First country of asylum


Country Report: First country of asylum Last updated: 06/04/23


Paula Hoffmeyer-Zlotnik and Marlene Stiller

The ‘first country of asylum’ concept is not referred to as such in German law. However, Sections 27 and 29(1)(4) of the Asylum Act refer to cases where a person was already safe from persecution in ‘another third country’ (sonstiger Drittstaat) as a ground for inadmissibility. Inadmissibility on this ground only applies to safety in non-EU Member States.[1] Such safety is presumed where the applicant holds a travel document from that country,[2] or has resided there for more than 3 months without being threatened by persecution. The applicant can rebuke this presumption by credibly asserting a threat of persecution.[3]

Important restrictions to the application of the provision were removed in 2016. In particular, the former provision could only be applied if return to the safe ‘other third country’ was possible within 3 months. Although this qualification has been removed, the provision has been applied rarely, only 24 times in 2020, 4 times in 2021 and 6 times in 2022 (see Admissibility procedure).[4]




[1] Section 29 (1)(4) Asylum Act, Federal Administrative Court (BVerwG), Decision of 25. April 2019, 1 C 28.18, available in German at

[2] Section 27(2) Asylum Act.

[3] Section 27(3) Asylum Act.

[4] Federal Government, Response to parliamentary question by The Left, 20/43219/28109, 14 January 2022, 6,  19/18498, 2 April 2020, 6. The figures for 2021 are until 30 November 2021.

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