Tag Archives: refugee news

EU Asylum Seeker Policies, Country by Country

In the past weeks and months, some EU countries have decided to change the way they accept and process asylum seekers’ applications depending on the person’s nationality and how they reached their destination country. A lot of contradictory information is being shared on social media.

Migreat, the trusted platform for information on immigration, will list (and keep updated) the actual asylum policies for most EU countries and highlight the ones with fair policies towards refugees (as well as pointing out the countries with rules that are not ideal).

We will be updating this article every month [Last update: 25th November 2015]

Germany has re-implemented checks at its border and is now sending back asylum seekers to the first EU country where they were registered. This policy went into affect on October 21st.

During the first week of November, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière declared that refugees arriving on the German border will be deported back to the first European Union country they entered. It means that Germany is now treating asylum seekers’ applications according to the Dublin Agreement. It is a reversal of the policies that were in place beginning at the end of August, 2015.

In addition, refugees from Syria are not being provided protection in accordance with the Geneva Conventions on refugees. The vast majority of Syrian refugees, who traveled through Turkey or other allegedly “safe countries of origin” during their journey, will only receive subsidiary protection. They will receive the right to reside for just one year rather than three years, and they cannot bring their family members to Germany.

The German government is striving to implement this closure, even though an interior ministry spokesman stated that there would be “no turning back at the borders,” only regulated deportations.

Sweden has re-introduced border control checks too. Swedish police are now monitoring trains and ferries arriving from mainland Europe and stopping anyone without valid travel documents.

Anyone seeking to apply for asylum will not be turned back. This measure is implemented to create a more orderly process of arrival for refugees. The intention is to deter those hoping to cross Sweden to reach other Scandinavian countries.

Read more on Swedish reformed asylum seeking process for Syrians – dated: September, 2015.

France has re-introduced border control checks as a result of the Paris Terrorist Attacks of November 13th. The policy of welcoming refugees will not be changed and applicants for refugee status in France are expected to undergo tight security checks.

France will respect its commitment to helping 30,000 asylum seekers over the next several years.

Read more on France recent reform of Asylum Law and Refugee Immigration System.

Austria plans to construct barriers along its border with Slovenia to control the flow of refugees more effectively rather than stop everyone entering the country.

Austria wants to be able to carry out controls on the movement of people and it will not be a razor-wire barrier like the one in Hungary.

Hungary & Slovenia
These countries have begun building a border fence aimed at stopping refugees from both entering and using their countries to transit to more western countries in the EU.


At Migreat, we regret that only Greece, Italy and Hungary are legally being held responsible for the vast majority of migrants due to the refugee seekers first being registered in those countries. Here the five things you can do to help refugees.

Keep up to date with the European Union’s Refugee crisis on Migreat blog by following us.

Sweden offers permanent residency to all Syrian refugees

Following Germany’s announcement to drop EU rules to accepted  more refugees, Sweden announced it will grant permanent residency to all Syrian Refugees and Syrian Asylum seekers.

The decision comes in the light of the non resolution of the conflict in Syria and means that approximately 8,000 Syrians who have temporary residency in Sweden will now be able to stay in the country permanently. With permanent residency rights come the right to bring one’s family to Sweden.

In 2012 and 2013, a total of 14,700 Syrian asylum seekers came to Sweden. Together with Germany, Sweden is the EU country which has accepted the highest number of asylum seekers from the war-torn country. 

Warning: these policies were implemented over the summer 2015 as emergency measures. At Migreat, we do our best to update content and immigration information with the latest news – and give you always the date at which the content has been published or update. Check our page on refugees to get up to date with immigration legislation for refugees in Europe

Germany drops Dublin agreement to allow in Syrian refugees

[This article was published on August 25th 2015 – it is no longer valid as Germany has decided to review its decision on how to handle asylum seekers applications]

While a majority of Western Europeans would be in favour of ending the free movement of people across borders, according to a new IFOP poll, Germany announced yesterday it is dropping EU rules to allow in Syrian refugees.

Dublin agreement

A young boy has boarded a bus with his family. Credit: Phil Le Gal, The new continent.
A young boy has boarded a bus with his family. Credit: Phil Le Gal, The new continent.

Under the Dublin agreement rules, asylum seekers in the EU can only apply for refugee status in the first EU member state they enter, and face deportation if they try to apply in another – some exemptions exists for family members only.

However, Germany decided to stop enforcing this rule for Syrian asylum seekers.

From now on, Syrian refugee applications will be channelled into the regular asylum procedure and will not be given the Dublin questionnaires usually provided to applicants.

A humanitarian or migrant crisis?
Thousands more people crossed the Balkans towards Western Europe on Monday. Countries like Macedonia and Greece are being overwhelmed by the numbers, and lack current capacity to deal with the current flow.

Germany is preparing to welcome 750.000 asylum seeking applications this year. France just reformed its asylum seeking procedures.

Road sign showing the limit of the Calais municipality. Photo credit: Phil Le Gal for The new continent Project
Road sign showing the limit of the Calais municipality. Photo credit: Phil Le Gal for The new continent Project

UK media has been focused to report on the “migrant crisis” in Calais where an approximate 2,000 asylum seekers/undocumented migrants are trying to cross the border illegally.

Since 2014, Britain has accepted 187 refugees under its vulnerable persons relocation scheme. The scheme was set up after the UK declined to participate in the UNHCR resettlement programme for Syria, arguing that “it would be tokenistic given the huge numbers of refugees and that the best approach to the crisis was the provision of humanitarian aid.” This summer David Cameron says Britain will accept ‘a few hundred’ more Syrian refugees from the 4 million displaced by the war.

Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian foreign minister, said yesterday that “This is a humanitarian disaster. (…) The Dublin agreement no longer works” after visiting Macedonia. The Balkans are “overrun and overwhelmed”, he said. “The Dublin system doesn’t only work terribly, it actually doesn’t work at all any more”


Photo credit: Phil Le Gal, The new continent project.


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