Processing of asylum applications in Germany taking longer

Photo credit: Reuters. Migrants often face long waits at registration centres.

TMP – 14/11/2017

Asylum applications in Germany are undergoing a far longer processing time due to a 20 percent decrease in the number of staff working at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) according to German newspaper Nüremberger Nachrichten.

The newspaper says that local authorities are taking over twice as long to process asylum requests compared to the first quarter of this year. According to the newspaper, the number of cases processed per month fell from 50,000 in the first months of 2017 to between 15,000 and 18,000 in recent months.
An internal BAMF document cited by the newspaper acknowledges the backlog of applications and states that by the end of 2016 some 430,000 new applications had not been opened.

Although BAMF had stated that it would finalize a review of all asylum applications filed in 2016 by May of this year, by September more than 50,000 older applications were still outstanding and some applications from 2015 were still being processed.
Such backlogs are happening as the number of asylum applications continues to grow in Germany.

A report from Germany’s Federal Statistical Office revealed that out of the 1.6 million people officially registered in Germany as “seeking protection for humanitarian reasons”, 573,000 remained in asylum limbo with their cases not yet decided, while another 872,000 had recognized protection status, though in 600,000 cases only for a limited period of time.