Federal Office for Migration and Refugees
The Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, BAMF) is a German federal agency in the area of responsibility of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. It is located in the former Südkaserne (South Barracks) in Nuremberg. It is the central migration authority in Germany and is responsible for registration, integration and repatriation of migrants. It carries out asylum proceedings and decides about asylum applications.
The office was founded on 12 January 1953 as "Bundesdienststelle für die Anerkennung ausländischer Flüchtlinge" (Federal Office for the Recognition of Foreign Refugees) in Langwasser, Nuremberg.
On 18 September 2015, during the European migrant crisis, Frank-Jürgen Weise, president of the German employment office Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Agency for Employment), was appointed also as chief of BAMF; since he was not allowed to have a further paid function, he served as a head of the agency without any additional payment. Officially, the vice president of the agency took over the tasks of the office head.
In 2017 BAMF reported that of the 340 000 migrants who participated German language courses during 2016, less than half at 113 050 received a passing grade. The authority had no idea why.
2000-2018 Bribe scandal
The BAMF is alleged to have accepted bribes for granting asylum and following these allegations 18,000 asylum approvals since 2000 are to be reviewed. The Bremen office was stripped of its authority to process applications and 13 other offices are being investigated on suspicion of irregularities.
BAMF is in charge of the Central Register of Foreign Nationals (AZR). It is also the national data supplier for the Eurostat in the field of asylum statistics. BAMF publishes data updated on a monthly basis concerning developments in the asylum applications filed in Germany, on the ten countries of origin with the highest number of applicants arriving, as well as on the decisions made concerning the asylum applications, and statistical data on transfer requests that have been filed in the Dublin Procedure.
The arrival centres are the central entry point when it comes to the asylum procedure. It is in the arrival centres that all the steps are carried out under one roof which are necessary for the asylum procedure. This includes the medical examination by the Länder, the recording of the personal data and the identity check, the application, the interview and the BAMF decision on the asylum application, as well as the initial advice on access to the labour market by the local Employment Agency.
Branch offices/regional offices
It is in the branch offices that BAMF carries out the asylum procedure, with the filing of the application, the interview and the decision on more complex cases. Some branch offices, known as “regional offices”, offer a point of contact for the organisations operating integration activities, and are responsible for the integration work on the ground.
It is in the decision-making centres that the decision is taken on the asylum applications which are ready to be decided on of those applicants who have already been interviewed. This particularly relates to applications lodged by individuals from unsafe countries of origin such as Syria, Iraq and Eritrea. The decision-making centres thus take some of the strain from the arrival centres and branch offices.
BAMF is funded by the Federal Ministry of the Interior. In 2017, the agency had an annual budget of around 780 million euros.
- Albert Maximilian Schmid (2000-2010)
- Manfred Schmidt (2010-2015)
- Frank-Jürgen Weise (2015-2016)
- Jutta Cordt (2017-2018)
- since 2018 Hans-Eckard Sommer
- "Weise wird nicht Präsident – und Geld bekommt er auch nicht" [Weise will not be president - and he does not get any money either]. Frankfurter Allgemeine (in German). Retrieved 26 November 2016.
- WELT, DIE (2017-09-18). "Integration: Nicht mal jeder zweite Zuwanderer schafft den Deutschkurs". DIE WELT. Retrieved 2017-10-04.
- "Germany To Check 18,000 Asylum Decisions Amid Bribe Scandal". The Daily Independent (Lagos newspaper). 19 May 2018. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) will check 18,000 decisions on granting asylum since 2000 on suspicion of corruption in its Bremen branch
- Official homepage of BAMF