Legal advice


Free legal advice is available in connection with the asylum procedure. In the event of certain types of decisions being issued, legal advisers are provided ex officio to assist applicants, for example in filing appeals.

Since 1 January 2021, legal advice has been the responsibility of Federal Agency for Reception and Support Services.

In the admission procedure

A claim to legal advice as part of the admission procedure arises where there is an intention to hold a hearing within 72 hours of the delivery of a notification of plans to reject or dismiss an application for international protection, where this hearing is for the purposes of hearing the parties involved. In these cases, the asylum-seeker will be referred to the legal advice service by the Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum (BFA) before a hearing is held. If the asylum-seeker has made use of this legal advice, a legal adviser must be present at the hearing.

In cases involving unaccompanied minors, the legal adviser acts as the minor's legal representative until the registration procedure is concluded. The legal adviser must be present whenever the minor is questioned, and authorities can be instructed to repeat initial questioning in the presence of the legal adviser.

In the admitted procedure

There is no entitlement to legal advice in the admitted asylum procedure.

However, free legal advice can be provided to foreigners subject to ongoing proceedings within the remit of the BFA, where circumstances allow. This includes assistance in finding an interpreter and advice on their prospects as part of the asylum procedure.

If no legal advice is given, the foreign national concerned must be provided with legal and procedural information free of charge upon request.

Appeal proceedings before the Federal Administrative Court

In all appeal proceedings against decisions by the BFA - with the exception of rulings regarding costs or the submission of files in connection with an appeal on the grounds of omission - legal advice is provided ex officio.

Further links

Legal basis

Certified Translation
Last update: 24 April 2024

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of the Interior