Refugees taking part in an official integration course in Nuremberg. According to the draft bill, about 105,000 tolerated persons are initially to receive a one-year probationary residence permit under the regulation. If they prove during the trial period that they have mastered the German language and are able to secure their livelihood, they would receive a long-term right to stay in the country/ Photo: BAMF

Germany to grant residence permit to tolerated asylum-seekers

The federal government plans to reform the country’s migration laws. Among the features of the reform is the grant under certain conditions of regular residence permit to well-integrated asylum-seekers who have been living in Germany for more than five years with a so-called ‘tolerated stay permit’ (Duldung).

A total of up to 105,000 people, whose deportation has been repeatedly suspended up to now, could benefit from the new regulation. A change in the law should put an end to the so-called chain tolerations (Kettenduldung).

Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD) announced the plan in Berlin on Tuesday and that she would bring a bill, of which the regulation is a part, to the federal cabinet before the summer break. After an approval by the cabinet, the legislative package could then be debated in the Bundestag, the federal parliament, and passed.

According to the draft bill, entitled “opportunity for right to stay” (Chancen-Aufenthaltsrecht), about 105,000 tolerated persons are initially to receive a one-year probationary residence permit under the regulation. If they prove during the trial period that they have mastered the German language and are able to secure their livelihood, they would receive a long-term right to stay in the country.

Persons who have criminal records would be excluded from the regularisation scheme as would those who had given false information about their identity and thus prevented their deportation so far.

Minister Faeser also plans to take a tougher line on the deportation of rejected asylum-seekers who do not comply with the law. “In particular, the departure of criminals and dangerous persons must be enforced more consistently,” a newspaper quoted from the draft law. Among other things, the rules on detention pending deportation would be tightened.

The federal government – made up of the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens and the Free Democrats (FDP), has already backed the migration reform plan in their coalition agreement.

Femi Awoniyi

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