After two years of Taliban rule: worldwide refugees from Afghanistan

5.7 million refugees and asylum seekers from Afghanistan were living outside their homeland at the end of 2022, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR. People from Afghanistan thus form the third largest refugee group in the world—after refugees from Syria and Ukraine. About 286,000 Afghan refugees and asylum seekers live in Germany. This makes Germany the third largest host country. Around 90 percent of Afghan refugees are in the two neighboring countries of Iran (around 3.4 million) and Pakistan (around 1.7 million). Two years after the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, the Integration media service compiled the most important figures on flight from Afghanistan. However, it is unknown how many people have fled since the takeover.
For more than 30 years, people have been coming to Germany from Afghanistan due to constant armed conflicts. According to German sources, about 420,000 people with a history of immigration from Afghanistan live in Germany, of whom about 377,000 are non-German citizens. As of Dec. 31, 2022, about 286,000 people seeking protection from Afghanistan were living in Germany. About 211,000 of them are recognized refugees. Most of them have a so-called ban on deportation because there is “concrete danger to life, limb or freedom” in their country of origin. They receive a residence permit for one year, which can be extended indefinitely. Only in exceptional cases are they allowed to bring their spouses or children to Germany. People from Afghanistan form the second largest group of refugees in Germany after those from Syria. Around a third of them are minors. Many Afghan asylum seekers have had to go to court to assert their right to protection. Courts ruled in favor of the claimants in 95 percent of cases in 2022. The cases were about whether people would receive protection or whether they could improve their protection status. Deportations to Afghanistan have been suspended since August 2021. About 24,000 Afghans in Germany are considered “obliged to leave the country.” This means they have been asked to leave the country.


Eine Landschaft in Afghanistan. Foto: Maryam Momand.


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