"There is no change in the approval practice for Syrian refugees," de Maiziere said.
He added, however, that the new status for Syrian refugees had been planned at the beginning of this week.
No change in Germany's policy towards Syrian refugees https://t.co/XZSZG8bhWC— Alberto Nardelli (@AlbertoNardelli) 6 ноября 2015
On Thursday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and her governing coalition's partners agreed that those refugees who have "subsidiary protection" should not be able to bring relatives to Germany for two years. There was no specific mention of Syrians in this statement, though.
Thousands of Muslims line up at the rail station in KABUL…waiting to travel to Germany: War refugees, my eye…. https://t.co/jhrzvR0qH6— Pamela Geller (@PamelaGeller) 31 октября 2015
"Subsidiary protection" is something that falls short of full asylum status, but is granted to people who face serious risks in their homeland.
People with full asylum status get a three-year residence permit, while those with "subsidiary protection" get a one-year permit that should be repeatedly extended.
His comments came as the German government faces ever-increasing pressure to contain the influx of refugees into the country.
The Frontex agency said in turn that about 710,000 migrants have entered the EU in the past nine months.
According to the European Commission, the current migration crisis in the world is the biggest since the Second World War.