According to Section 23 (II) of the Residence Act, the Federal Ministry of the Interior may order that admission is permitted for certain foreigners “in order to safeguard special political interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.” The paragraph is applied through consultation with the federal states. The concrete implementation of an admission programme by the federal government is barely legally pre-structured, but it is rather outlined by respective admission directives or special decrees. The admission programmes can be designed in different ways with respect to the length of stay, the access to integration measures, or the obligation of the family members to pay for the accommodation and living costs. People who have arrived in the past few years via the three federal government admission programmes for Syrians are entitled to the following benefits:
Residence: Admitted individuals receive a residence permit for two or three years that may then be extended. This depends on the program under which they were admitted. Individuals admitted according to directives from 30.05.2013, 23.12.2013 or 18.07.2014 received a residence permit for two years. Individuals admitted according to directives from 11.01.2017 und 29.12.2017 receive a residence permit for three years.
After five years, these individuals are also entitled to a permanent EU residence permit under Section 9a (2) no. 1 AufenthG in accordance with the preconditions… These include but are not limited to being able to cover their own subsistence costs and having adequate language skills and knowledge of Society.
Social security benefits: The individuals receive benefits under the second book of the Social Security Code (SGB II), (i.e. Arbeitslosengeld II/ unemployment benefit II) or the (SGB XII) (i.e. welfare). This does not apply if the relatives of the person entering have signed a declaration of commitment and as a result of this must pay for the living costs of the admitted person. The costs for medical treatment are excluded from the financial commitment of the relatives.
Work: The residence permit under Section 23 (II) of the AufenthG entitles the person to take up employment immediately after the issue of the residence permit.
Place of residence: Individuals entering are restricted in their choice of place of residence. The place of residence is determined by the authorities. Under the admission decree, this may refer to the whole federal state or to a particular administrative district. Individuals who have entered based on a declaration of commitment are required to take up residence in the administrative district of their relatives. This requirement may be lifted if the person takes up employment and no longer draws social security benefits.
Family reunification: Individuals who have entered via the federal government humanitarian admission programmes are in principle not allowed to have their families join them subsequently. It is not intended in the admission decree that family members will join them later as it is assumed that the immediate family has entered together.
Integration: The individuals entering have the right to attend an integration course by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (cf. Section 44 (I) AufenthG). This covers 600 to 900 hours and in the best case scenario concludes with a B1 certificate.