Act on the Residence, Economic Activity and Integration of Foreigners in the Federal Territory – Residence Act (Germany)

Full citation: Residence Act in the version promulgated on 25 February 2008 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 162), most recently amended by Article 4b of the Act of 17 February 2020 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 166)

Chapter 1
General provisions

Section 1 Purpose of the Act; scope
Section 2 Definitions

Chapter 2
Entry into and residence in the federal territory
Part 1
General

Section 3 Passport requirement
Section 4 Residence title requirement
Section 4a Access to economic activity
Section 5 General prerequisites for granting residence titles
Section 6 Visas
Section 7 Temporary residence permit
Section 8 Extending the temporary residence permit
Section 9 Permanent settlement permit
Section 9a EU long-term residence permit
Section 9b Counting residence periods
Section 9c Subsistence
Section 10 Residence titles and applications for asylum
Section 11 Ban on entry and residence
Section 12 Area of application; ancillary provisions
Section 12a Residence rule

Part 2
Entry

Section 13 Border crossing
Section 14 Unlawful entry; exceptional visa
Section 15 Refusal of entry
Section 15a Allocation of foreigners who have entered the federal territory unlawfully

Part 3
Residence for educational purposes

Section 16 Principle underlying residence for educational purposes
Section 16a Vocational training; advanced vocational training
Section 16b Further education
Section 16c Mobility of students
Section 16d Measures regarding the recognition of foreign professional qualifications
Section 16e Study-related EU training programmes
Section 16f Language courses and school attendance
Section 17 Seeking a vocational training place or a place in higher education
Section 17a Recognition of foreign professional qualifications
Section 17b Study-related EU training programmes

Part 4
Residence for the purpose of economic activity

Section 18 Principle of skilled immigration; general provisions
Section 18a Skilled workers with vocational training qualification
Section 18b Skilled workers holding a university degree
Section 18c Permanent settlement permit for skilled workers
Section 18d Research
Section 18e Short-term mobility for researchers
Section 18f Temporary residence permit for mobile researchers
Section 19I CT Card for intra-corporate transferees
Section 19a Short-term mobility for intra-corporate transferees
Section 19b Mobile ICT Card
Section 19c Other employment purposes; civil servants
Section 19d Temporary residence permit for the purpose of employment for qualified foreigners whose deportation has been suspended
Section 19e Participation in European voluntary service
Section 19f Reasons to deny residence titles referred to in sections 16b, 16c, 16e, 16f, 17, 18b (2), 18d, 18e, 18f and 19e
Section 20 Skilled workers seeking employment
Section 20a Short-term mobility for researchers
Section 20b Temporary residence permit for mobile researchers
Section 20c Grounds for rejection in the case of researchers, students, pupils, trainees, participants in language courses and European voluntary service
Section 21 Self-employment

Part 5
Residence granted for reasons of international law or on humanitarian or political grounds

Section 22 Admission from abroad
Section 23 Granting of residence by the supreme Land authorities; admission when special political interests apply; resettling persons seeking protection
Section 23a Granting residence in case of hardship
Section 24 Granting of residence for temporary protection
Section 25 Residence on humanitarian grounds
Section 25a Granting residence in the case of well-integrated juveniles and young adults
Section 25b Granting residence in the case of permanent integration
Section 26 Duration of residence

Part 6
Residence for family reasons

Section 27 Subsequent immigration of dependants
Section 28 Subsequent immigration of dependants to join a German national
Section 29 Subsequent immigration of dependants to join a foreigner
Section 30 Subsequent immigration of spouses
Section 31 Independent right of residence for spouses
Section 32 Subsequent immigration of children
Section 33 Children born in the federal territory
Section 34 Children’s right of residence
Section 35 Children’s independent, permanent right of residence
Section 36 Subsequent immigration of parents and other family members
Section 36a Subsequent immigration to join persons granted subsidiary protection status

Part 7
Special rights of residence

Section 37 Right of return
Section 38 Residence title for former Germans
Section 38a Residence permit for long-term residents in other member states of the European Union

Part 8
Involvement of the Federal Employment Agency

Section 39 Approval of employment for a foreigner
Section 40 Grounds for denial
Section 41 Revocation of approval and withdrawal of the work permit
Section 42 Authorisation to issue statutory instruments and instructions

Chapter 3
Integration

Section 43 Integration course
Section 44 Entitlement to attend an integration course
Section 44a Obligation to attend an integration course
Section 45 Integration programme
Section 45a Job-related language training; authorisation to issue statutory instruments

Chapter 4
Administrative provisions

Section 46 Administrative orders
Section 47 Prohibition and restriction of political activities
Section 47a Obligation to cooperate; checking photographs
Section 48 Obligations related to identification papers
Section 48a Collection of access data
Section 49 Verification, establishment and documentation of identity

Chapter 5
Termination of stay
Part 1
Grounds establishing the obligation to leave the federal territory

Section 50 Obligation to leave the federal territory
Section 51 Termination of lawful residence; continued validity of restrictions
Section 52 Revocation
Section 53 Expulsion
Section 54 Interest in expulsion
Section 55 Interest in remaining
Section 56 Monitoring for internal security reasons foreigners required to leave the federal territory
Section 56a Electronic location monitoring; authorisation to issue statutory instruments

Part 2
Enforcement of the obligation to leave the federal territory

Section 57 Removal
Section 58 Deportation
Section 58a Deportation order
Section 59 Deportation warning
Section 60 Deportation bans
Section 60a Temporary suspension of deportation (Duldung)
Section 60b Temporary suspension of deportation for persons whose identity is not verified
Section 60c Temporary suspension of deportation for the purpose of training (Ausbildungsduldung)
Section 60d Temporary suspension of deportation for the purpose of employment (Beschäftigungsduldung)
Section 61 Geographic restrictions, residence restriction, departure facilities
Section 62 Custody awaiting deportation
Section 62a Enforcement of custody awaiting deportation
Section 62b Custody to secure departure

Chapter 6
Liability and fees

Section 63 Obligations of transport carriers
Section 64 Return transport obligation of transport carriers
Section 65 Obligations of airport operators
Section 66 Parties liable for costs; security
Section 67 Scope of liability for costs
Section 68 Liability for living expenses
Section 68a Transitional provision regarding declarations of commitment
Section 69 Fees
Section 70 Limitation of actions in respect of claims

Chapter 7
Procedural provisions
Part 1
Areas of competence

Section 71 Competence
Section 71a Jurisdiction and notification
Section 72 Obligation to consult
Section 72a Security check of visa application data
Section 73 Other consultation requirements in visa procedures, in public register and asylum procedures and in issuing residence titles
Section 73a Notification of the issuance of visas
Section 73b Background check of persons and organisations involved in visa procedures
Section 73c Cooperation with external service providers
Section 74 Consulting the Federation; authority to issue instructions

Part 1a
Transit
Section 74a Transit of foreigners
Part 2
Federal Office for Migration and Refugees

Section 75 Duties
Section 76 (repealed)

Part 3
Administrative procedures

Section 77 Written form; exemption from formal requirements
Section 78 Documents with an electronic storage and processing medium
Section 78a Forms for residence titles in exceptional cases, substitute identity card document and certificates
Section 79 Decision on residence
Section 80 Legal capacity
Section 81 Applying for the residence title
Section 81a Fast-track procedure for skilled workers
Section 82 Cooperation by the foreigner
Section 83 Limits on the right of appeal
Section 84 Effects of an objection and legal action
Section 85 Calculation of residence periods
Section 85a Proceedings in case of specific indications of wrongful acknowledgement of paternity

Part 4
Data protection

Section 86 Collection of personal data
Section 86a Collection of personal data to promote voluntary departure and reintegration
Section 87 Transfer of data and information to foreigners authorities
Section 88 Transfer of data and information in the case of special statutory regulations on the processing of data
Section 88a Processing data in connection with integration measures
Section 89 Procedures to investigate, establish and document a foreigner’s identity
Section 90 Transmission of information by foreigners authorities
Section 90a Notifications by the foreigners authorities to the registration authorities
Section 90b Comparing data between foreigners authorities and registration authorities
Section 90c Data transfer in visa procedures via the Federal Foreign Office
Section 91 Storage and deletion of personal data
Section 91a Temporary protection register
Section 91b Transfer of data by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees as the National Contact Point
Section 91c Intra-Community information to implement Directive 2003/109/EC
Section 91d Information to implement Directive 2016/801/EU
Section 91e Common provisions for the register for the purposes of temporary protection and intra-Community data transfer
Section 91f Information to implement Directive 2009/50/EC within the European Union
Section 91g Information to implement Directive 2014/66/EU

Chapter 8
Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration

Section 92 Office of the Commissioner
Section 93 Duties
Section 94 Scope of authority

Chapter 9
Punishment of criminal offences and fines

Section 95 Penal provisions
Section 96 Smuggling foreigners into the federal territory
Section 97 Smuggling foreigners into the federal territory resulting in death; smuggling for gain and as organised gangs
Section 97a Obligation of secrecy
Section 98 Fines

Chapter 9a
Legal consequences of unlawful employment

Section 98a Remuneration
Section 98b Exclusion from subsidies
Section 98c Exclusion from the award of public contracts

Chapter 10
Authorisation to issue statutory instruments; transitional and final provisions

Section 99 Authorisation to issue statutory instruments
Section 100 Linguistic adaptation
Section 101 Continued validity of previous rights of residence
Section 102 Continued validity of other measures under the law relating to foreigners and consideration of prior periods
Section 103 Application of previous law
Section 104 Transitional provisions
Section 104a Regulations governing old cases
Section 104b Right of residence for integrated children of foreigners whose deportation has been suspended
Section 105 Transitional arrangements for the temporary suspension of deportation for persons whose identity is not verified
Section 105a Provisions as to the administrative procedure
Section 105b Transitional provision for residence titles issued according to a standard form
Section 105c Transition of measures to monitor for internal security purposes foreigners subject to expulsion orders
Section 106 Curtailment of fundamental rights
Section 107 City-state clause

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