Building Knowledge for a Concerted and Sustainable Approach to Refugee Resettlement in the EU and its Member States

Legal and administrative framework

Germany

The Asylum Procedure Act (1992) contains no specific provision on resettlement but regulates (i) the procedure of granting asylum, (ii) the recognition of a refugee, and (iii) the legal status of persons entitled asylum. The Residence Act (2004) contains the legal basis for resettlement, i.e. it regulates admission from abroad, issuance of residence or settlement permits and certain aspects of integration. Moreover, a decision by the Permanent Conference of the Ministers and Senators of the Interior of the Länder launches a permanent resettlement programme; and a decision by the Federal Ministry of the Interior regulates the reception of Iraqi refugees.

Laws

* Residence Act (2004)

Abstract

The Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz) was published on 30/07/2004 and last amended on 19/08/2007. It does not specifically mention resettlement, but Sections 22 and 23 (2) contain the legal basis for resettlement. Section 22 regulates admission from abroad:

“A foreigner may be granted a residence permit for the purpose of admission from abroad in accordance with international law or on urgent humanitarian grounds. A residence permit shall be granted if the Federal Ministry of the Interior or the body designated by the Federal Ministry of the Interior to uphold the political interests of the Federal Republic of Germany has declared that the foreigner is to be admitted. In the case of sentence 2, the residence permit shall entitle the holder to pursue an economic activity.”

Section 23 (2) contains a further legal basis for the issuance of a residence or settlement permit . It was applied in the case of the Iraqi refugees:

“In order to safeguard special political interests of the Federal Republic of Germany, in consultation with the supreme Land authorities the Federal Ministry of the Interior may order foreigners from specific states or certain categories of foreigners defined by other means to be granted approval for admission by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. No preliminary proceedings shall take place pursuant to Section 68 of the Code of Administrative Court Procedure. The foreigners concerned shall be issued with a residence permit or settlement permit, in accordance with the approval for admission. The settlement permit may be issued subject to a condition restricting the permissible place of residence. The residence permit entitles the holder to pursue an economic activity.”

Files attached to this content:

Residence Act (2004) in German

Residence Act (2004) in English

* Asylum Procedure Act (1992)

Abstract

The Asylum Procedure Act (Asylverfahrensgesetz), dated 26/06/1992, contains no specific provision on resettlement but rules about (i) the procedure of granting asylum, (ii) the recognition of a refugee and (iii) the legal status of persons entitled to asylum.

Files attached to this content:

Asylum Procedure Act (1992) in German

Asylum Procedure Act (1992) in English

Decisions

* Decision on the launch of a permanent resettlement programme and on admission of refugees from North Africa (2011)

Abstract

Decision adopted at the 193th session of the Permanent Conference of the Ministers and Senators of the Interior of the Länder (8-9 December 2011). It concerns the launch of a permanent resettlement programme and admission of 300 refugees per year over the next three years (starting in 2012) from North Africa. The implementation will be carried out in cooperation with UNHCR and with financial support by the European Refugee Fund. (The Decision appears on page 27 in the file below.)

Files attached to this content:

Decision on the launch of a resettlement programme (2011) in German

* Ruling of the Federal Ministry of the Interior about Iraqi refugees (2008)

Abstract

Ruling of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (Anordnung des Bundesministeriums des Innern gemäß § 23 Absatz 2 Aufenthaltsgesetz vom 05), dated December 2008. This is a decision about the reception of 2,500 Iraqi refugees from Syria and Jordan on the legal basis of Section 23 (2) of the Residence Act. It defines the selection criteria and the distribution among the Länder according to the Königsteiner Key (a system of burden sharing among the Länder in several political fields).

Files attached to this content:

Ruling of the Federal Ministry of the Interior about Iraqi refugees (2008) in German

Germany snapshot

Size: 356,854 km2

Population: 82 million

Year of EU Entry: 1952

In the Schengen Area: Yes

Protection Status Granted: 9,675 (2011)

Resettlement Scheme: Programme to be implemented in 2012-2014

Resettlement Quota: 300 refugees/year

Resettled Refugees: 200 (2012)

Source: The information about the size, population, in the Schengen area, and year of EU entry is taken from europa.eu.