when comparing with numbers of the year 2013: between 2013 and 2019, the rejection rate in the airport procedure have increased tenfold, from 5.1% in 2013 to 52.7% in 2019. For 2020 and 2021 figures see Federal Government, Response to parliamentary question by The Left, 19/32678, 14 October 2021, p. 28 and 19/28109, 30 March 2021, p. 37.

[19] Dr. Thomas Hohlfeld, Vermerk zur Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Kleine Anfrage der LINKEN (Ulla Jelpke u.a.) zur ergänzenden Asylstatistik für das Jahr 2019 (BT-Drs. 19/18498), Newsletter of 6 April 2020.

[20] See PRO ASYL, ‘ABGELEHNT IM NIEMANDSLAND. Vom Flughafenverfahren zum »New Pact on Migration and Asylum« – Warum Asylgrenzverfahren unfair und mangelhaft sind’, June 2021, 9, available in German at https://bit.ly/31XOpvv   

[21]  Ibid. See also,.; PRO ASYL, Allein in Abschiebungshaft: Jugendlicher als Letzter am Frankfurter Flughafen, 11 April 2020,; Bistum Limburg, ‘Caritas und Diakonie wollen Aus für Flughafen-Asylverfahren’, 30  October 2018, ECRE, Airport procedures in Germany: Gaps in quality and compliance with guarantees, pp. 11-12; See PRO ASYL, ‘ABGELEHNT IM NIEMANDSLAND. Vom Flughafenverfahren zum »New Pact on Migration and Asylum« – Warum Asylgrenzverfahren unfair und mangelhaft sind’, June 2021, available in German at https://bit.ly/31XOpvv

[22] EASO, Border Procedures for Asylum Applications in EU+ Countries, September 2020, p.20.

[23] BAMF,  Das Bundesamt in Zahlen 2019, 2020, p.56.

[24] See PRO ASYL, ‘ABGELEHNT IM NIEMANDSLAND. Vom Flughafenverfahren zum »New Pact on Migration and Asylum« – Warum Asylgrenzverfahren unfair und mangelhaft sind’, June 2021, 15, available in German at https://bit.ly/31XOpvv    

[25] ECRE, Airport procedures in Germany Gaps in quality and compliance with guarantees, April 2019, available at: https://bit.ly/2QgOmAH.

[26] Ibid.

[27] See PRO ASYL, ‘ABGELEHNT IM NIEMANDSLAND. Vom Flughafenverfahren zum »New Pact on Migration and Asylum« – Warum Asylgrenzverfahren unfair und mangelhaft sind’, June 2021, available in German at https://bit.ly/31XOpvv, p.8.

[28] ECRE, Airport procedures in Germany Gaps in quality and compliance with guarantees, April 2019, available at: https://bit.ly/2QgOmAH.

[29]  These questions are examples deriving from transcripts of interviews conducted with the Border Police that have been obtained by lawyers. Information provided by an attorney-at-law, 31 August 2020.

[30] See PRO ASYL, ‘ABGELEHNT IM NIEMANDSLAND. Vom Flughafenverfahren zum »New Pact on Migration and Asylum« – Warum Asylgrenzverfahren unfair und mangelhaft sind’, June 2021, 8, available in German at https://bit.ly/31XOpvv

[31] Federal Ministry of the Interior, ‘Gemeinsam genutztes Einreise- und Ausreisezentrum am Flughafen Berlin-Brandenburg’, 23 September 2021, available in German at: https://bit.ly/3FuMzQp. 

[32]  See PRO ASYL, ‘ABGELEHNT IM NIEMANDSLAND. Vom Flughafenverfahren zum »New Pact on Migration and Asylum« – Warum Asylgrenzverfahren unfair und mangelhaft sind, June 2021, 16, available in German at https://bit.ly/31XOpvv

[33]  Information provided by an attorney-at-law, 31 August 2020.

[34]   Information provided by an attorney-at-law, 31 August 2020.

[35]  In one case, the first part of the interview focusing on travel route and relevant questions took from 9:30am to 11:25am. It was followed by a short break, and at 11:40am it continued with questions on grounds for applying for asylum; as well as questions highlighting inconsistencies with previous statements. The interview finished at 3:30 pm; thus taking a total of around 6 hours; Information provided by an attorney-at-law, 31 August 2020.

[36]  Information provided by an attorney-at-law, 31 August 2020.

[37]  Information provided by the Munich Airport Church Service, 5 April 2019; an attorney-at-law, 15 April 2019; an attorney-at-law, 29 April 2019.

[38] See PRO ASYL, ‘ABGELEHNT IM NIEMANDSLAND. Vom Flughafenverfahren zum »New Pact on Migration and Asylum« – Warum Asylgrenzverfahren unfair und mangelhaft sind’, June 2021, 21, available in German at https://bit.ly/31XOpvv

[39] ECRE, Airport procedures in Germany: Gaps in quality and compliance with guarantees, p.10.

[40] Information provided by an attorney-at-law, 31 August 2020.

[41] Section 18a(4) Asylum Act.

[42]  Section 18a(4) Asylum Act.

[43]  Section 18a(6) Asylum Act.

[44] BAMF, Das Bundesamt in Zahlen – 2019, 2020, p. 60.

[45]  Federal Government, Response to parliamentary question by The Left, 20/432, 14 January 2022, 20.

[46]  BAMF,  Das Bundesamt in Zahlen 2019, 2020, p.60 / 45.

[47]  Section 18a(4) Asylum Act in connection with Section 36(4) Asylum Act.

[48]   Information provided by PRO ASYL, 1 April 2019; an attorney-at-law, 29 April 2019.

[49]  See PRO ASYL, ‘ABGELEHNT IM NIEMANDSLAND. Vom Flughafenverfahren zum »New Pact on Migration and Asylum« – Warum Asylgrenzverfahren unfair und mangelhaft sind’, June 2021, 21, available in German at https://bit.ly/31XOpvv

[50]  Section 36(3) Asylum Act.

[51]  German Federal Constitutional Court, Decision 2 BvR 1516/93, 14 May 1996.

[52]  AIDA, Country Report Germa–y – Update on the year 2019, July 2020p. 51.

[53]  Information provided by the Munich Airport Church Service, 25 August 2020.

[54] See PRO ASYL, ‘ABGELEHNT IM NIEMANDSLAND. Vom Flughafenverfahren zum »New Pact on Migration and Asylum« – Warum Asylgrenzverfahren unfair und mangelhaft sind’, June 2021, 16, available in German at https://bit.ly/31XOpvv

[55]  Information provided by the Frankfurt Airport Church Refugee Service, 1 April 2019.

[56]  Information provided by an attorney-at-law, 31 August 2020.

[57]  Information provided by an attorney-at-law, 29 April 2019.

[58]  Information provided by an attorney-at-law, 3 May 2019; see also See PRO ASYL, ‘ABGELEHNT IM NIEMANDSLAND. Vom Flughafenverfahren zum »New Pact on Migration and Asylum« – Warum Asylgrenzverfahren unfair und mangelhaft sind’, June 2021, 22, available in German at https://bit.ly/31XOpvv

[59] Information provided by an attorney-at-law, 31 August 2020, see also PRO ASYL, ‘ABGELEHNT IM NIEMANDSLAND. Vom Flughafenverfahren zum »New Pact on Migration and Asylum« – Warum Asylgrenzverfahren unfair und mangelhaft sind’, June 2021, 22, available in German at https://bit.ly/31XOpvv

[60] PRO ASYL, ‘ABGELEHNT IM NIEMANDSLAND. Vom Flughafenverfahren zum »New Pact on Migration and Asylum« – Warum Asylgrenzverfahren unfair und mangelhaft sind’, June 2021, 22, available in German at https://bit.ly/31XOpvv

[61] Information provided by the Munich Airport Church Service 5 April 2019.

[62]  Information provided by the Frankfurt Airport Church Service, 25 August 2020.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation