German foreign offices are resuming procedures for family reunifications for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection as the temporary suspension comes to an end on March 16, 2018. Parliamentary groups move to extend the status-quo in spite of the fact that, according to recent calculations, the number of expected beneficiaries of entry visa for family reunification remain low.

As preparations to end the suspension begin, legislative proposals have been put forward by different parliamentary groups (Die Linke, FDP, CDU/ CSU, AFD) to replace the highly criticized suspension of family reunification for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection. While the left party, Die Linke argues in favor of a return to unlimited family reunification in view of constitutional, humanitarian and integration concerns, the conservative bloc put forward a bill in line with the result of the bloc’s exploratory talks with the Social Democrats, suggesting an extension of suspension till the end of July 2018 in order to draft a proposal that introduces an upper monthly limit as well as a tightening of the present ‘hardship regulation’. The communicated consensus of the ‘alliance’ however, closely reflects the conservative blocs’ ‘set of rules on migration’, a guiding paper for the bloc’s direction on the topic. At the same time the concrete legislative proposal put forward by the conservative bloc is criticized for taking the direction of the far-right AFD, aiming for an unlimited suspension.

Implemented at the beginning of 2016 for two years, the suspension was designed as a “temporal delay of the possibility of reunification” in view of the increase in asylum applications and “to safeguard the integration of those people who are moving to Germany,” by the then governing coalition of Social Democrats (SPD) and the conservative bloc (CDU & CSU). Recent statistics for 2017 from the Federal Government point in the direction of a substantial general degrease in numbers of asylum applicants. The IAB (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung) estimates, that the total number of potential beneficiaries of entry visa for family reunification by relatives of beneficiaries of subsidiary protection after March 2018 at a modest 60,000, this seems to question the need of prolonging the suspension.



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Photo: (cc) Lily, September 2007

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