German government approves new refugee family reunification rules
The German government has approved legislation allowing refugees with so-called "subsidiary" status to bring their direct relatives to Germany. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet on 9 May voted to resettle an additional 1,000 migrants per month, provided they are the direct relatives of refugees already living in Germany.
Beginning 1 August 2018, the new migrant family reunification law will:
- Expand the right to family reunification to refugees living in Germany with lower-level "subsidiary" protection, a status that falls short of full asylum and doesn't grant indefinite stay.
- Grant an additional 1,000 refugees per month the right to settle in Germany, provided they have relatives with subsidiary status already living in the country.
- Allow only refugees' spouses, unmarried minors and the parents of minors already in Germany qualify for the scheme.
- Give priority to humanitarian cases, such as those affecting young children, the seriously ill or people facing political persecution.
- Carry over unfulfilled quotas from one month to the next, although only for the first five months.
- Under exceptional circumstances, even allow migrants in Germany flagged as potential Islamists to apply for family reunification, provided they can prove to authorities that neither they nor their relatives will pose a threat.