Study visit to Amman: a closer look to Germany's selection mission in the field

Nine States take a closer look at two key actors, UNHCR and IOM, and how their work at one of the key resettlement hubs for EU-MS

Following a study visit to the Swiss selection mission in Amman, Jordan, in November 2017, EU-FRANK organized a study visit to the German selection mission in Amman on 14 and 15 August 2019. The EU-FRANK project together with Germany invited colleagues from EU member states and beyond to learn about the German resettlement programme, the German selection process and the role of partners like the UNHCR and IOM in Amman.

The participants from 9 different States were received on the first day by the UNHCR at their Amman Branch Office where the German selection interviews were taking place. In a tour around the UNHCR premises the participants learned about the refined logistical organization of the location where up to 5000 refugees can be received on a daily basis for different purposes, such as registration, interviews, counselling or assistance. The Amman Branch Office also offers interview rooms to states for their resettlement process as it had for the German mission.

After a tour around the premises, the UNHCR gave a presentation about the refugee population in Jordan, their services for refugees (such as protection, health care, registration, cash assistance and durable solutions) and resettlement from Jordan. The presentation was followed by an extensive insight into the German resettlement programme and the German selection process, given by representatives of the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), co-hosts of this study visit.

On the second day, IOM Jordan welcomed the group and provided tours of IOM’s main building as well as the Migration Health Division (MHD) building. In the first one, the participants visited interview rooms, the refugee waiting area, childcare rooms and rooms for cultural orientation classrooms. Participants learned about the resettlement support provided by IOM operations, including cultural orientation, and discussed best practices in communicating with refugee applicants together with IOM staff working with the United States Refugee Admissions Program. At IOM’s medical facility, an IOM doctor walked the participants through the medical assessments and vaccination processes that IOM carries out on request of resettlement states. The Migration Health Division shares the building with the Family Assistance Programme (FAP), a help desk that provides assistance with family reunification applications for Germany. Exceptionally, the German resettlement programme also makes use of the FAP for resettlement visa applications. The FAP prepares the application by helping the applicants collect all necessary documents, filling in all requested information, and submitting the application form to the German embassy where decisions on the applications are made.

The group further visited the UNHCR Nuzha Community Center in Amman where they were received by the center’s manager and her team of volunteers from Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen. Information was given about the activities of the center, which tries to bring the Jordan and refugee communities together by offering shared activities. The group was given a tour to learn about the facilities and had an opportunity to talk to refugees (selected by the UK to be resettled) about their expectations on life after resettlement (in the UK).

UNHCR Amman

By Tim Sparla, with collaboration of Leila Nielsen as well as key individuals from BamF, IOM and UNHCR.

Published: 2019-09-11

Author: Gabriela Prado

Last modified: 2019-09-11