Protection as a refugee

If you are politically persecuted by the government, a non-government organization, or by a group or private citizens in your country of origin, there is the possibility of protection as a refugee in Germany.

Persecution is political if it is directed at one of the characteristics contained in the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (“Refugee Convention”): at the political opinion, nationality, “race”, religion or a membership in a certain social group. This also includes persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity – which means because you are lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or trans* (LGBT).

Persecution by the government on the basis of your sexual orientation is usually a question of your homosexuality being persecuted by laws that could lead to a prison sentence. It is also important that such laws are applied. Should private citizens persecute you on account of your sexual orientation, it is a question of whether government authorities provide you with protection (further information here).

In order to be granted refugee status under the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, you will have to file an asylum application.

You can also obtain protection as a refugee if you travelled to Germany through what is referred to as a secure third country.

If you come from what is known as a secure country of origin (EU countries, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ghana, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Senegal, Serbia), the German authorities will assume that you are not actually persecuted. In such cases, you will have to prove that you are indeed persecuted.