Asylum seeker is a person whose asylum application is ongoing.
The term is often used as a synonym for the term refugee but is legally different. An asylum seeker is a person still in the asylum procedure. In terms of immigration law, the term refugee only refers to a specific group of recognised refugees with a residence permit in accordance with Section 25 Paragraphs 1 and 2, Clause 1, Alternative 1 of the Residence Act: These are persons entitled to asylum in accordance with Article 16a of the Basic Law and refugees in accordance with the Geneva Refugee Convention.
The term Asylsuchender is often used as a synonym for Asylbewerber or asylum seekers. But these two terms are also legally distinct. An Asylsuchender is a person who has already announced to officials their wish to seek asylum but has not yet submitted their asylum application. Asylbewerber, however, has already applied for asylum and received a temporary permit. The term Asylbegehrender is not a legal term and is used interchangeably: either as a translation for "asylum seeker" or as a substitute for the other two terms Asylbewerber and Asylbegehrender.