Six measures from the new immigration law

e immigration set up

On 16 June 2017, a European Commission recommended against the new rules of seeking residence by end of May 2017 for the year 2017, including the EU8 countries, but also for the year 2018. After nine months, the Commission repeated that recommendation on 23 July 2017. On 28 October 2017, the German Ministry of Interior, which is responsible for migration and integration, the cabinet and the Bundestag approved a change of the system of designated law concerning the end of January 2018 and the year 2019. On 10 November 2017, the Commission said in its communication that the government had consulted seriously with the Commission and with Member States. Consequently, the Commission welcomed the 4.3 million signatures collected in favour of stricter laws.

A new process

No one needs to live in another Member State to benefit from automatic residence rights. Rather, and crucially, the new law mandates a fast track procedure that must be undertaken within 120 days of the application, or the status of acceptability can be changed. As soon as the application is received, authorities must scrutinise the case and either reject it or inform the applicant’s home country authorities that he or she is refused. This should be sufficient for the applications to be rejected in the eyes of the other Member States.

Relatives can register their application by contacting their respective national authorities. If approved, the family would, firstly, obtain a registration document. Secondly, the end of the 140-day period stipulated in the new law will be observed. If the asylum seeker has a brother or sister living in Germany, the latter can be included in the request. The latter application is needed if the applicant has children under the age of 18. Furthermore, relatives who are not related to the applicant may request an asylum permission from the government or if they have sufficient time for the application process. Citizens of other countries may not apply directly for asylum but rather for a permit to stay. The government cannot reject this request at the time of application; however, it may do so at a later date. In the case of a national act that forbids the presence of a certain person, the person may be able to remain in Germany for a maximum of 18 months even if he or she has failed to contact the authorities regarding his or her application. If a family member under 18 years of age has an exemption from having to visit their country of origin, it is possible to live in Germany without applying for a permit to stay.

The family that has waited many months for approval may move to a shelter for 24 hours in accordance with a decree that has yet to be agreed. If the relevant authorisation has been procured, the family will have a temporary permit to stay in Germany for 14 days. It will then need to renew the permit and stay for up to two years. The order can be extended to every 90 days, and will expire once the applicant’s application has been rejected. As a percentage of the total number of such family members allowed to live in Germany, the number of extensions will be almost zero. By special agreement, the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees may approve requests to bring family members to Germany from abroad if the person has a legal right to stay. In this case, all the requests are put together in order to apply for a permit to stay in Germany. The process starts by verifying the applicant’s right to stay in Germany under the conditions of the bilateral agreement in TAC (entry requirements, requirements and documentation). If necessary, the applicant and his or her relatives will be issued temporary passes to enter Germany. After an application has been made to bring a person to Germany, it will be reviewed by the authorities. If the authorities have not found a violation of the rules, the applicant and his or her relatives can have their application examined in the applicant’s home country.

All family members of asylum seekers are prohibited from applying for financial assistance unless they fulfil certain criteria, such as belonging to an important family, or having a degree and having travelled to Germany to study. However, approval for financial assistance can be given at an extra-ordinary asylum interview. This possibility can only be used for children without documentation, refugees who are unable to find shelter due to their own circumstances and applicants who have received asylum but have not yet received their provisional certification for permanent residence.

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