More than half of new asylum applicants in Germany cannot prove their identity, according to the government | Photo: Picture Alliance
More than half of new asylum applicants in Germany cannot prove their identity, according to the government | Photo: Picture Alliance

The German interior ministry says that around half of adults who came to Germany seeking asylum in 2020 failed to present documents to prove their name, nationality or date of birth.

In 2020, more than one in two asylum applicants in Germany aged 18 and over was unable to produce identification papers, according to Germany’s interior ministry. The exact figure was 51.8%, the ministry told the Free Democrats (FDP) politician, Linda Teuteberg, in a document seen by the German press agency, dpa.

"The fact that the identity of every other first-time asylum applicant cannot be established from the relevant documents presents a major challenge for our asylum system," Teuteberg said.

Last year, 102,581 foreign nationals submitted an application for asylum in Germany (excluding second-time applications). That number included 26,520 applications for children born in Germany and under the age of one. The number of applications was substantially lower that the previous year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Unknown number of false documents

In response to a question about how many people had applied for asylum with forged documents, the government said that the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) had checked the authenticity of a total of 190,608 identification papers from asylum seekers during 2020. 

It said that the BAMF had rejected 4,488 documents. However the ministry pointed out that a single applicant may submit several documents, so it was not possible to conclude from the number how many people had presented false documents.

With dpa

 

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