In 2021, asylum applications made in Germany increased significantly, as people continue to flee Afghanistan and migration resumes following the coronavirus pandemic.
Last year, there was a sharp increase in asylum applications made in Germany. The numbers reached levels not seen since 2017, when over 222,600 people applied for protection in Germany, mostly people fleeing the civil war in Syria.
The Taliban takeover in Afghanistan and the subsequent economic collapse of the country has led to a significant increase in applications from Afghanistan. More than 31,000 Afghans applied for asylum last year. Nevertheless, the largest number of asylum applications come from people fleeing Syria - with more than 70,000 applications, according to BAMF statistics.
According to figures from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), Germany accepted around 190,800 asylum applications in 2021. This marks a sharp increase of almost 70,000 from 2020 which saw almost 122,000 asylum applications lodged in Germany.
However, the Federal Interior Ministry pointed out that a comparison with the asylum figures for 2020 may be misleading, due to the effect of the global travel restrictions to contain the coronavirus pandemic on migration.
Many applications for newborns
Around 148,000 of applicants applied for asylum for the first time in Germany - this is the highest level since 2018. Around 17.5% of the initial applications were submitted for children under the age of one who were born in Germany. Under German law, currently babies born in the country, do not automatically gain the right to citizenship, unless at least one parent has been legally resident in the country for eight years and has been granted permanent residence (or residence under EU law).
This means that generally for children of asylum seekers and refugees, their status may remain unclear. Many children are at risk of becoming or remaining stateless, especially if their parents are unable to register their child in their own country of origin.
Germany a popular destination for asylum seekers
Germany remains the top destination for people seeking protection in Europe. With the highest number of asylum applications in the EU. Data from Eurostat also revealed that those applying in Germany had a far higher chance of being accepted.
In the three months preceding September 2021, more than half (16,200 out of 29,970) of asylum applications to German authorities were approved. During the same period, applications in France were less successful, with fewer than a third being accepted (9,425 out of 33,325).