Residence permit


Country Report: Residence permit Last updated: 21/04/22


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According to Section 25(2) of the Residence Act, both refugees and subsidiary protection beneficiaries are entitled to a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis). According to Section 26(1) of the Residence Act, the duration of residence permits differs for the various groups:

  • Three years for persons with refugee status;
  • One year for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, renewable for an additional two years;
  • At least one year for beneficiaries of humanitarian

Responsibility for issuing and renewing the residence permits lies with the local authorities of the place of residence of the beneficiary of protection.

Renewal of residence permits is generally subject to the same regulations as apply to issuance.[1] Therefore, residence permits have to be renewed as long as the reasons which have led to the first issuance persist. The refugee status, subsidiary protection, and the status of the so-called “prohibition of removal” (Abschiebungsverbot) which is the basis of national protection status, have to be formally revoked by the BAMF, otherwise the residence permit has to be issued and/or renewed.[2]

Following the outbreak of covid-19 in Germany, the Federal Ministry of the interior issued guidance to local immigration authorities and recommended to allow for online applications to extend residence permits, and to be lenient regarding the expiry of residence permit when filing for renewal was impossible, e. g. because the concerned person could not return to Germany.[3] Residence permits were not prolonged automatically, however. Whether an online application is possible depends on the respective foreigners’ authority. However, an application in written form (via e-mail or mail) is possible in all cases.[4]


[1]  Section 8(1) Residence Act.

[2]  Sections 73a to 73c Residence Act.

[3] Pro Asyl, ‘Newsticker Coronavirus: Informationen für Geflüchtete und Unterstützer*innen‘, available in German at .

4]   Make it in Germany, ‘Special regulations on entry and residence ’, last update 1 June 2021, available at:

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation