Would I be granted asylum as an LGBTIQ individual?

You may be eligible for asylum or refugee protection if you are persecuted in your home country because of your sexual orientation or sexual identity and your life is in danger, or in case you fear imprisonment or inhuman treatment due to your sexual orientation/identity. The persecution, however, must be quite severe, i.e. insults and alike are not considered to be sufficient ground for asylum. At your hearing at the BAMF, you have to prove that you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex and that you are actually at risk in your home country. The BAMF will consider the situation of the LGBTTIQ community in your country before making a decision, i.e. your chances of being recognised as an asylum-seeker or refugee depend on the general situation in your home country for the LGBTTIQ community as well as your personal persecution history. It is reasonable to seek advice from a lawyer or counselling centre specialising in the LGBTTIQ issues in advance. Visit the website of queer-refugees.de for a first contact point. You can learn more about the hearing session in our chapter "Asylum procedure".

Please note: During the hearing, the BAMF staff member may ask very personal questions about your sexual orientation/identity as well as your sex life. But you may choose to be interviewed by a woman or a man. Plus, there are specially trained BAMF staff members who conduct the hearing for LGBTTIQ refugees. Inform the BAMF about your preferences when you hand in your asylum application.

Where can I seek help during my asylum procedure?

You can always contact an LGBTTIQ counselling centre for assistance. On the website of queer-refugees.de and the VLSP, you can search for counselling centres in your area.

If you have problems with your roommates or staff in your accommodation centre, do not hesitate to contact the social workers in the centre or the manager and ask for help. It is your right to be able to live your life in an accommodation centre without fearing harassment. If the social worker or the management does not help you (or in case they are part of the problem), contact a counselling centre in your area- you can find one on the website of queer-refugees.de or the VLSP. Some major cities have special refugee shelters for LGBTTIQ refugees. Ask a counselling centre nearby to learn if there is such an accommodation centre in your area.

I face discrimination in my community - can I relocate despite the residence restriction ("Wohnsitzauflage")?

I am an asylum seeker: At the beginning of the asylum procedure, each asylum seeker is assigned to a specific municipality/city. As long as you receive asylum seekers' benefits from the Social Welfare Office, you must, in principle, stay in the town to which you have been assigned. This regulation is called the "residence restriction" ("Wohnsitzauflage"). Moving to another community or city while being under a "residence restriction" is only possible under particular conditions. You can relocate to another city, if, for instance, your spouse or underage child lives there or in case the hostility towards you is so massive in your community that it is not reasonable to remain there. Such cases are known as "hardship cases" ("Härtefall"). If you think your reason for relocation fits the criteria, you can submit a so-called "redistribution application" ("Umverteilungsantrag") to the Immigration Office responsible for you and specify concrete and detailed reasons why you cannot live in the place to which you are assigned. LGBTTIQ counselling centres can help you with the application. You can find one nearby on the website of queer-refugees.de and the VLSP.

I have a tolerated stay permit ("Duldung"): The rules which apply to you are the same as asylum seekers.

I have a residence permit: In the first three years after your recognition as a refugee or individual entitled to asylum, you must, in principle, remain in the city or community you were assigned to during your asylum procedure as long as you receive benefits from the Job Center or Social Welfare Office.  This regulation is called the "residence restriction" ("Wohnsitzauflage"). Moving to another community or city while having "residence restrictions" is only possible under particular conditions. You can relocate inside Germany, if, for instance, you start a job with a social security contribution with a minimum monthly income of € 710 net or start university or enrol in a vocational training programme. Same is the case if your spouse or underage child lives in the place where you want to relocate. Facing extreme hostility at your place of residence is also a legitimate reason to request relocation. These cases are categorised as "hardship cases"("Härtefall"). If you think your reason for relocation fits the criteria, you can submit a so-called "redistribution application" ("Umverteilungsantrag") to the Immigration Office responsible for you and specify concrete and detailed reasons why you cannot live in the place to which you are assigned. LGBTIQ counselling centres can help you with the application. You can find one nearby on the website of queer-refugees.de and the VLSP.