From Greece to Germany as a Syrian refugee?

From Greece to Germany: This is a desperate request. A young student wants to help a Syrian refugee he met on Facebook who currently is in Greece. What are their options?

Frage:

Hello all,

since I don’t know who else to ask, I need your advice please.

Some time ago I met a gay Syrian refugee on Facebook, who has lost his family, his former boyfriend, and his homeland. We have been in contact for some time, though he has never asked me for money or effusively courted me as one would expect from typical internet scams (Nigeria Connection, romance scams, or the like).

Currently he is in Greece and is lonely. We spoke on the phone yesterday and he was very desperate. He really begged me to help him, that I should not leave him alone. He also asked me to come to him to Athens. From there he wanted to take a plane to Germany with my help. He said that he could board a plane with my company.

It was very difficult to comfort him, because he was very upset and cried a lot on the phone. You could clearly hear him sobbing. While he was crying so bitterly, he said several times in a desperate voice that he had lost his home and family. At one point he even said that he should be dead after all. A dramatic conversation that still sticks in my limbs.

However, I explained to him that as a student I could hardly afford a spontaneous trip to Greece. Besides, I don’t know him so well that I would travel head over heels to Greece. So, he offered to borrow money from a friend (probably also a refugee) to pay for my trip to Athens. He could not travel to Germany himself by plane because he would not get a visa. There is also no one in Germany to whom he could ‚follow‘.

I believe his story and was very touched by our last phone call, and I would like to help him in his desperation and not leave him alone. Apparently, I am his only reference person. Since I come from Germany, he probably also puts some hopes in me as far as help is concerned, which I probably cannot fulfill. Whether he really has feelings for me, I do not know.

Probably it is more his desperation that guides him.

If I don’t fly to Athens or can’t help him in some other way, I know he will cry again and be in despair. I have been able to comfort him in the short term with the statement that he is safe in Greece for the time being and that the rest will soon fall into place. But in the long run he wishes to come to Germany. Whether it is because of me or whether there are other reasons behind it – I don’t know.

As a Syrian, he probably also has quite good prospects of getting asylum in Germany. But neither he nor I know how he can get to Germany.

I would like to help him. If only because I don’t want to leave him alone in his desperation.

Since I don’t know who else I could ask, I would like to ask you: Do you have any idea what I can do? Do you know a contact who could help me?

Answer:

Dear reader,

unfortunately, we cannot help you and especially the Syrian refugee in Athens. There is no legal way for Syrian refugees in Greece to enter Germany (apart from the one mentioned below). He has no family here, no German education or working contract, etc. Therefore he has no right to stay in Germany based on national or international law.

If he sees a possibility – by whatever means – to come to Germany, he can apply for asylum here. This is likely to be granted. If he is already registered in Greece (with his fingerprints) or has filed an asylum application, he does not have to expect to be deported back to Greece (in case of a possible negative asylum decision in Germany).

Sorry that we can’t help more there. Just try to stay in touch with him on a regular basis and try to build him up emotionally. At least he is safer in Greece than in Syria….

This article was first published in German .

Slight possibility

P.S.: There might be a possibility for him to come to Germany in case he has got the status of a recognized refugee in Greece meanwhile and holds a passport for refugees. Then he is allowed to travel within the Schengen countries and stay for 90 days in Germany.
He could apply for asylum in Germany. Following a court judgement of Oberverwaltungsgericht Düsseldorf from 26.1.2021 he cannot be sent back to Greece and his asylum case in Germany is permitted. Usually according to the Dublin Agreement the asylum case has to be decided in the country of first entry in the EU. The court ruled that it is a violation of human rights to send refugees back to Greece as the situation there is intolerable for refugees (no accommodation, work, medical treatment).
Andere Kulturen und Menschen haben Angelika schon immer interessiert. Sie ist viel gereist und hat im Ausland gelebt. Als Rechtsanwältin ist sie auf Asyl- und Ausländerrecht spezialisiert. 2017 hat sie das Flüchtling-Magazin mit gegründet und ist seitdem für die Finanzierung und alle rechtlichen Aspekte zuständig. Bei kohero beantwortet sie die rechtlichen Fragen aus unserer Community. „kohero ist ein großartiges Medium für Geflüchtete und für Deutsche, um sich besser kennen zu lernen und die jeweils andere Kultur zu verstehen.“
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Andere Kulturen und Menschen haben Angelika schon immer interessiert. Sie ist viel gereist und hat im Ausland gelebt. Als Rechtsanwältin ist sie auf Asyl- und Ausländerrecht spezialisiert. 2017 hat sie das Flüchtling-Magazin mit gegründet und ist seitdem für die Finanzierung und alle rechtlichen Aspekte zuständig. Bei kohero beantwortet sie die rechtlichen Fragen aus unserer Community. „kohero ist ein großartiges Medium für Geflüchtete und für Deutsche, um sich besser kennen zu lernen und die jeweils andere Kultur zu verstehen.“

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