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Processing time for refugees in Germany grows

August 19, 2016

Officials needed more than a month longer in the second quarter of 2016 to process refugee applications in Germany. For unaccompanied minors, the process takes a particularly long time.

Archivbild Flüchtlinge stehen Schlange
Image: picture-alliance/Joker

On average, Germany's Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) needed 7.3 months to process an asylum seeker's application in the second quarter of 2016 - a noted increase from the average of 5.1 months reported in the first quarter.

The new finding was reported on Friday by Ulla Jelpke, a member of the Bundestag from the Left party. Her party had sent an inquiry on the matter to Chancellor Angela Merkel's government.

"The Federal Office is not getting it taken care of," Jelpke told German news organization Funke Mediengruppe. "It's a clear sign of mismanagement if, despite recent adjustments, the process for asylum seekers is continuing to grow longer and the backlog of pending applications is continuing to increase."

Among the most-impacted by BAMF's sluggish administration are unaccompanied refugee minors, Jelpke said. The average waiting time for their asylum applications was 10.1 months in the second quarter.

BAMF under fire

"The inability of the Federal Office of Migration and Refugees (BAMF) to quickly process these applications is becoming increasingly clear," she added.

Processing times also depend largely on the asylum seekers' country of origin. For instance, applicants from Somalia must wait on average 21.9 months. Pakistanis need to wait an average of 20.5 months.

BAMF told Funke Mediengruppe that the inflated processing times were only temporary.

"The processing time will fall significantly once the backlog of applications are completed," the office said.

blc/sms (dpa, AFP)