Standardised recording of refugees' data

Refugee identity card to be introduced Standardised recording of refugees' data

In future asylum-seekers are to be issued with a standardised refugee identity card. The Bundesrat, the second chamber of the German parliament, has now passed the relevant legislation. This identity card, officially known as the "arrival ID", will ensure that essential details are recorded in a standardised manner.

The personal data of a man are recorded at an initial reception station for refugees.

In future asylum-seekers' data is ideally to be recorded at the point of first contact

Photo: picture-alliance/dpa/Jens Büttner

The Data Sharing Improvement Law will make it easier to register and identify asylum-seekers and others seeking protection. The legislation also aims to make it possible to register new arrivals more swiftly.

Information about qualifications

The new law also regulates the standardised recording of relevant information about individuals requesting asylum. As well as basic information like name, and date and place of birth, these will include, for instance, information about accompanying children and young people.

Health checks and vaccinations too will be recorded, as will data needed to ensure swift integration and placement in employment. This will include details of schooling, vocational training and other qualifications. This information will be made available to all public authorities that have regular contact with individuals seeking protection.

Swift recording of data, in a centralised system

The information is to be recorded at as early a stage as possible, i.e. not only once a request for asylum has been submitted, but as of the first contact of asylum-seekers and those seeking protection with German authorities. "In future all public authorities will enter standardised data into a central system when an asylum-seeker first contacts a German authority," explained Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière.

Preventing double registrations

The refugee identity card will also prevent individuals being registered more than once. Offices that have not hitherto had access to a system to enable them to compare finger prints rapidly, a system known as the fast ID, will be fitted out accordingly. The fast ID system allows all registering offices to ascertain immediately whether or not an individual has already been registered.

Paper-based document

The refugee identity card will be a paper document. It will be issued by the reception facility or branch office of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees responsible for the asylum-seeker.

After the Cabinet dealt with the matter on 9 December 2015, Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière and Frank-Jürgen Weise, Head of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, presented the arrival ID as it is officially known. "This law brings control and order to the asylum procedure," said Thomas de Maizière. "It will end abuse and improve the situation in this area in general."

No asylum proceedings without an identity card

"Without this identity card there will be no asylum-seeker benefits and no asylum proceedings," pledged Thomas de Maizière. "All in all, it is a very ambitious project – also in technical terms," stressed the Federal Interior Minister. He announced the swift implementation of the law. "As of mid-February we want the new procedure to begin." It is to be fully implemented by mid-2016.