Germany’s migration agency has calculated the number of recently arrived Syrian migrants will double, increasing by half a million, as those granted asylum are allowed to bring over families.
Germany saw a record two million “foreigners” arrive in 2015, up from 1.3 million in 2014. Some 428,000 of them are thought to be Syrian “asylum seekers”.
Germany’s federal office for refugees and immigration (BAMF) has now told the nation to prepare for another 500,000, German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.
BAMF expect each Syrian to bring at least one family member over – although rules allow for them to bring entire families.
The estimation was arrived at by accounting for factors such as age and number of children. Spouses, children, and parents of unaccompanied minors are all expected to arrive.
The migrant crisis, meanwhile, is not expected to stop as new arrivals make their way into Italy and the deal with Turkey looks increasingly unstable. In March of this year, one German think tank estimated that between 1.8 million and 6.4 million migrants would enter Germany in 2016.
A further 72,000 Syrian arrivals registered in the first few months of this year. In May alone, 55,000 people, about 40 per cent from Syria, applied for asylum.
The arrival of family members is likely to be gradual, however. An asylum law that went into effect earlier this year prevents those who have received asylum in Germany from bringing family members for a two-year period. Finding the families in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan or Syrian will not be easy, either.
There are also huge backlogs in the asylum system in Germany. According to BAMF, there are 460,000 asylum requests that still need to be processed, with an estimated 300,000 people in the country who have not yet filed for asylum.
The authorities have also admitted they do not know the whereabouts of 130,000 newly arrived migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, although a previous calculation suggested the number could be as high as 600,000.