Analysis of legislative changes concerning the registration of immigrants in Germany

Author:Associated Professor Ph.D. Madalina Cocosatu

European Union's Common Policy on Asylum, Immigration, Visas and External Border Controls has the theme of Title V (Area of freedom, security and justice) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). According to data from the Federal Statistical Office, 1.1 million immigrants have entered the territory of Germany in 2015, and of these, 500,000 have filed documents to apply for asylum. It found that there are inconsistencies in the level of activity of the five authorities in Germany that registers refugees. In this paper we analyze the legislative measures adopted or are being adopted to streamline the work of public authorities involved in the management of immigrants.

Analysis of legislative changes concerning the registration… 165
Associated Professor Ph.D. Mdlina COCOȘATU
European Union's Common Policy on Asylum, Immigration, Visas and External Border
Controls has the theme of Title V (Area of freedom, security and justice) of the Treaty on the
Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
According to data from the Federal Statistical Office, 1.1 million immigrants have entered the
territory of Germany in 2015, and of these, 500,000 have filed documents to apply for asylum.
It found that there are inconsistencies in the level of activity of the five authorities in Germany
that registers refugees.
In this paper we analyze the legislative measures adopted or are being adopted to streamline the
work of public authorities involved in the management of immigrants.
Key words: immigrants, legal procedures, public authorities, Fast ID System.
1. The situation of immigrants in the European Union. General Aspects
European Union is located in one of the most tense and difficult period.
Europe is in the presence of a triple crisis: financial and economic crisis, Brexit and
immigrants’ crisis, in other words, we face an existential crisis.
Migration is a shared responsibility of countries of origin, transit and
destination. European Union and third countries should act in a spirit of
partnership to find common solutions to challenges of mutual interest. In other
words, the obligation of managing this situation is an international obligation.
For 2015, it was registered an increase in requests for a form of protection
globally, but in the German state was a significant increase compared to the other
EU countries. This fact is due to Germany's internal strategy to facilitate the
migration process, hoping to cover employment needs work. Germany’s share of
the EU-28 total rose from 31 % in 2014 to 35 % in 2015 while other EU Member
States that recorded a notable increase in their share of the EU-28 total included
Hungary (up 6.6 percentage points to 13.9 %), Austria (up 2.2 percentage points to
6.8 %), and Finland (up 1.9 percentage points to 2.6 %).[1] Thus, we can say that the
National University of Political Science and Administration, Faculty of Public Administration,
Bucharest, Romania; e-mail:
Law Review vol. VI, special issue, December 2016, p. 165-171
reception of asylum seekers who come in large numbers in Germany is the most
difficult task to Reunification of the country.
Asylum systems of Member States are confronted now with unprecedented
pressure, the European Union must act before the pressure becomes intolerable
situation can no longer be managed due to the volume migration flows, low
capacity of receipt of certain state and infrastructure faulty processing of asylum
The adoption of the European Agenda on Migration and Valletta Summit on
Migration, held in November 2015, and the Vienna Summit in November 2016
represent important steps in managing this phenomenon by the European Union.
European Agenda on migration adopted by the European Commission on 13
May 2015 proposes four major areas of action:
1. reducing the factors encouraging illegal immigration with a focus on
addressing the root causes of illegal migration from third countries and better
implementation of return policies;
2. saving lives and securing external borders through better management of
external borders and streamline border procedures;
3. consolidation of common migration and asylum policy;
4. development of a new policy for legal migration, given demographic future
challenges facing the EU.
With a budget allocation of EUR 96.8 billion for 2014-2020, EU assistance for
external cooperation, including cooperation for development plays an important
role in addressing global problems such as poverty, insecurity, inequality and
unemployment, which among the main causes of irregular migration and forced. It
is included the support for regions in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe from where
are most migrants. [2]
2. Administrative aspects concerning immigrants’ registration in Germany
2.1. The evolution of the legislative framework relating to asylum
The right to asylum was regulated in Germany in 1948, as a direct response to
the Holocaust.
Germany gave the first test of migration in 1990, when war broke out in
Yugoslavia. Thus, the wave of immigrants has caused social tensions so great that
the government had to implement in 1993 the so-called "compromise Asylum" by
trying to minimize the risks of abuse they were subjected to asylum seekers, also to
reduce the number thereof.
In 2005, amid a decline in the labor force, the federal government adopted the
Law of residence, in order to correct errors made in the past and thus the State
opens again for migration. As a result of adoption of this law between 2005 and
Analysis of legislative changes concerning the registration… 167
2010, Germany received around 50,000 people annually, but after 2011, with the
outbreak of civil war in Syria, the numbers begin to grow.
The arrival of waves of immigrants was a test for Member States to cope with a
crisis. As a result of the inability to manage the situation, Member States decided
that the best solution is to close its borders, except Germany. [3]
In present, the statute and procedures of asylum are regulated by Asylum Act,
promulgated on 2 September 2008 [4], amended by Article 2 of the Act of 11 March
2016 [5].
This statute shall serve to transpose into national law the following directives:
1. Council Directive 2003/9/EC of 27 January 2003 laying down minimum
standards for the reception of asylum seekers in Member States
2. Council Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004 on minimum standards for
the qualification and status of third-country nationals or stateless persons as
refugees or as persons who otherwise need international protection and the
content of the protection granted
3. Council Directive 2005/85/EC of 1 December 2005 on minimum standards
on procedures in Member States for granting and withdrawing refugee status
On the background of amplification migration crisis in Europe, 2015 was
marked by Chancellor Angela Merkel's declaration that Germany announced that
receives migrants with open arms. Thus, the slogan "Wir schaffen das!" (We can do
it!) has become a credo of the German Federal Government, even if the legislation
regarding asylum has become more restrictive in 2016. However, current Executive
German slogan is "We support and ask!".
2.2. Statistics on the number of immigrants and country of origin
According to data from the Federal Statistical Office, 1.1 million immigrants
have entered the territory of Germany in 2015, the highest annual level of this
indicator in its history.
According to forecasts published by the Institute of Economic Studies in
Cologne, increased migration will increase the German population to 83.1 million
people in the next two decades.
Germany is ranked third in the world in number of immigrants. According to
UN data, over 16 million people in Germany are foreigners or have immigrant
parents, first or second generation, and about 7 million do not have the German
The main factor that drives people to emigrate to Germany is the Middle East
War, for which the main countries of origin are Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
However, the statistics can be seen that there are numerous nationalities of people
applying for asylum in Germany.
Tabel 1: Top 10 Countries of Origin of Asylum Seekers (2015)
of all
First time
first time
per country
Syria 162,510 34,1% 158,657 97,6% 96,0%
Albania 54,762 11,5% 53,805 98,3% 0,2%
Kosovo 37,095 7,8% 33,427 90,1% 0,4%
Afghanistan 31,902 6,7% 31,382 98,4% 47,6%
Iraq 31,379 6,6% 29,784 94,9% 88,6%
Serbia 26,945 5,7% 16,700 62,0% 0,1%
Unknown 12,166 2,6% 11,721 96,3% 80,2%
Eritrea 10,990 2,3% 10,876 99,0% 92,1%
Macedonia 14,131 3,0% 9,083 64,3% 0,5%
Pakistan 8,472 1,8% 8,199 96,8% 9,8%
Total Top
390,352 81,9% 363,634 93,2% 54,9%
476,649 100,0% 441,899 92,7% 49,8%
Source: Bundesamt fur Migration und Fluchtlinge (2016a)
2.3. The procedure of registration
All asylum-seekers arriving in Germany must report to a state organisation on
arrival or immediately thereafter. They can do this as soon as they reach the border
or later within the country. There are five authorities that record the
All individuals reporting as seeking asylum in the Federal Republic of
Germany are registered. This is carried out at "PIK" (Personalisation Infrastructure
Component) stations by the Federal or Land police, by staff of the BAMF in the
branch offices and arrival centres or by staff of the Länder at reception facilities,
immigration authorities and arrival centres.
The introduction of the proof of arrival for asylum-seekers gives to the
"Asylum-seeker Registration Certificate" (BüMA), which previously was
non-standard and varied from one Federal Land to another, a new design which is
the same all over the country, and which furthermore contains security
Analysis of legislative changes concerning the registration… 169
They were found inconsistencies in the databases, which led to the
establishment of a Central Register of Foreigners (AZR) on which have access to all
5 authorities work with these data in performing their tasks. This register will
contain the following data on persons registered: personal data, passport
photographs, fingerprints of people aged over 14, country of origin, mobile phone
number, information on vaccinations, X-rays and medical records, details about
professional education. The fingerprints are additionally used to verify whether an
individual has already been registered in another EU country.
Identity data, personal data as well as information on the country of origin of
the asylum-seeker are used by the mobile team members to establish "preliminary
files". What is very important to note is that Internal or Domestic Intelligence
services will not have access to this register.
Asylum-seekers receive a proof of arrival (Ankunftsnachweis) at the reception
facility, arrival centre or branch office of the Federal Office which is responsible for
them to prove that they have registered. They can however also receive in advance
a certificate directing them to the nearest reception facility (Anlaufbescheinigung).
This contains both personal data as well as the address of the reception facility
which is responsible for them and where they will receive their proof of arrival.
As the first official document, the proof of arrival serves to document the
entitlement to reside in Germany. And what is equally important is that it
constitutes an entitlement to draw state benefits, such as accommodation, medical
treatment and food.
Also, to increase business efficiency, it is desired that all authorities as soon as
possible to be provided with Fast ID System (rapid fingerprint comparison).
Under the new law regulating the right of asylum, law adopted in October
2015, Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro are considered in the future as safe
countries of origin, so that their citizens do not have the opportunity to seek
asylum in Germany, except in particularly serious cases. Also, currently Algeria,
Morocco and Tunisia will be declared safe countries, which would result in
reducing the number of asylum seekers in Germany.
2.4. Airport procedure – special procedure for asylum
A special procedure applies should people attempt to enter the country by air
and apply for asylum. This procedure is known as “airport procedure”.
The airport procedure was introduced by an amendment that was adopted in
1993 (Article 16 of the Basic Law (Grundgesetz)).
Without the airport procedure, the Federal Police would have to permit
anyone who has destroyed their passport and requests asylum to enter Germany
because of the "principle of non-refoulement" that is contained in the Geneva
Refugee Convention.
The airport procedure is only implemented at airports which can
accommodate asylum applicants on the airport complex1.
The airport procedure is operated subject to the "principle of immediacy". In
this context, the Federal Office must interview applicants within two days of
receiving the asylum application. It is then decided whether they are to be
permitted to enter the country or the asylum application is to be rejected as
"manifestly unfounded". If it is turned down, the Federal Police can refuse to
permit them to enter.
According with legal framework concerning the activity of Federal Office for
Migration and Refugees, Following on from a rejection, applicants have three days’
time to submit an application for temporary legal protection to an administrative
court. They then receive legal advice from an independent lawyer free of charge.
The administrative court can grant a further four days in which to submit grounds
on request. If the administrative court approves the emergency application or has
not ruled on it within 14 days, the asylum applicant may enter the country. This
means that the airport procedure has a potential total duration of 19 days. The
asylum applicants must however remain in the airport transit area until a final
ruling has been handed down. If the appeal is turned down, they are sent back
either to the place where their flight originated, or to their country of origin.
3. Conclusions
Granting a form of international protection to a person under threat means,
firstly, that person admission on its territory and involve some protection
measures. [6]
Policies in the migration field will be successful provided to be supported by
effective integration policy. The European Union can support the actions of
national governments, local authorities and civil society participating in the
complex and long-term support integration and mutual trust.
Regarding the situation of immigrants and refugees, the question of their
integration speed, so we can talk to their optimum living together with European
statistics, access on 19.09.2016;
1 This currently applies at Berlin-Schönefeld, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt/Main, Hamburg and
Munich airports.
Analysis of legislative changes concerning the registration… 171
[2] Comisia European (2015). O Agend European privind Migraia,
Bruxelles, p. 10;
[3] M. Cocoşatu, C. Rdulescu, Legislative framework and statistics concerning
asylum in the Member States of the European Union, Case study: Germany, in
Probleme actuale ale spaiului politico-juridic al UE, suppliment of Revista
Român de Drept European, 2016, p. 148;
[4] Asylum Act, Federal Law Gazette I, p. 1798;
[5] Federal Law Gazette I, p. 394;
[6] A. Bulgaru, Standarde și msuri la nivel naional și european privind
protecia internaional în materia azilului, Ed. Pro Universitaria, Bucureşti, 2013,
p. 19.