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Bereich: Integration, Migration > Flüchtlinge in NRW > Information for Refugees

Frequently Asked Question Gehört zum Bereich Integration, Migration

from incoming refugees


What do I need to do when I arrive in Germany?

If you are entering Germany as a refugee, immediately upon your arrival in the country you must go to an initial reception centre. There is a designated initial reception institution for refugees in every state.

In the state of NRW, this centre is located in Bochum, Gersteinring 50 .

Please go directly to this location. The state police or an immigration authority can also send you there. You may also report to a police station or a town hall. You will be taken care of in the state initial reception centre. The staff there will also ensure that you are brought to an initial reception facility for additional accommodation.

It is important that you report to this centre. Otherwise we cannot help you and avoid any problems.

What happens at the preliminary reception centre?

Upon arrival, you will be registered, your health will be examined and an x-ray will be taken. You may also be vaccinated! The reception centre staff will inform you about everything you need to know to make your arrival in Germany easier. The reception centre will also notify the immigration authority. There, you will receive a certificate. This certificate is the proof of arrival. You will typically stay at the reception centre for one week. During this time, an application for asylum will be prepared.

Subsequently, you will be housed in a central accommodation facility for a certain period of time.

What does registration mean?

When you register, you must provide your personal information. One example is your passport is required. At registration, you must also indicate whether you have family who are already in Germany or if you arrived here together with family. Your personal information is recorded in a database; later, the information will be shared with a city or local authority in NRW.

Where do I file my application for asylum?

File your application for asylum with a branch office of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, BAMF). There, you will be given a temporary residency permit. This permit allows you to remain in Germany legally. Subsequently you will receive an appointment for an interview from BAMF, at which you can explain the reasons why you fled your homeland. The BAMF will then review and process your application for asylum.

Because there are currently many refugees arriving in Germany, you should expect that some time may pass before you can file your application for asylum.

Information on the stages of the asylum procedure:
http://www.bamf.de/DE/Fluechtlingsschutz/AblaufAsylv/ablauf-des-asylverfahrens-node.html

How long will I stay in the central accommodation facility?

You will stay in the central accommodation facility for a certain period of time but not longer than six months. During this period, you and your family will be assigned to a city or municipality in NRW.

Exactly when you receive your allocation depends on various conditions and is determined for you by the Arnsberg District Government.

What is the procedure like?

You can find an overview of the asylum procedure here.

Where will I find food, clothing and the necessities of daily life?

You will be given these items during your stay at an accommodation facility. You will also receive an amount of money to cover your personal needs.

What medical examination will I undergo?

During their first weeks and months of their stay in North Rhine-Westphalia, all refugees live together with other refugees from various backgrounds in large facilities. You will be examined for transmissible illnesses to prevent you from being infected with illness from other refugees.

The medical examination also includes an x-ray of your respiratory organs to rule out that you have tuberculosis. A blood test replaces the x-ray for children under the age of 15 years and pregnant women. Further, a doctor checks your vaccination record and you may be vaccinated against infectious diseases.

There are videos relating to various topics that you can watch to learn more about the healthcare system, medical care and prevention. These videos can be viewed or downloaded at www.drk-gesundheitsfilme.de.

The films are available in German, English, French, Sorani (Kurdish), Arabic and Pashto and have information about the following topics

  • The healthcare system,
  • Pregnancy and birth,
  • Protection against infection,
  • Mental health,
  • Paediatric health,
  • Dental health,
  • Cancer screening,
  • Health screening for newly arrived asylum seekers and
  • Addiction assistance.

What is done about my safety?

You should feel safe in the accommodation facility. Every accommodation facility has a security service that monitors the facility. Staff of the district government check whether the security service provider is reliably attending to their duty.

Where can I find help and advice?

You can seek help from the staff members at the accommodation facilities. In addition, there are refugee advice offices located in the central accommodation facilities. These offices provide advice if you have problems in your experiences before and during your escape or after your arrival in Germany. The staff there also provide assistance if you have questions about life in Germany or concerns about your family. You may also ask questions about the asylum procedure at these offices.

What are my obligations?

Please remain at the accommodation facility to which you were assigned. This is how we will be able to reach you quickly. Otherwise, there is a risk that you may miss important appointments.

It is possible that you will be checked out by the police or another authority. These inspections are permitted. You do not need to be afraid. It is important that you always carry your up-to-date residence document with you. This will allow you to show the police that you are legally in Germany, for example.

In order to review your application for asylum, the employees at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, BAMF) must know where you come from, why you needed to leave your homeland and how you escaped and travelled to Germany. Documents from your homeland and documents that you received during your escape provide helpful information.

When will I be assigned to a city or municipality?

Once you have resided in a central state accommodation facility for three month, you and your family will be assigned during the fourth month of your stay to a city or municipality in NRW.

In some cases, your stay in a central state accommodation facility may be as long as six months or in some cases even longer, before you receive your allocation. The length of your stay depends on various conditions and is determined for you by the Arnsberg District Government.

Can I move to another city?

This depends on the status of your asylum procedure.

Is your asylum procedure not yet complete? Then, under strict conditions, there is the possibility for you to move to another city. This is known as "redistribution". The option is available for reuniting a spouse with family or minor children. Cases of hardship may also be considered.

It is essential that you file this "redistribution application" with the Arnsberg District Government and explain your reasons for requesting the move.

You can find more information on this topic here.

Is your asylum procedure complete and you have received your approval? Then you receive what is known as a "residency allocation" from the Arnsberg District Government. You are then obligated to make the assigned city or municipality your permanent place of residence for three years. Under strict conditions, there is the possibility that you can move to another city or municipality; for example, if there is a job or an opportunity for training or study for you in another city. Cases of hardship may also be considered.

If this is the case, please file an "application to repeal or change the residence allocation" with the Arnsberg District Government and explain your reasons for requesting the move.

You can find more information on this topic here.

Will my children attend kindergarten or school?

If you and your family have been assigned to a city or municipality and you have filed an application for asylum with the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, BAMF), your children must attend school. You will receive notification of this obligation from the city to which you were assigned.

Children under the age of six years may attend a daycare facility in that city.

Can I work?

Whether or not you can work depends on the length of your residency and your residence status. As long as you are still residing in a state accommodation facility, you are not permitted to work. However, after you have been assigned to a community and have filed an application for asylum with the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, BAMF), you may be permitted to work after three months have passed. Approved asylum seekers that have received a favourable decision from the BAMF are essentially permitted to work with no restrictions. A refugee is not permitted to undertake self-employment activities. More detailed information about employment for refugees is issued by BAMF or the responsible immigration authority.

Can I rent my own accommodations?

In general, renting your own accommodation is possible only once you have been recognized by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, BAMF) as an asylum seeker.

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