Migrants, who are entitled to protection in Germany, have the possibility to bring their core family to Germany for humanitarian reasons. Since August 2018, beneficiaries of subsidiary protection have also been granted the right to be reunified with their core family in Germany under specific conditions. A maximum of 1,000 family members of persons entitled to subsidiary protection may enter Germany per month.

Family members of a person entitled to protection apply for a visa  for Germany at German embassies and consulates abroad and therefore do not have to take a dangerous, irregular route in order to obtain a decision on their residence status. Since 2016, IOM’s Family Assistance Programme (FAP) has been offering assistance to these vulnerable migrants in various countries with the formalities needed to apply for a visa and to be reunited with a family member with protection status in Germany.

Since language in particular is often a hurdle in bureaucratic procedures, IOM provides counselling to migrants in their mother tongue in ten service centres and via telephone for visa application. There are support centres in Istanbul, Addis Ababa, Beirut, Amman, Cairo, Erbil, Kabul, Nairobi, Khartoum and Berlin. Our local staff is trained to meet the needs of elderly, children, LGBTIQ+ and vulnerable girls and women.

The international FAP team assists migrants in filling out forms for visa application and checks the required documents for their completeness. This process is particularly important, as family members of migrants entitled to protection in Germany often have to wait a long time for an appointment at the embassies. Incomplete or incorrectly filled documents can delay the application process – depending on the case, this can make the situation and the condition of vulnerable relatives in the country of origin worse.  

IOM staff also helps family members to make appointments at embassies, collect biometric data, or perform health checks and DNA-tests to ensure they are close family members in case of doubt. In addition, unaccompanied minors and serious cases of illness are accompanied on their journey to Germany.

The FAP offers a regular migration route for vulnerable migrants and is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

IOM FAP Counselling: 

Email: info.fap.de@iom.int (in Arabic, Dari, Pashto, Tigrinya, Somali, English, German, French).

Phone number: +49302902245500 (Monday to Thursday 10:00 – 16:00).