Nearly 9,000 visas have been issued for relatives of the vulnerable

For a year now, people with limited protection status have been able to get relatives back to Germany. Now the Foreign Office takes stock.

Since the reorganization of family reunification a year ago, about 9,000 relatives of refugees with limited protection status have received visas for Germany. From August 2018 to the end of June, a total of 8,758 entry permits were issued, as the Foreign Office informed the German Press Agency.

In August 2018, a new regulation came into force, according to which “subsidiary beneficiaries” – usually civil war refugees – may again bring relatives to Germany. CDU, CSU and SPD had agreed after laborious negotiations on the opening. However, there is a monthly limit of 1,000 positive decisions at the Federal Office of Administration.

Sometimes more sometimes less

The German representations abroad accept applications for family reunification. The Federal Office of Administration ensures that no more than 1,000 permits are issued per month. “The applications sent in the months of February, March and April 2019, which went just above the quota of 1,000, could be considered in the following months,” said a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

As there is a delay between the different stages of the procedure, it may happen that more than 1,000 visas are issued in some months. At first, the new regulation had started slowly. Between December and May, however, more than 1,000 visas were issued each month. In June there were 804 visas.

Different categories

For asylum seekers who receive protection in Germany, there are different categories. Anyone who has been politically persecuted in his homeland or recognized as a refugee under the Geneva Convention may catch up with his family – even if they can not afford to support them.

“Subsidiary protection” is given to those who are not persecuted, but would still be in danger if they return to their country of origin, perhaps because of war there. This mainly affects refugees from Syria.

For those with this limited protection status, family reunification was previously suspended for two years. Adults can get spouses and underage children. The parents of unaccompanied minor refugees also receive visas.