Refugees wait to get registered in Berlin | The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images
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Of 8,363 Indians living abroad illegally, 8,000 have sought asylum in Germany because its lenient refugee laws make it an attractive destination.

New Delhi: Germany seems to be the most favoured destination among Indian asylum seekers.

As of 16 July, 2018, 8,000 out of 8,363 Indians have sought asylum in Germany, according to data available with the ministry of external affairs.

MoS external affairs Gen. V.K. Singh (retd) has said in Lok Sabha that at least 8,363 Indian nationals are living illegally in foreign countries and have sought asylum there.

Of these, 8,000 are in Germany, but not in jail; 359 in the US and in detention, two in Denmark and in jail, two in Brazil and in jail, one in Finland, but not in jail, he said in Parliament Wednesday.

Singh was responding to a question by Lok Sabha MP Dibyendu Adhikari who sought to know whether thousands of Indian asylum seekers were branded as illegal migrants and kept in jails in different countries.

The minister said in his written reply that due to data protection and privacy laws by other countries, accurate figures on the number of asylum applications and actual number of people granted asylum and Indians in jails were not available.

Why Germany

It is not the first time that Indians in such large numbers are seeking asylum in Germany. Between 2012 and 2015, Germany was the preferred destination for nearly 1,100 Indians.

Compared to other European Union countries, Germany has relatively lenient laws when it comes to migrants and asylum seekers. According to media reports, during the Syrian refugee crisis in 2015, Germany had quietly stopped enforcing the ‘Dublin Regulation’ — a norm that puts restrictions on movement of the migrants by confining them to EU member countries on which they land first.

The Asylum Act and the Residence Act are the two most important immigration laws in Germany that provide rules for the admission and handling of refugee claims.

Upon their arrival, refugees are generally housed in reception facilities, which provide them with essential items like food, housing, heat, clothing, healthcare, and household items in kind or in the form of vouchers. Those who are housed outside of reception facilities receive cash allowances to purchase essential items.

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