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Age Problem submitted by Ismail in Legal advice

Hello,
i am an underaged asylum seeker in Germany. when i arrived in Germany, i did not know how old i really was. Estimated, i said that i was about 13 years old. that times i was looking really young (like a 13 year old boy). Now that a year and a half has passed since then, i look much different from appearance; Every body who see me, they do not believe that i am 14 now. Considering all these, i thought i might be older. The problem is i do not have any document to prove that i am older. how can i solve this problem? now i kind of know that i might be 16.

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by Thor (Wefugees)

Hello @Ismail

welcome to our community!

I could imagine that authorities will try to investigate your age during your asylum process since they need a date to put on your documents.

The problem is that there is no standard method to determine the age of someone. In addition it is not a 100% clear which institution is responsible to investigate the age of asylum seekers and some of them (like the youth welfare office) might decide based on self-interest.
Unfortunately there is no precise way to determine someones age anyways - every method can only give a rough estimation. For a 17 year old it might say that s/he is 15 or 20 or anything in between.

As a result the determination of age is quite often an arbitrary act. That's disadvantageous in many cases since underage asylum seekers get more support than grown-ups. That's a bad situation especially for asylum seekers that are on the verge of legal age because they might lose benefits that they are entitled to.

I'm sorry that I can only give you an overview of the topic in general and no specific tip how to handle the situation best. Can you tell us in which city you are living right now? Maybe we can provide contact information of organisations that might help you.
And maybe someone in the community knows more about this topic!

Best regards,
Thorgen

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Thank you for the help @Thor
Amber
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by Jan

Hello @Ismail,

maybe you don't have a real problem. People who are in an adolescence age can hardly be estimated correctly concerning their real age. That's a quite common fact because your body goes through heavy changes. So don't worry, people of your age quite often hear the things you hear about differences between estimated age and appearance. Nobody really cares about these comments, it's a well known saying round here and as far as I can see there is no serious reason for you to feel kind of being currently threatened by legal issues or consequences.

All the best
Jan

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Hope this reassures you @Ismail
Amber
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