Unaccompanied, underage refugees will be taken into custody by the Youth Welfare Office upon their arrival in Germany, which means the Youth Welfare Office provides you with initial accommodation and oversees all official procedures related to you. In the first step, a so-called clearing procedure ("Clearing-Verfahren") is carried out. If you do not have any ID or paper, your age will be determined through an age-assessment process, which is usually conducted based on a medical evaluation by an expert. You can learn more on fluechtlingsrat-bremen.de. If your age is estimated to be above the legal age (i.e. 18 years), you will be referred to the relevant Initial Reception Centre for adult refugees. You can learn more in our chapter “Registration as an asylum seeker.” However, if (according to your documents or as a result of the age assessment process) it is established that you are still a minor, the authorities will check if you have any relatives in Germany or Europe with whom you can and are willing to live. If this is not the case and you are under 18 years old, you will be referred to the Youth Welfare Office responsible for you, which may be located in the city of your initial arrival or another town in Germany. The staff there will provide you accommodation - either with a foster family or in a superintended housing facility for children and young people - and take care of your other needs (school, education, residence status, and alike).
Additionally, they will try to find you a guardian. A guardian will function as your legal representative and care-taker. You need to have a guardian since, as a minor, you are only able to decide a few things personally. In principle, either an employee of the relevant Youth Welfare Office or a private volunteer individual takes over the guardianship. As an unaccompanied minor refugee, You will have a guardian until you are of legal age according to the law in your home country.
Please note: If your age is miscalculated, talk to your guardian, a social worker at your initial reception facility, or staff at a counselling centre. It is crucial that the authorities do not consider you to be older than what you are. Otherwise, you cannot benefit from the support you are legally entitled to in Germany. Find a counselling centre nearby on Pro Asyl’s website to seek advice.