Applicant (Afghanistan) v Federal Office for Migration and Refugees
DE: The Regional Administrative Court ruled that COVID-19-related suspension of deportation orders by the BAMF does not interrupt the transfer period
The applicant is an Afghan national who applied for asylum in Germany on 4 October 2019. At his hearing before the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, he stated that he had unsuccessfully applied for asylum in Greece in December 2018. On 28 November 2019, Greece stated that it was ready to take back the applicant and stated that the application had been rejected on 25 February 2019 and that the appeal proceedings were still pending. The Federal Office rejected the asylum application as inadmissible, determined that there were no deportation bans, ordered deportation to Greece and ordered an entry and residence ban of 15 months from the date of deportation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on 6 April 2020, the Federal Office suspended the execution of the deportation order. On 20 August 2020, the Federal Office revoked the suspension. The applicant argued that the transfer time limit had expired.
With the consent of the parties, the court made a decision without an oral hearing. It held that according to Article 29 (2) Dublin III Regulation, responsibility is transferred to the requesting Member State if the transfer is not carried out at the latest within six months after acceptance or the final decision on an appeal with suspensive effect. The course of the transfer period does not depend on whether the transfer would actually be possible. According to Article 29(2) Dublin III Regulation, the transfer period can "exceptionally" be extended because of actual Impossibility of transfer, namely in the event of imprisonment or absconding.
In this case, the court noted that the suspension of the execution of the deportation order served only to prevent the expiry of the transfer period and not to enable effective legal protection. The suspension of execution was not intended for the duration of the appeal proceedings, but only for the duration of the corona-related obstacle. In the justification for the suspension decision, it is clear that only a temporary suspension is intended until the corona-related obstacles no longer exist. The court further observed that the Federal Office assumed that a transfer would actually not be carried out because of existing entry bans.
Thus, it declared the suspension illegal and annulled the inadmissibility decision.
Afghanistan; COVID-19/Emergency measures; Dublin procedure;
Germany, Regional Administrative Court [Verwaltungsgerichte], Applicant (Afghanistan) v Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, 3 A 1865/19 HGW, 28 August 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EASO Case Law Database.