What happens after I arrive?
If you want to apply for asylum, your first stop is the
Arrival Center (Ankunftszentrum) at the former Karl-Bonhoeffer-Nervenklinik, entrance Oranienburger Straße 285 in 13437 Berlin. Please report at the Info-Point next to Haus 2.
How can I register as an asylum seeker?
If you want to seek asylum in Germany, you have to undergo a two-step registration process. First you register as an asylum seeker at the registration center of the State Office of Refugee Affairs at Bundesallee 171.Then you apply for asylum at the Federal Agency für Migration and Refugees – Bundesamt for Migration und Flüchtlinge (BAMF).
Registration is a process that takes several days. During this time, you will be housed at the short term shelter at the former airport Tempelhof. Upon arrival, you will undergo a medical check-up and you will be offered a vaccination. On the first day of registration, you will be issued an arrival certificate (Ankunftsnachweis). This official document is necessary to apply for asylum and receive social benefits like housing, food and medical care. The certificate includes your fingerprints, your photo, your name, date of birth, origin, and native language. If you cannot support yourself financially, you will recieve your first social benefits package at the end of the registration process.
After registration is completed, you get an appointment for your first interview at the Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (BAMF) to submit your actual asylum application. BAMF is the federal government agency responsible for reviewing and deciding on all of the asylum applications submitted in Germany. Neither LAF nor any other agency in Berlin has any influence on this decision.
How does the registration process work?
Please bring all of your identification and personal documents with you to registration, so that your request can be processed as quickly as possible. All of the agencies involved in the asylum procedure are represented at the registration center at Bundesallee:
- LAF registers you as an asylum seeker and gives out your social benefits
- BAMF receives your asylum application, reviews it, and makes a decision on it. The time needed to make this decision varies, depending on the difficulty of the case.
- The Ausländerbehörde (Foreigners’ Registration Office) provides the necessary residence documents after the asylum procedure has been completed.
- The Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency – BA) can advise you on finding a job and allocate a place in a German language course, depending on your country of origin.
When and where do I submit an asylum application?
After you are registered as an asylum seeker, you will be given an appointment with BAMF to admit your asylum application. BAMF will take your arrival certificate (Ankunftsnachweis) and give you an “Aufenthaltsgestattung” (a residence permit pending asylum proceedings). This permit is temporary. If you need to renew it, you need an appointment at the Ausländerbehörde.
Please keep the permit in a safe place, since this is the only document that proves your legal status as an asylum seeker. The permit is important, for instance, if the police want to check your papers. If you lose this document, you must inform BAMF immediately so they can give you a replacement.
I want to stay in Berlin and apply for asylum here. Can I do that?
You cannot choose where in Germany your asylum application is processed. When you register, you will be allocated to one of Germany’s 16 federal states (“Bundesländer”) by a computer-assisted procedure. This decision is binding. This is necessary in order to ensure that the refugees coming to Germany are divided evenly between all 16 states and that asylum requests are processed as quickly as possible.
BAMF has offices in each of the German states and works according to the same rules everywhere. Personal circumstances can be taken into consideration, for example, when close relatives (your children or your spouse) are already living in Berlin. Other family members would not be a sufficient reason for you to be allocated to Berlin.
PLEASE NOTE: If you have already submitted an asylum application somewhere else in Germany in the past, any new application will be processed in the same place as the first one you submitted. You will be referred back to that place.
What happens if I have to submit my asylum application in another federal state?
If you are allocated to another federal state within Germany, you will be given a referral document with your destination, as well as a train ticket. If it is not possible for you to reach that place on the same day, you will stay at Tempelhof that night and travel to your destination the next day. There you will receive your arrival certificate (Ankunftsnachweis) in order to submit an application for asylum.