The residence requirement obliges asylum seekers and persons with tolerated stay ("Duldung") to stay in the district where their initial reception centre is located for the first three months of their stay in Germany. The Immigration Office can extend the residence requirement to the district, region or the entire federal state; you can find the range of your residence requirement in your residence permit or tolerated stay permit ("Duldung"). 

People to whom a residence requirement applies need a permit from the Immigration Office to travel outside the range of their permit. Travelling is usually allowed if the person needs to see a lawyer or a specialised doctor- but in principle, private trips are not allowed. If the person leaves the aforementioned range without a proper permit, he/she may face a fine. If the violation is repeated, the person will be liable to prosecution. 


With a visa, a state confirms that a person can enter, travel through and legally stay in the country for a specific period. Usually, a visa is attached directly into a passport page. 


Anyone who is of legal age is officially considered an adult. An adult person is allowed to make decisions independently and is fully responsible for their own actions. In Germany, you come of age when you turn 18.

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If a foreign national does not have a residence permit, he/she is obliged to leave the country.

Those who wish to apply for asylum, asylum applicants, and individuals with "Duldung" do not have a residence permit and are, therefore, generally speaking, required to leave the country. However, German law distinguishes between the obligation to leave the country and the enforceability of the obligation to leave the country. Only when the obligation to leave the country is enforceable does the Immigration Office have the right to deport the foreigner.

The obligation to leave the country is enforceable if someone has entered illegally and the issuing of a residence title has been irrevocably refused - e.g., after the asylum application was rejected and all legal options have been exhausted or missed. That means: As long as a persons' asylum procedure is ongoing or still has yet to start, they are required to leave the country, but such a requirement is not enforceable.

In principle, the following groups of people are legally obliged to leave the country:

  • Irrevocably rejected asylum seekers
  • People with a tolerated stay permit or "Duldung" - here, however, the obligation to leave the country is suspended and further residence is permitted.
  • Illegalised Individuals
  • Foreign nationals whose residence permit has expired or has been revoked.
  • Foreign nationals have been expelled for serious criminal offences or alike.