34,000 pending applications as family reunification starts up again for refugees with subsidiary status in Germany

Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash


The unification of refugee families in Germany has been one of the most divisive issues of the Merkel government. Following large numbers of migrants and refugees coming to Germany in 2015, the German government decided to not allow refugees with “subsidiary” status, who were not granted full refugee protection, to bring their families over for two years beginning in March 2016. Fast forward two years, the Merkel government continued the suspension to the end of July of this year.

As of the beginning of this month, the suspension has been lifted. But there are still major limits: only 1,000 family members are allowed in per month. Meanwhile, the German government reports there are about 34,000 pending applications. We spoke with Riham Alkoussa, reporter for Reuters in Berlin, about what this means for refugees living in Germany.


KCRW Berlin Visiting Talent Oliver Lazarus is a journalist and former producer at WNYC’s The Takeaway.