Berlin - Asylum seekers in Germany currently have to wait even longer for a decision on their petition thanks to corona.

Last year, applicants waited an average 8.3 months for a decision, according to a reply from the German interior ministry to an inquiry by parliamentarian Ulla Jelpke (Die Linke). The inquiry was reported by the Neuer Osnabrücker Zeitung.

The wait is disappointing because the current German government stipulated in its coalition agreement to shorten asylum application times. And Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed with the heads of Germany's 16 states during the height of the refugee crisis in September 2015 to limit the process to three months. 

But in 2019 it took an average 6.1 months - only in 2017 was the procedure even longer - 10.7 months. Sometimes asylum applicants now never receive a response. The corona virus is to blame, the paper reported.

Court cases take even longer

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) had promised that procedures would be completed as quickly as possible in so-called anchor centres. But there, according to the report, the process takes an even longer average of 8.4 months.

Asylum-related court cases have also taken significantly longer since the start of the corona pandemic. In 2019, the courts needed 17.6 months for legal disputes and, in the first year of the pandemic, 24.1 months, half a year longer.