Federal Ministry of the Interior abolishes behavioural prognoses for LGBTI refugees within the asylum procedure17. October 2022
As early as 2013, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that asylum authorities and courts “cannot reasonably expect, in order to avoid the risk of persecution, the applicant for asylum to conceal his homosexuality in his country of origin or to exercise reserve in the expression of his sexual orientation”. In 2020, the German Federal Constitutional Court took up this landmark ECJ ruling in a decision and confirmed that these provisions must also apply to bisexual asylum seekers. However, asylum applications from queer refugees continued to be rejected, among other things on the basis of prognoses that they by choice would keep their sexual orientation or gender identity secret anyway.
“We are very pleased that the federal government has kept its word and that the discretion requirement now has really been abolished within BAMF. We would like to explicitly thank the responsible Federal Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser, for the consistent implementation, but also the government factions of SPD, Greens and FDP for their support,” said Patrick Dörr on behalf of the LSVD federal board. “We hope that queer refugees from persecuting states will finally receive systematic protection in Germany. However, the change made is not a change in the legal situation, as only the BAMF instructions have been adjusted. However, we still advise queer refugees whose asylum applications have already been finally rejected due to discretion prognoses and who are therefore only tolerated to examine the possibility of a follow-up asylum application. The new provisions have increased the chance of at least being granted deportation obstacles,” Dörr continues.
Important information for people fleeing Ukraine who are not Ukrainians:20. March 2022
Such a simplified procedure according to Section 24 of the Residence Act has only advantages for those seeking protection: They receive benefits (financial support and access to medical care) similar to those in the conventional asylum procedure. Unlike in the conventional asylum procedure though, they have the following rights right from the start:
- the general right to work
- the general possibility to participate in integration courses (language and orientation course)
- the general possibility to search for private accomodation (in the asylum procedure there is initially an obligation to live in collective refugee accommodation)
- also the possibility of a “change of lane” to another residence titel if necessary (e.g. for work or for studies) – whereby further requirements apply here
These simplified procedures are similar to conventional asylum procedures, as in both kinds of procedures it will be examined whether the persons concerned would actually be at risk if they were to return to their respective countries of origin. However, in case of the simplified procedures, this examination will not be carried out by the “German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees” (BAMF), but by the respective foreigners authority (Ausländerbehörde).
It is important to know that even if the application for a residence permit according to Section 24 of the residence permit is unsuccessful, there will still be the option of filing a conventional asylum application.
In any case, it is advisable for people who have fled to Germany from Ukraine and who do not have Ukrainian citizenship to seek advice from specialized counseling centers and, if necessary, to search for legal support.
With regard to cases of LGBTI third-country nationals who have fled Ukraine, LSVD asks refugees, counseling centers and supporters to inform us by using use the contact form. In these cases, LSVD can support the foreigners authorities in assessing the risk situation in the respective countries by sending comprehensive LGBTI-specific country of origin information.
[These notes reflect LSVD’s understanding of the current legal situation and of the letter from the German Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) of March 14, 2022.]
Germany adopts a simplified admission procedure for refugees from Ukraine15. March 2022
More information on the legal situation, also in Ukrainian, can be found here:
People who have fled to Germany from Ukraine can live with private persons (friends, families or voluntary supporters), receive financial support from the state and access to the health care system after registration.
In all of Germany:
In Munich (München):
In Cologne (Köln):
More relevant offers and information can be found here:
“Queer Refugees Germany” publishes booklet for integration courses27. February 2022
The booklet has been developed for teaching orientation courses. It takes up important content on the topics of sexual orientation and gender identity. On 20 pages, it deals with the legal situation, historical background, social movement and individual life plans. The booklet conveys knowledge about the terms around LGBTI+ people and tries to raise awareness of the topics and promote acceptance through encounters with different people and their biographies. The booklet is designed in such a way that it serves as a separate teaching unit and can be edited in several lessons in a row. In addition, thematic units of the booklet can also be used in addition to individual hours. In terms of content, it fits all three modules of the orientation course, i.e. “Politics in Democracy”, “History and Responsibility” and “People and Society”.
The accompanying booklet “Vielfalt Welcome!” can be ordered as a print copy easily and free of charge by e-mail and is also available for download.