Paragraph 25 in Germany: How to obtain a residence permit for refugees and asylum seekers in Germany

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Paragraph 25 in Germany: How to obtain a residence permit for refugees and asylum seekers in Germany

If you fled to Germany for political or humanitarian reasons and would like to stay here, you can apply for asylum. To be granted status, you need to go through a procedure and have an official notification. Find out more about who is eligible for a refugee residence permit in Germany under § 25, what is known about subsidiary protection, where and how I can apply for asylum in Germany, and other important details

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Germany is one of the leaders in Europe for the number of refugees. From January to November 2023, 325,801 asylum applications were submitted to Germany, of which 304,581 were initial. This calculation does not take into account Ukrainian refugees who regularly arrive in the country from the end of February 2022.

The majority of those seeking protection came from Syria (97,183 initial applications), Afghanistan (50,327), Turkey (56,573) and Iraq (11,488). About 47% of all asylum seekers who applied for the first time in Germany were women, as well as children and young people under the age of 18.

Asylum seekers in Germany have the right to social protection and a residence permit. How to get a RP for refugees in Germany? Detailed instructions follow.


Who is entitled to RP for refugees in Germany?


Foreigners who fled to Germany for political or humanitarian reasons and want to stay here have the right to apply for asylum. When the application is approved, you will receive a residence permit.

In Germany, three different forms of protection have been developed for refugees:

- person entitled to asylum;

- refugee;

- person entitled to additional protection.

In addition, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) can, under certain circumstances, determine a "national ban on deportation" for a person. In this case, you will also be entitled to a residence permit.


Asylum and refugee status: who can apply and rights in Germany


- Person entitled to asylum

The procedure for obtaining asylum is regulated by Clause 1 of Article 25 of the "Law on Residence". The permit is granted to people who have experienced political persecution in their country of birth by the state or a state organization. That is, for example, when a person is in danger or has been imprisoned because of his ethnicity, religion, nationality, political views or belonging to a certain social group.

However, protection can be granted to a person only if he did not leave through safe third countries. Since Germany is surrounded by safe third countries, the recognition of a person entitled to asylum is only possible if you have arrived in Germany directly by plane.


- Refugee status

The status of a refugee is determined by paragraph 2 of Article 25 of the "Law on Residence" and is granted to persons who are persecuted in their country because of their ethnicity, religion, nationality, political beliefs or belonging to a certain social group. Persecution can come from both the state and non-state bodies, if the country of origin does not protect the person from persecution. You can get refugee status if you entered through safe third countries, that is, you did not arrive in Germany directly by plane.


- The validity period of the residence permit for persons entitled to asylum and refugees

Persons who have the right to asylum and refugee status receive a residence permit for three years. If the situation in the home country does not change, the residence permit will be extended for another three years. Under certain conditions, no earlier than after three years, you can get a permanent residence permit.


- What document do people with the right to asylum and refugees in Germany receive?

The refugee receives a special travel document (GFK passport or Blue Pass), which gives the right to travel abroad. However, you should not travel to your home country, as this may result in you losing your residence permit in Germany.


- Rights of a person who has received asylum or refugee status in Germany:

1. Move to Germany together with the family - spouse and minor children or parents.

2. Work (the employment center will help you find a job), if you do not find a job, you will receive social assistance.

3. Receive child and parental benefits.

4. Attend integration courses.

5. Go to school or get an education at a university.




For a safe stay in Germany, use the advice of an international lawyerWe help to solve complex and simple issues for your comfort and safety in Germany.




Additional protection in Germany


Foreigners who are not recognized as having the right to asylum or refugee status can receive additional protection. This form of protection can be granted to people who are not persecuted but are in serious danger, for example due to war, or if they face serious danger due to human rights violations in the country of origin (for example, the death penalty, torture, inhuman treatment, etc.).


- The validity period of the residence permit for persons who have issued additional protection

People with additional protection receive a residence permit for one year. It can be extended for two years if the situation in the home country does not change. You can get a permanent residence permit no earlier than five years later, but also under certain conditions.


- What document do people who have the right to additional protection in Germany receive?

The legal status of persons entitled to additional protection cannot be equated with the status of refugees and those entitled to asylum. A foreigner does not receive a GFK passport or a Blue Pass. If you do not have or cannot apply for a passport from your home country, you can apply for a "travel permit for foreigners and stateless persons" (so-called "grey passport") at the immigration office responsible for you. To do this, you must prove that it is impossible for you to obtain a passport from the local authorities.


- Rights of a person who has received additional protection in Germany:

1. Work (the employment center will help you find a job), if you do not find a job, you will receive social assistance.

2. Receive child and parental benefits.

3. Attend integration courses.

4. Go to school or get an education at a university.


National ban on deportation


If the alien is not recognized as a person entitled to asylum, refugee status or a person entitled to subsidiary protection, however, you cannot be deported if you face a violation of human rights or a significant threat to life, health or freedom in your country , for example, if you suffer from a serious illness that cannot be treated in your country, Germany issues a national ban on deportation.


- The validity period of the residence permit for persons who have received a national ban on deportation

Persons subject to a national ban on deportation receive a residence permit for one year. If the situation does not change, a continuation is possible. You can get a permanent residence permit no earlier than five years later.


- What document do persons who have received a national ban on deportation receive?

  A person does not get the right to issue a GFK or Blue Pass. If you do not have or cannot apply for a passport from your home country, you can apply for a "travel permit for foreigners and stateless persons" (so-called "grey passport") at the immigration office responsible for you. To do this, you must prove that it is impossible for you to obtain a passport from the local authorities.


- Rights of a person who has received a national ban on deportation:

1. Work (the employment center will help you find a job), if you do not find a job, you will receive social assistance.

2. Receive child and parental benefits.

3. Attend integration courses.

4. Go to school or get an education at a university.


Where and how can I apply for asylum in Germany?


You can notify the border guard, police, immigration, arrival center or initial reception center of your intentions. It is enough to say the word "Asyl" ("asylum"). Then you are officially an "asylum seeker".

At the second stage, you will be registered at the point of initial reception - your photo will be taken and your fingerprints will be taken. You will also be asked for your name, date of birth, country of origin and possibly even your itinerary. This data is stored.

After registration, you will receive a so-called "confirmation of arrival". This document shows that you are allowed to stay in Germany for a certain period of time. As soon as you apply for asylum, you will receive an “Aufenthaltsgestattung” (residence permit).


How can refugees and asylum seekers extend their residence permit in Germany?


To extend the permit, a foreigner must make an appointment with the immigration authority responsible for you. You must bring the following documents with you to this appointment:

1. Residence permit and travel document.

2. Biometric photo.

3. Employment contract and the last three salary statements or a statement from a tax consultant or a statement from an employment center or social security service.

4. Police registration.


It will be recalled that the German Cabinet of Ministers recently approved a law aimed at facilitating the deportation of asylum seekers who have not received protection. This document provides for a simplified deportation procedure for persons who have been denied refugee status or other protection. More details in the material.




Igor Usyk - Head of Legal Department at Visit World


For safe movement on German roads use the advice of an international lawyer.

We help to solve complex and simple issues for your comfort and safety in Germany.




Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:


Checklist for obtaining a visa and necessary documents in Germany;

Legal advice on immigration in Germany;

Travel insurance for foreigners in Germany;

Medical insurance all over the world.




More articles on the topic: 


Paragraph 24 for refugees: eligibility for a residence permit for asylum seekers in Germany.

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