A legal basis for refugees admitted as part of the resettlement procedure has existed in Germany since August 1st, 2015. This is governed by the Act to Redefine the Right to Stay and the Termination of Residence (Gesetz zur Neubestimmung des Bleiberechts und der Aufenthaltsbeendigung). According to this act, a new type of residence permit for resettlement refugees has been introduced. Since then these people have been given a residence permit under Section 23 (IV) of the Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz). The newly created residence permit largely places refugees admitted via resettlement on an equal legal base with refugees recognized via an asylum procedure. Based on Section 23 (IV) the individuals admitted are entitled to the following rights:
Residence: Refugees who enter via resettlement are first of all given a residence permit of limited duration. After three years, this is changed into a permanent residence permit with no grounds for revoking the residence permit (cf. Section 23 (IV) and Section 26 (III) second sentence Residence Act (AufenthG)).
Social security benefits: The individuals receive benefits under the second book of the Social Security Code (SGB II), (i.e. unemployment benefit II) or the twelfth book of the Social Security Code (SGB XII) (i.e. welfare).
Work: Refugees entering via resettlement are allowed to work after receiving their residence permit (cf. Section 23 (IV) second sentence AufenthG in conjunction with Section 23 (2) fifth sentence AufenthG).
Place of residence: Refugees who enter via resettlement are in general distributed among the federal states by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) according to a specified distribution formula (Königssteiner Schlüssel). The place of residence is determined by the authorities. They are required to accept their residence and live in the place allocated to them (Section 23 (IV) second sentence AufenthG in conjunction with Section 24 (V) second sentence AufenthG). Moving to another administrative district or another federal state is subject to preconditions (e.g. looking for work or studying).
Family: The residence permit under Section 23 (IV) AufenthG entitles them to family reunification in Germany for first degree relatives. First degree relatives are legally defined as spouse and underage children and, in the case of children who are unaccompanied minors, the parents. If the application for family reunification is filed within the first three months, the precondition to be able to provide for the living costs of joining family members does not have to be fulfilled (cf. Section 29 (II) second sentence AufenthG). People joining their spouses do not have to demonstrate simple skills of the German language (Section 30 (I) third sentence no. 1 of the AufenthG).
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.
Travel document: Admitted individuals are given a travel document for aliens (Reiseausweis für Asuländer) under Sections 5 and 6 of the Residence Ordinance. For travel abroad they must comply with the respective visa regulations, and carry their travel document for aliens and their national residence permit. They do not receive a blue refugee passport, unlike refugees who are recognized under the Geneva Refugee Convention after their asylum procedure.