Home / News / Minister Seehofer: We Will Strip of ‘Refugee Status’ Syrians Holidaying in Syria


Horst SeehoferRefugee status holders in Germany traveling to their home countries for holidays, may soon be deprived of their status and deported to their homeland.

The German Interior Minister and Bavarian Centre-right leader Horst Seehofer has threatened to strip of their status, Syrian refugees traveling to Syria for holidaying.

If somebody, a Syrian refugee, regularly takes holidays in Syria, he cannot honestly claim to be persecuted in Syria,” Seehofer said.

We would have to strip him of his refugee status… If the situation permits, we will carry out repatriations,” he added.

The organization of Germany’s Protestant churches, Diakonie, harshly criticized Minister Seehofer’s statements, asserting there have been only a few cases of Syrians going home, and that because of emergencies, as to see dying parents or to prevent the eviction of their property.

Syrian Refugees in Germany Illegally Traveling to Syria and Back

The German law on refugees does not permit this group of people residing in Germany to travel back to their country, under the belief that it is unsafe to return. Refugees are granted with protection under the same presumption. Yet, family emergencies such as the illness or death of a close relative can be an exception from the rule.

According to a Bild correspondent who is a refugee from Syria living in Germany himself, many Syrians are cheating on the system to travel to Syria. In an undercover investigative reporting, he visited agencies arranging trips to Syria who told him that refuges take direct flights to Lebanon and Turkey, and then cross into Syria by bus.

You only need to have a Syrian passport or collect a ‘return certificate’ at a Syrian embassy, we’ll take care of the rest,” one travel agent told the Bild correspondent.

On the way back, the refugees reach a third country where they use their Syrian IDs and then their German asylum papers once in the EU.