May 26, 2024

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Asylum in Germany: Payment card against misuse is coming – News

Asylum in Germany: Payment card against misuse is coming – News

  • The German Bundestag has decided on a nationwide, uniform legal basis for payment cards for refugees and asylum seekers.
  • In future, they will have to borrow part of the state's living expenses, no longer in cash.
  • Among other things, it is intended to prevent migrants from transferring money to smugglers or family and friends abroad.

The German parliament voted in favor on Friday, with a majority of the ruling parties SPD, Greens and FDP, as well as the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD). The opposition CDU/CSU and the Left and one Green MP voted against it.


The state of Bavaria issued its first payment card for asylum seekers at the end of March. Now there is a pan-German legal basis. (03/20/24)

Imago / Sven Simon

“The payment card can be used to pay for goods and services in everyday life, for groceries at the supermarket or to visit the hairdresser or to get a ticket at the machine,” said Interior Minister Nancy Feser (SPD).

“However, taking into account the individual case and local circumstances, the possibility of refund is limited. An important point for us is that transfers and remittances abroad are no longer possible.

Federal states are allowed to decide the details

Chancellor Olaf Scholes (SPD) and the prime ministers of the federal states agreed to introduce the card on 6 November.

The law now says that service authorities can decide on their own how much money cardholders can withdraw within a certain period. It takes into account “individual needs and local circumstances”.

Asylum Seekers in Germany;  Before that payment card


The payment card is intended to prevent migrants from transferring money abroad – either to their families or to smugglers they still owe money to. (Picture: 04/05/24)

Imago / Sven Simon

The Union of Police (GDP) warns against keeping the amount of money given to refugees too low. Refugees are often pressured to cover the medical expenses of their families in their home country or pay traffickers. Victims should not be forced into crime.

The CDU/CSU called for monetary restrictions

The Greens do not see the need for uniform regulation across the country. However, as subcommittee chairman Andreas Audrecht said, they agree with the regulation that has now been decided because it is now guaranteed that no one will be forced out of the community.

CDU MP Detlef Schief explained that the card is not a panacea, but could help ensure fewer asylum seekers travel to Germany within Europe. His party colleague Kai Whittaker condemned the plan as insufficient, as the union demanded no cash payment of €50 per month and no priority for payment cards.

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