Around 329,000 people made an initial application for asylum in Germany last year. This is an increase of a good 51 percent compared to the same period last year, as the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bamf) announced on Monday in Nuremberg. According to the information, there were also almost 23,000 follow-up applications. In 2022 there were a total of 244,132 applications and follow-up applications.
According to Bamf, the Federal Office decided on more than 260,000 asylum procedures in 2023. Around half of the people were granted protection status. The applications of almost 62,000 people were rejected, and almost 65,000 procedures were stopped for various reasons - for example because the asylum application was withdrawn.
According to Bamf information, almost 23,000 of all initial applications in 2023 concerned children under one year old born in Germany. With more than 104,000 asylum applications since the beginning of the year, Syria was the country of origin with the most access, putting it ahead of Turkey (62,624) and Afghanistan (53,582).
Last year, the process for initial and subsequent applications took an average of 6.8 months. In 2022 it was an average of 7.6 months. The number of pending cases was almost 240,000 at the end of December.
“The asylum numbers for 2023 show that we must consistently continue our course to limit irregular migration,” explained Interior Minister Nancy Faeser. The federal government has “provided new clarity in migration policy”. The SPD politician cited as examples the legislative package for more and faster returns, which the Bundestag wants to pass “shortly”; a migration agreement concluded with Georgia and the agreement on a new Common European Asylum System.
In 2023, the number of returns was a quarter higher than in the previous year. But until everything has a noticeable effect, "we have taken additional measures to reduce the number of unauthorized entries," emphasized Faeser. The temporary border controls worked. “Above all, we are putting an end to the brutal crime of smuggling.” In October, after much hesitation, Faeser also ordered stationary controls at the borders with Poland, the Czech Republic and Switzerland.
The Union expressed sharp criticism of the traffic light coalition. “The federal government cannot get the migration crisis under control,” complained its deputy parliamentary group leader Andrea Lindholz (CSU). 2023 was the year with the fourth most asylum applications in the history of the Federal Republic.
Lindholz criticized the fact that the law for improved returns would not come into force until February at the earliest and that it had also been gutted. She called for “a turnaround in asylum and integration in Germany.” To do this, among other things, all voluntary admission programs would have to be stopped immediately and family reunification with those entitled to subsidiary protection would have to be ended.