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Fewer migrants entitled to join family in Germany: study

Fewer migrants entitled to join family in Germany: study
From Reuters - October 19, 2017

BERLIN (Reuters) - The number of foreigners who qualify to join loved ones granted asylum in Germany is much smaller than government estimates, a study showed on Thursday, potentially removing an obstacle in

coalition talks.

Family reunification is one of the most contentious issues in exploratory talks between Chancellor Angela Merkels conservatives and the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) with the Greens, who back a more liberal immigration approach.

All the parties are eager to show the public they are taking measures to prevent a repeat of 2015 when Merkels decision to welcome people fleeing wars and persecution led to the largest influx of asylum seekers in the post-war years.

But a conservative plan to suspend the right to family reunions for asylum seekers with only subsidiary protection from March 2018 could be unacceptable to the Greens, who say that would hamper integration.

Those given subsidiary protection are given one year visas that can be renewed, because it is deemed their home country is not safe, but do not have full refugee status that would give them the right to stay.

The study by the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) found that by the end of this year 150,000 to 180,000 spouses and children of individuals granted either full refugee status or subsidiary protection would qualify to come to Germany.

This is far lower than an estimate by Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere who has said that for every refugee, one person living abroad is entitled to come to Germany.

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