Germany Issued Only Half of Maximum Quota Family Reunification Visas in 2021 Due to COVID-19

Despite the fact that Germany issued a large number of family reunification visas in 2021 for those who have sought protection in the country, the number still remains below the country’s quota on the number of visas of this nature that may be issued annually.

In line with the current legal system, Germany could have issued half as much of the number of family reunification visas that were granted last year. Nonetheless, due to restrictions, the country did not meet its maximum quantity, reports.

According to the Protestant News Service (epd), Germany has issued a total of 5,934 family reunification visas for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection in 2021. However, in line with its rules, the country could have issued up to 12 thousand visas.

The German Ministry of Foreign Affairs attributes the decrease in the number of visas issued to those seeking protection to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to them, the country’s responsible authorities struggled to operate as the majority of visa centres were closed due to the Coronavirus restrictions.

Moreover, epd reported that of the total number of family reunification visas that were issued in Germany, more than 2,000 were issued for nationals of Syria. In addition, over 1,000 visas were issued in Iraq, and another 800 were issued in the capital of Turkey.

The figures show that nationals of Syria make up for the largest number of persons who benefit from subsidiary protection in Germany. The subsidiary protection in Germany applies to persons who are greatly endangered in their origin country due to wars or other forms of human rights abuses.

Those who are entitled to subsidiary protection receive a German residency permit, which is valid for one year. However, the residency permit can get extended if the situation in the home country of those who requested subsidiary protection does not improve.

Previously, the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the country would allocate €120 million to protect refugees in 2022. Taking into account that Germany is one of the main destinations that refugees aim to reach, the authorities assured that Germany would continue providing support for them.

In 2019, the German authorities reported that around 1.5 million refugees and 309,000 asylum seekers reached the country. Such figures prove that the country received the largest number of refugees in Europe.

Except for issuing family reunification visas and supporting refugees, the data from Eurostat showed that Germany hosted 1.7 million children without citizenship. Other hosting countries were also France (1.1 million) and Spain (0.9 million).

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