Aliens Act (Germany)

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The German Aliens Act (AuslG) was first passed in 1965, ten years after the first recruitment agreement with Italy and when recruitment agreements had already been concluded with six other countries . It was replaced by a new version in 1990. It expired on December 31, 2004. The AuslG was replaced on January 1, 2005 by the Residence Act (promulgated as Article 1 of the Immigration Act ). Together with the Asylum Procedure Act (today's name: Asylum Act ), the AuslG formed the two essential elements of German law on foreigners . An implementation ordinance (DVAuslG) was issued for the AuslG, which also expired on December 31, 2004.

Basic data
Title: Law on the entry
and residence of
foreigners in the federal territory
Short title: Aliens Act
Abbreviation: AuslG
Type: Federal law
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Legal matter: Administrative law
References : 26-6
Original version from: April 28, 1965
( BGBl. I p. 353 )
Entry into force on: predominantly October 1, 1965
Last revision from: July 9, 1990
( BGBl. I pp. 1354, 1356 )
Entry into force of the
new version on:
predominantly January 1, 1991
Last change by: Art. 13 G of 23 July 2004
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 1842, 1854 )
Effective date of the
last change:
August 1, 2004
(Art. 26 para. 1
G of July 23, 2004)
Expiry: January 1, 2005
(Art. 15 Para. 3 No. 1
G of July 30, 2004 ,
Federal Law Gazette I, p. 1950, 2010 )
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.


The Aliens Act defined the alien in reverse to Art. 116 of the Basic Law as someone who is not German. Members of the consular or diplomatic service and persons who enjoy freedom of movement under the Residence Act / EEC, in particular Union citizens (Section 3 AuslG), were excluded from the application of the Aliens Act . Foreigners to whom the law was applicable were required to have a passport (Section 4 AuslG).

Types of residence permits

According to the Aliens Act, the stay in Germany required a permit; The Aliens Act provided for different types of residence permits for this purpose: The residence permit was issued as a residence permit, as a residence permit, as a residence permit or as a residence permit (Section 5 AuslG).

  • The residence permit was issued as a residence permit if a foreigner was allowed to stay without being bound by a specific purpose of residence (Section 15 AuslG). Residence permits were z. B. granted for the reunification of family members or for the exercise of gainful employment.
  • The residence permit was issued as a residence permit if a foreigner was only allowed to stay for a specific purpose which by its nature only required a temporary stay (e.g. for a study visit) (Section 28 (1) AuslG).
  • The residence permit was issued as a residence permit if a foreigner was to be permitted to enter and stay in the federal territory for international law or urgent humanitarian reasons or to safeguard the political interests of the Federal Republic of Germany and the granting of a residence permit was excluded (Section 30 AuslG). The residence permit was the weakest right of residence.
  • The residence permit was finally issued as a residence permit after a long period of residence in the federal territory (Section 27 AuslG).

While residence permits were issued for both limited and unlimited periods, residence permits and residence authorizations were only available for a limited period (for study purposes e.g. for one to two years, as a residence authorization usually for two years). After the expiry there was an extension option. A transition from the residence permit to the residence permit was ruled out (Section 28 (3) Foreigners Act); a transition from the residence permit to the residence permit was possible after eight years (Section 35 AuslG).

The strongest right of residence was the residence permit. After eight years of possession of the residence permit, it came into consideration as a sign of a clear consolidation of residence in the federal territory (§ 27 AuslG). It was unlimited in terms of time and space and thus applied to the entire federal territory. Their issuance was also hostile to requirements and conditions. The residence permit also permitted self-employment.

From the Aliens Act to the Residence Act

The Residence Act no longer adhered to the different types of residence permits. It only knows the residence permit as a temporary residence permit and the settlement permit as an unlimited residence permit. The generic term “ residence permit ” has also been dropped. In contrast, the Residence Act differentiates more strongly than before in the case of temporary residence permits according to the purpose of residence, to which it sometimes attaches quite different consequences for the scope of the right to stay.

Previous residence permits are still valid as residence permits in accordance with the purpose of residence and the circumstances on which they were issued (Section 101 (2) of the Residence Act). An unlimited residence permit and a residence permit issued before January 1, 2005 continue to be valid as a settlement permit (Section 101 subs. 1 of the Residence Act).