The hearing: the crucial part of the asylum procedure
This flyer is designed to help you prepare for your hearing on reasons for fleeing.
If you are required to talk about your path of travel, you will have a Dublin-III-hearing. During the Dublin hearing, the BAMF (Federal Office for Migration and Refugees) will decide whether your asylum procedure will be conducted in Germany or another EU country.
The hearings about your path of travel and reasons for fleeing generally take place on two different dates, but they may also take place at the same time.
The hearing is a very important appointment. It is essential that you attend the hearing and prepare well. If you are ill and therefore unable to attend, you must inform the BAMF as soon as possible and submit a medical certificate.
The Federal Office decides whether to grant you protection status in Germany on the basis of your statement. If you fail to attend the hearing and do not provide a reason, the asylum procedure may be terminated.
If the BAMF decides in your favour, the following protection status may be granted:
Asyl (asylum): If you have been pursued due to an individual feature and travelled directly to Germany.
GFK Flüchtlingseigenschaft (refugee status): If you have been pursued due to an individual feature.
Subsidiären Schutz (subsidiary protection): If you are at risk of serious harm, e.g. due to civil war.
Abschiebungsverbot (deportation ban): If there is a specific threat to your life, physical condition or freedom.
Situation of the hearing and preparation
Who will be there?
The hearing will take place in a BAMF office.
A BAMF employee will conduct your hearing. If you are a minor or are the victim of trauma, you should inform the BAMF in advance. You have the right to request an employee who is specially trained to deal with your type of situation. If you have been persecuted because of your gender, you can request a person of the same gender to conduct the hearing (the same applies for the interpreter).
You can bring someone with you to support you during the hearing. The person should not be an asylum seeker and must bring a form of identification with them. You should inform the BAMF in advance about your escort. You can also bring a lawyer with you to the hearing. If you are under 18, you must be accompanied by your guardian.
An interpreter will be present. The interpreter will translate exactly what you say. If you do not fully understand the interpreter or feel that they are not translating correctly, you must voice your concerns. The problem must be included in the records. If the communication is very poor, you should insist on a different interpreter. It may be that the hearing will be postponed.
How will the hearing be documented?
Bring all of your own documents which provide evidence of the most important events (e.g. letters, official correspondence, deeds, certificates, photos). It’s best to translate the texts in advance and print out photos. You can also submit videos and photos on a memory stick or show them on your phone.
A record of your statement will be made during the hearing.
This protocol is very important, as it forms the basis of your protection status decision.
The record will be in German. At the end of the hearing, you will be asked if you would like a copy of the record in your own language. You should definitely accept this offer. Use this opportunity to check that everything was written down in the way you intended. Add any details you forgot to mention and correct mistakes. It is very difficult to make corrections at a later date. Finally, you will be asked to sign the record. Request for a copy of the record to be sent to you in the post before the decision.
The hearing begins with some brief questions about yourself, such as your religion, education, occupation and last address in your country of origin, as well as, for example, the dates of your departure from your country of origin and your entry into Germany. All you need to do is answer these questions in a concise way.
Why did you leave your country of origin and come to Germany?
You will then be asked why you left your country of origin and came to Germany. The answer to this question is crucial for you. You must ensure that you tell them everything about , why you left your home and why you were unable to find shelter anywhere else in the country. This is about you as a person, your personal story and your individual reasons.
Describe what the situation was like for you. Describe whether and why you were at risk and whether you would still be at risk if you returned. This may also involve an illness which cannot be treated properly.
Try to tell your story chronologically, with all important events in the order they happened. Be as specific: as you can: what exactly happened to you and when, where, by whom and why did it happen? Provide plenty of detail. The BAMF employee will be able to understand your story better if you provide more details. Also mention what you consider to be everyday circumstances and remember that the BAMF employee has not experienced the situation in your country of origin. You can also tell them how you felt in specific situations.
Ensure that your narrative does not contain any contradictions.
If you can’t remember all of the details, let them know. In such cases you should, for example, approximate the dates as closely as possible. You can use your own country’s calendar when providing dates. You may have trouble talking about certain negative experiences, but try to discuss them as much as you can. The BAMF employee may ask you questions while you are giving your statement. You should also answer these in detail. If you do not understand a question, ask before responding.
Prepare yourself mentally for this challenge. Take as much time as you need during the hearing. If you need a break, say so.
After the hearing
The BAMF will send you the decision on your application by mail. Make sure that the BAMF has your correct address and check your mail every day.
If the BAMF rejects your application or you are not granted the protection status you believe you are entitled to, you can appeal the decision before the Administrative Court. Please note the deadline mentioned in your decision (1 or 2 weeks). Seek legal advice without delay.
Beratungsstelle in Rahlstedt (advice centre in Rahlstedt)
Monday 1 pm – 5 pm, Saselerstraße 21, 22145 Hamburg (Bürgerhaus in Meiendorf), 10-minute walk from the ZEA.
Refugee Law Clinic
Free legal advice on the Dublin process, family reunions, preparation for the asylum hearing as well as for women, girl and LGBTI refugees, www.rlc-hh.de
Consultation by video chat: Friday 3 pm – 6 pm, register until Thursday 8 pm by mail: email@example.com (if a translator is needed, please state so); link for the video chat will be received via mail.
ÖRA (public legal information)
Dammtorstraße 14, please make an appointment: +49 40 428433072 (Monday to Friday 8 am – 2 pm), www.hamburg.de/oera/
Hammer Straße 10, +49 40 2368216, Monday and Tuesday: 8 am – 2 pm, Thursday: 3:30 pm – 6 pm Friday (women only): 9 am – 1 pm, closed on Wednesday, http://cafe-exil.antira.info/
Fluchtpunkt Luthergemeinde Bahrenfeld
Eifflerstraße 3, firstname.lastname@example.org, consultation by phone: +49 40 43250080 (Monday 9:30 am – 1 pm, Wednesday 10 am – 2 pm), consultation in person (tested, vaccinated or recovered and wearing a medical mask): Wednesday 10 am – 2 pm, www.fluchtpunkt-hh.de
Adenauerallee 10, please make an appointment: email@example.com, +49 40 2840790 (Monday and Friday: 9 am – 1 pm and 2 pm – 4 pm, Tuesday and Thursday: 9 am – 1 pm and 2 pm – 5 pm, Wednesday: 2 pm – 5 pm), www.fz-hh.de
Last updated: 12.01.2022