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Accomodation and living

When you make an asylum claim (Asyl-Gesuch), in Germany, you first have to live in a certain accomodation facility. This is called "Wohnsitzverpflichtung" (residence obligation). Still, in certain cases, you can move and live somewhere else.
If you get an Aufenthaltserlaubnis, you are always allowed to move into a private home. If you move somewhere else, you have to tell the Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (BAMF) your new address! Here is a template which you can use to do so. On the website aktiv.fluechtlingsrat-bw.de you can find more information in German.

The reception facility

In the beginning, you will have to live in anErstaufnahme-Stelle (EA). In some cases, you will spend only a short time in the EA. But sometimes it takes a long time. After a maximum of six months, you have to be allowed to move to one of the districts in Baden-Württemberg. You are not allowed to choose which district you want to move to. If you want to move to a specific district, you should tell this to staff of the Regierungspräsidium (RP) in the reception facility as soon as possible. The best thing to do is to write a letter saying where you want to go and why. The letter should be in german. If you need help, ask an advice office.
If you are from a country which Germany regards as a „safe country of origin“ you usually have to stay in the EA until the end of your asylum process.

The transfer

After a certain time, you are allowed to move out of the EA. You will be transferred to one of the districts of Baden-Württemberg. Usually, you have to get in a bus at the EA and will be brought to the district where you are to live. You will get the date for the transfer in a letter or from a notice posted in the EA. You are not allowed to choose which district you want to move to. If you want to move to a specific district, you should tell this to staff of the Regierungspräsidium (RP) in the reception facility as soon as possible. The best thing to do is to write a letter saying where you want to go and why. The letter should be in german. If you need help, ask an advice office.

The communal accomodation

In the district, you will usually be living in communal accomodation – a Gemeinschafts-Unterkunft (GU) and rarely in an appartment of your own. The GUs are different from one district to another. Usually, there are several beds per room. You will share the bathroom and kitchen with others. After 24 months you can move out of the GU.
Sometimes you are allowed to move out of the GU earlier. For example, if your asylum process is finished already, if you are classed as a vulnerable or if you are working. Ask Social services.

Accomodation


- With Aufenthaltsgestattung and Duldung
If you no longer have to live in the GU, you will move to the subsequent accomodation. You can now look for a private appartment. If you cannot afford the rent, the Sozialamt will pay. The Sozialamt pays only a small amount. If the appartment costs more, you will not be allowed to move in. Ask social services, how much the appartment is allowed to cost. You are only allowed to look for an appartment in your own district.If you cannot find an appartment of your own, the Sozialamt will provide you with accomodation. You will get a letter telling you which municipality you are to move to. There, you will get a room in subsequent accomodation. If you are not happy with this decision, you can make an objection. Ask an advice office.

- Moving to a different district
If you do not yet have an Aufenthaltserlaubnis, you are only allowed to live in the district (Landkreis) where you lived after your transfer from the EA. If you want to live in another district, you have to make an application to the immigration authority (Ausländerbehörde). This application is called an Umverteilungs-Antrag. You have to give reasons why you want to move. This application is often rejected. If your nuclear family (Kern-Familie) is living in a different district, the application is often approved. Ask an advice office.

- with an Aufenthaltserlaubnis
You can look for an appartment of your own. If you cannot pay the rent yourself, the JobCenter will pay. The JobCenter pays only a small amount of money. If the appartment is more expensive, you cannot move in there. Ask social services or the migration advice office, how much the appartment is allowed to cost. You will often be given a residence obligation for a municipality. This mean that you have to live in a certain town. Before you are given the residence obligation, you have to be asked if there is any reason why you should not be made to live in this specific town. A reason would be, if this town was bad for your integration. It may be that you are only asked in the form of a letter. Ask a migration advice office for assistance in presenting your reasons.
If you want to move to a different municipality, this is only possible in some cases. To do this, you have to apply to the immigration authority. Ask a migration advice office, when you are allowed to move.
You can also apply for a housing certificate (Wohn-Berechtigungsschein) for less expensive social housing.

Moving to a different district

If you do not yet have an Aufenthaltserlaubnis, you are only allowed to live in the district (Landkreis) where you lived after your transfer from the reception facility. If you want to live in another district, you have to make an application to the immigration authority (Ausländerbehörde). This application is called an Umverteilungs-Antrag. You have to give reasons why you want to move. This application is often rejected. If your nuclear family (Kern-Familie) is living in a different district, the application is often approved. Ask an advice office.

Looking for an appartment

In many cities in Baden-Württemberg, it is difficult to find an appartment. On the website Fluechtlinge-willkommen.de you can look for a shared appartment. Ask an advice office, how you can look for an appartment.