Granted, refugees, whose asylum applications are still being processed, may be able to work after just three months with permission from the Foreigners Registration Office. But in practice, it’s a little more complicated, since refugees have secondary access to the job market. Or in other words, the Federal Employment Agency must first check to see whether there are equally well-qualified individuals from the EU member states for a specific job. This rule is meant to grant German and EU citizens preference in the job market.
At German reception centres, young, single asylum seekers receive 216 euro a month in the form of having their basic needs met, such as housing, clothing, and food. For metro passes, mobile phone subscriptions, or visits to the theatre, they receive pocket money to the tune of 143 Euro. If, after three months, they leave the reception centres, they receive monthly access to 359 euro. In short, 40 euro less than German welfare recipients. This aside, refugees have no claim to social benefits such as unemployment allowances or housing subsidies.
Only a third of the refugees that reach Europe come to Germany. According to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), there were roughly 476,000 asylum seekers in 2015. Germany, in this way, has the most asylum applicants in Europe, but if you place the refugees in relation to the country’s entire population, Germany falls to 6th place. Interesting to note: In total, 80 per cent of refugees from the Middle East stay in regions near their homes – Turkey, Pakistan, and Lebanon, to be more exact.