Where to seek help

Government institutions

The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) is the main public authority deciding on all asylum applications in Germany. It offers a wide range of information on its English website

The BAMF has a number regional offices.

The Federal Foreign Office has an English-speaking help desk.

The Berlin Senate Administration offers general information for Refugees in Berlin, valid in part for other parts of Germany, too.

Non-governmental organizations

The Network for Information on Asylum and Migration (Informationsverbund Asyl und Migration) provides a comprehensive database of legal advice centres in Germany. It is a charitable association of German welfare organisations and leading NGOs in the field of asylum and migration policy and an important partner of UNHCR.

Information on family reunification can be found on the website of Informationsverbund Asyl und Migration (in German).

A number of German lawyers specializing in asylum law form The Conference of Legal Advisors. They cooperate closely with UNHCR and three of the most important German welfare organisations Deutscher Caritasverband (DCV), Deutsches Rotes Kreuz (DRK) and Diakonie Deutschland – Evangelischer Bundesverband).

The Refugee Councils of the German federal states are independent representations of refugee organisations, support groups and initiatives for solidarity in the German federal states. Please choose one state from the map to get to the respective refugee council and its list of counselling services.


Practical information, learning German, working in Germany etc.

Handbook Germany provides practical information on a range of different issues such as waste separation or nursing homes.

Wefugees offers a platform where you can post questions regarding life in Germany and get quick replies.