Expulsion of foreigners

The grounds for expelling a foreigner are varied and are conclusively regulated in the Residence Act.

In many cases, a foreigner is expelled due to a breach of law which is still enforceable against him or her. First and foremost the purpose of expulsion is to avert danger to public safety and law and order or to other substantial interests of the Federal Republic of Germany caused by the presence of the foreigner (e.g. drugs-related offences, smuggling, trafficking in women, terrorism, violent offences, sexual offences, arms offences, offences relating to drunkenness, property offences). Whoever fuels hatred against persons of other religious affiliation or of other ethnic groups, who forcibly prevents another person from participating in the life in Germany of who forces someone to marry against his/her will, is also a risk for public safety and law and order.

Note: You can find the grounds for expulsion in Sections 53, 54 and 55 of the Residence Act (§§ 53,54, 55 Aufenthaltsgesetz).

If there is a reason for expulsion, this does not however automatically result in expulsion. As a general rule, foreigners enjoy a certain amount of protection from expulsion. Certain groups of foreigners (such as foreign dependants of German nationals, persons entitled to asylum, Convention refugees or foreigners who are entitled to residency in accordance with the Association Treaty between the EEA and Turkey) may only be expelled on serious grounds relating to public safety and order. Foreigners may also be protected on the basis of international agreements.

Under the terms of the Residence Act, the supreme Federal State authorities (where federal interests are involved, also the Bundesministerium des Innern) may choose to issue an immediately enforceable deportation order against a foreigner without prior expulsion or notification announcing deportation on the basis of a prognosis based on facts, in order to avert a special danger to the security of the Federal Republic of Germany or a terrorist threat. The Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) is responsible for deciding upon legal remedies. The foreigner may apply for temporary legal relief within seven days of the announcement of the deportation order.

In the same way as an expulsion and removal, a deportation brings about a ban on entry and residence which upon request is generally limited to when the foreigner leaves the country.

Under the terms of the EU Freedom of Movement Act, EU citizens can no longer be expelled. Under the new legislation, EU citizens can however lose their entitlement to freedom of movement on the grounds of posing a risk to public order and safety or public health. To this end, a danger of recurrence must apply in relation to a real and sufficiently serious danger which affects a fundamental interest of society. If the loss of the entitlement to freedom of movement has been established, then the EU citizen is obliged to leave the country. Dependents who are not EU citizens are obliged to leave the country, if the authority for foreign nationals revoke or retract the residence permit or permit for permanent residence. If the obligation to leave the country is not carried out voluntarily, then EU citizens and their dependents have to be deported.

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Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Innenministerium released it on 16.10.2018. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.