Asylum Seekers' Living Situations
Migration and Inclusion

Asylum Seekers’ Living Situations

Suggestions on how to simplify applicable regulations and processes

In light of increasing numbers of asylum seekers, many people question the efficiency of the regulations and processes that shape the day-to-day lives of people with uncertain residence permit status, on the one hand, and the government agencies in charge of them, on the other.

This is why the Robert Bosch Stiftung, together with Germany’s National Regulatory Control Council, conducted the preliminary study “Lebenslagen von Asylbewerbern – Vorschläge zur Verwaltungs- und Verfahrensvereinfachung” (asylum seekers’ living situations – suggestions on how to simplify applicable regulations and processes). The preliminary study looks at two cities and sheds light on how the federal laws that govern the daily lives of asylum seekers are implemented by the relevant government agencies.
The study primarily looked at the Germany’s social welfare law for asylum seekers (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz – AsylbLG) and the restricted residence requirement.

In the two municipal case studies, significant differences were found in the processes to implement the same federal law. Examples of these differences include, among other things, the way payments were made (bank transfer vs. cash payment), the method of handling the principle of benefits in kind (cash payments vs. vouchers), how benefits granted within the scope of the education and participation package were handled (smart card vs. individual applications), or with regard to issuing a physician’s certificate of medical treatment (quarterly or on a case-by-case basis). Without knowing the exact figures, it can already be estimated that these differences also lead to significant differences in cost.

The draft bill (dated November 7, 2014) to improve the legal standing of asylum seekers and sanctioned foreigners can be viewed on the council’s Web site. The study can be consulted where applicable as part of evaluating the draft bill if the federal government wants to have the law reviewed within five years of becoming effective. According to the council, a review in this context would look at “whether and to what extent the goals of this law have been achieved and how the cost of implementation has changed. Such a review would also report on experiences with both the positive and negative incidental consequences associated with the regulations and the acceptance and feasibility of the regulations among government employees, asylum seekers, and sanctioned foreigners, as well as immigration information centers.”

The study was funded and coordinated by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and closely supported, both conceptually and with regard to the content of the study, by the National Regulatory Control Council. The study was carried out by Rambøll Management Consulting GmbH.


Raphaela Schweiger
Phone: +49 (0)711 46084-678