Abbreviation for Ausländerbehörde (Immigration Authority for Foreign Affairs Office)), see entry for Immigration Authority.

Abschiebung (Deportation)

Rejected applicants are asked in writing to leave the country. If the applicant fails to do this voluntarily within the specified period, s/he will be deported -- a forced exit from the country, possibly under police escort. Deportation also bars the applicant from re-entry for a limited period of time. Attempting to re-enter within this period is subject to prosecution.


Asylum is the protection guaranteed by the state to people suffering persecution. Persecuted refugees who apply for asylum are asking for permanent reception into the host country and protection of their lives. They must submit an asylum application to be eligible for this. The authorities review each individual case and decide whether they will offer protection to a refugee and, if so, what kind. If they receive asylum in Germany, they will receive a residence permit.

Aufenthaltsgesetz (Residence Act)

In Germany, immigration is regulated by the Residence Act. This act also defines the legal conditions for entry and exit, residence, settlement, and employment. Integration measures are also governed by this act.

Aufenthaltstitel (Residence Permit)

Immigrants who wish to remain in Germany require a residence permit, such as a residence permit or a settlement permit. The residence permit is only valid for a certain period of time (temporary residence). The settlement permit is permanent, allowing immigrants to live and work anywhere in Germany.

Ausländerbehörde (Immigration Authority for Foreign Affairs Office)

The Immigration Authority (Ausländerbehörde) is the agency responsible for immigrants. Branches are located around the country. Immigration authorities are the first point of contact for all questions concerning residence in Germany. The agency makes decisions regarding residence titles and permission to reside, regulates removal and deportation of rejected applicants, and issues deportation stays and visas.