Homosexuality or transgender identity/transsexuality

Person mit Sonnenbrille und rotem Rock schwenkt eine Regenbogenfahne

Persecution on account of a person’s sexual orientation (homosexuality in particular) is recognized as a reason for asylum in Germany. It can be an additional motive or the main reason for asylum.

Persecution on account of a person’s gender identity (transgender identity, for example) can be recognized as a reason for asylum in Germany. To date, there have not been any decisions by the federal administrative court relating to transgender identity/transsexuality, which means no rulings have been made that can act as a guideline for all courts or the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

Seen individually or collectively, the “acts of persecution” must be so serious that they constitute a severe violation of fundamental human rights (further information What is considered to be persecution?).

For recognition, it depends on whether the BAMF, or the courts, believe your statements that you are LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or trans*). This can be difficult in some cases because the administration staff or the court may be prejudiced and have certain preconceptions as to what a homosexual, bisexual or trans person should be or look like.

It is important for you to thoroughly prepare for the personal interview. It will be helpful if you can explain exactly when and how you noticed that you were homosexual or trans, for example.

Furthermore, you should be able to explain in detail what kind of persecution and dangers you were personally exposed to and what could happen to you if you returned. It is not sufficient to say that homosexuals in general are persecuted or homosexuality in general is punishable in your country of origin.

Also report on occasions when you were attacked by other people on account of your sexual orientation or gender identity and the authorities of your country of origin were not able or willing to give you protection from such attacks.

If the BAMF or the court is convinced of your sexual orientation or your gender identity and your individual persecution, you will be granted protection as a refugee. You will then be recognized as a refugee as defined by the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and will be given a residence permit (further information After recognition).

In some cases, only subsidiary protection or a ban on deportation will be given. In this case it may be necessary to review whether legal action to obtain protection as a refugee would be worthwhile.

Here you can find an overview (in German) of how the courts assess the persecution situation of LGBT people in different countries: