The amended ‚Residenzpflicht‘ law came into force yesterday.
The most important changes:
For refugees with ‚Aufenthaltsgestattung‘ the geographical
restriction (restriction of movement) „expires“ after three months of
After that they are allowed to move freely within the German territory without a permit.
The obligation to reside in a particular place remains.
Unfortunately, there are many exceptions:
- A final conviction because of a criminal offense (no minimum
penalty or limitation), if it is not because of a violation of
- Violation of the“Betäubungsmittelgesetz“ (= drug possession), even if there was no conviction by a court.
- If „concrete measures to terminate residence“are imminent. But this should never! be the case with persons with ‚Aufenthaltsgestattung‘.
Refugees who fall within these exceptionsare, as usual, at the mercy
of the foreigners authorities.
For refugees with ‚Duldung‘, the geographical restriction (restriction of movement) „expires“ after three months of stay as well.
At least in theory: Lawyers fear that the claim of foreigners
authorities that „concrete measures to terminate residence“ are
imminent will enable the authorities to „tie“ refugees arbitrarily to
certain districts at any time – as before.
These things will stay as they were:
- For asylum seekers in reception centers the stay will remain
restricted tothe district of the foreigners authority. In
Brandenburgthis is the Municipality of Eisenhüttenstadt.
- The absurd and unique rule within the German legal system that violations of the geographical restriction are first considered an administrative offense and, in the event they are repeated, aiminal offense.