Since July 2016, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has assisted in person over 50,000 vulnerable migrants with family reunifications in Germany through its Family Assistance Programme (FAP).
The aim of FAP, which was initiated and funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, is to support family reunification applicants in Iraq, Turkey and Lebanon during the visa application process for Germany, according to IOM press release.
At their offices, IOM helps them to correctly complete the forms and prepare their documents in order to reunite with close family members already granted asylum in Germany.
The FAP project also works to dissuade refugee families from seeking unsafe, irregular migration channels; to support German consular staff; and to help refugees integrate into German society successfully.
Over half a million Syrians and Iraqis have registered for asylum in Germany since 2015 and approximately 355,000 have been granted refugee status, according to the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). Most of them have arrived taking a perilous boat journey and left behind their family members. As per German laws, those granted refugee status qualify for family reunification.
The family reunification process starts with an online appointment to a FAP centre, where IOM staff ensures the completeness of their documents while assisting them in preparing their application. In Lebanon and Turkey, IOM also supports the Consulates by collecting visa applications on their behalf.
For parents waiting with young children, a playroom, with toys, books and colouring pencil sets, provides them with some entertainment. Children are also taught basic German language skills, to prepare them for their new lives before travel.
As well as the 50,000 cases processed by IOM’s FAP office in Lebanon, Turkey and Erbil, the three offices have also provided remote assistance to an estimated 162,000 Syrian and Iraqis at an average of 1,400 per month.
The Family Assistance Programme is part of IOM’s facilitated migration portfolio through which IOM provides tailored operational assistance to states through efficient, cost-effective and non-profit international migration services.
For children waiting with their parents, a playroom with toys, books and colouring pencil sets is available. Children are also taught basic German language skills to prepare them for their new lives before travel.
In addition to the 50,000 cases processed by IOM’s FAP offices in Lebanon, Turkey and Erbil, these offices have provided remote assistance to an estimated 162,000 Syrian and Iraqis at an average of 1,400 requests per month