What happens to my family? | Germany | News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 21.09.2015

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What happens to my family?

Want to reunite with your family ? Here's what you need to know to find out whether you can bring them Germany and also some information about your children's mandatory education.

If you've been recognized as a refugee in Germany, you can file a request for family reunification with the immigrant authority ("Ausländerbehörde"). Family in this case means spouse and children who are under 18 years old. So adult children parents and other relatives are not included.

"You should definitely file the request for family reunification within in the first three months after having been recognized as a refugee," Andrea Kothen from the NGO ProAsyl told DW.

As long as your asylum application is still being processed, there is usually no way to reunite your family in Germany, unless they already made it to different places across Europe.

#link:http://www.bamf.de/EN/Migration/Arbeiten/Familiennachzug/familiennachzug-node.html;jsessionid=810900EDE7A43446DCB83D35B6C8ECFA.1_cid368:See information on family reunification ("Familiennachzug") here.#

#link:https://www.drk-suchdienst.de/en/services:German Red Cross Tracing Service.#

Do my children have to go to school?

Education is compulsory in Germany. That means that all children and youth have to attend school, no matter where they're from. School attendance is usually mandatory for nine or ten years beginning at age six.

Different states have different rules on when your children will be allowed to start school. They will usually have to wait between six weeks and six months before they can go to class. In many cities, children who don't speak German will first be taught in separate classrooms. Some states also organize language courses and other prep classes to ease young asylum applicants into the German school system.

How do my children get to school?

The authorities decide which school refugee children should go to depending on where the asylum applicants live. That's why your children will usually only start school once you've left the initial aid facility and been moved to your town of residence.

Many asylum applicants will receive a stipend for their children's trip to the nearest school, but it may also be within walking distance.

How much does it cost to send my children to school?

Education is free for the children of asylum applicants. Many families receive some financial support for school lunches, excursions, class trips, sports and other after-school activities and school supplies.

#link:http://www.bamf.de/EN/Willkommen/Bildung/Schulsystem/schulsystem.html:Information on the German school system in English #(also available in Turkish and Russian):

#link:http://www.bamf.de/EN/Willkommen/DeutschLernen/DeutschangeboteKinder/deutschangebotekinder-node.html:Information on German lanuage classes for children.#

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