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Admission regulation of the Land of Berlin for Afghan, Syrian and Iraqi refugees with relatives in Berlin

The Senate Department for the Interior and Sport of the Land of Berlin decided on 25 September 2013 that family members of Syrian refugees living in Berlin would be given the opportunity to take in these refugees.
Since 30 January 2017, this possibility has also existed for Iraqi refugees and since January 12, 2023 for Afghan refugees..

Please note that the other federal states have not adopted such ordinances or have adopted different ordinances. Therefore, the following procedural information only applies to admission in Berlin.

In all other cases, please enquire at your local immigration authority.

Who may enter and stay?

Afghan, Syrian and Iraqi nationals who have had to flee their Afghan, Syrian or Iraqi place of residence and are still
  • in Afghanistan, Syria or Iraq or
  • in one of the states bordering Afghanistan (Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the People’s Republic of China) or
  • in one of the states bordering Syria (Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq) or
  • in one of the states bordering Iraq (Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria) or
  • in Egypt (Syrian and Iraqi nationals)
    and have close relatives in Berlin.

In justified individual cases, stateless persons or persons with unclear nationality (persons of Kurdish or Palestinian ethnicity) who have fled from Syria or Iraq, whose identity has been established and who can prove that they have been living or have lived in Syria or Iraq for at least three years, may also enter and stay.

Who may provide shelter?

To be allowed to provide shelter, you must
  • be a first- or second-degree family member (i.e. parents, children, grandchildren, grandparents, siblings) of the refugee(s),
  • have resided in Germany for at least one year (Syria, Iraq),
  • have lived in Berlin or the federal state of Brandenburg (main residence) for at least six months (Afghanistan) or 12 months (Syria, Iraq),
  • be currently registered as having your main residence in Berlin, without a residence requirement (for a city other than Berlin) opposing this, and
  • be of German, Afghan, Syrian or Iraqi nationality, or
  • be an EU citizen, an EEA national, a third-country national or a Swiss national with a temporary residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis-Schweiz), entitled to freedom of movement.

If you are an Afghan, Syrian or Iraqi national, you must also hold a valid temporary or permanent residence title. Neither permission to remain pending a decision about asylum (Aufenthaltsgestattung) nor temporary suspension of deportation (Duldung) is sufficient.
In justified individual cases, stateless persons or persons with unclear citizenship from Syria or Iraq living in Berlin with a residence title may also provide shelter.

Another condition is that you have sufficient income to be able to make a declaration of commitment (see under Documents to be presented).

In the declaration, you will commit to paying all the costs of your relative’s stay, including accommodation. Costs in the case of need for nursing care and illness are excluded. Nevertheless, it is strongly recommended that an appropriate health insurance policy be obtained.

The declaration of commitment does not necessarily have to be made by yourself, but can also be made by other persons who have their habitual place of residence in Germany.

What is the entry procedure?

The visa procedure, which is carried out by the German Missions abroad, will be triggered through your expression of interest vis-à-vis the Landesamt für Einwanderung (Berlin Immigration Office).

To do this, send the completed form “Interessenbekundung” (expression of interest) by e-mail to Unit B 5 and enclose the complete documents listed therein in pdf format.

  • Formular Interessenbekundung

    PDF-Document (457.9 kB)

The documents will be checked by us and you (or the person who submits a declaration of commitment) will receive an appointment from us to submit the declaration of commitment as soon as possible.

After the appointment, the granting of a fast-track visa approval will be examined. Depending on the place of residence of your family member, this will be sent to the competent German agency abroad in Amman, Ankara, Ashgabat, Baghdad, Beijing, Beirut, Cairo, Canton, Chengdu, Dushanbe, Erbil, Hong Kong, Islamabad, Istanbul, Izmir, Karachi, Kuwait City, Riyadh, Shanghai, Shenyang, Tashkent or Tehran. The relevant German agency abroad can then issue the entry visa there.

Following entry, a residence permit as per Section 23 (1) of the Residence Act will be issued.

Required documents for submitting the declaration of commitment

The following list provides an initial overview. Please refer to the form “Interessenbekundung” (see above) for the required documents.
  • Proof of sufficient income to submit a satisfactory declaration of commitment – For single persons, this entails a net salary of 2,690 euros, for married couples 3,720 euros and for married couples with one child 4,367 euros. For each additional person to be accommodated, the costs increase.
  • For employees, the last six net wage receipts, the employment contract and a current certificate from the employer confirming that the employment relationship has not been terminated
  • For self-employed persons
    • Natural person: a certificate from a tax advisor regarding monthly net income as well as the last tax bill, private health insurance policy, long-term care insurance policy stating the amount of contributions and the co-payments, a Bescheinigung in Steuersachen (formerly Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung, clearance certificate) from the tax office and, in the case of business start-up subsidies from the Job Centre, corresponding proof
    • Legal entity: completed form Audit Report for Legal Entities (Prüfungsbericht), together with the documents mentioned therein. Only tax advisors, auditors or tax agents are authorised to complete the Audit Report
  • For pensioners:
    • Notice of your old-age pension
    • Current proof of health insurance (in the case of private or voluntary statutory health insurance, stating the amount of the contribution)
  • Presentation of your passport or identity card with registered residence in Berlin.
  • Proof of relationship in the original or copy to the extent available (birth and marriage certificates, identity cards, etc.), each with a German translation by a sworn interpreter
  • Copies of the refugee’s identity documents (passport), where applicable birth and marriage certificates, driving licences, military IDs, with a German translation by a sworn interpreter
  • Details as to how the German embassy can contact the refugee abroad at present (e-mail address, if possible)
  • 29.00 euros administrative fee per declaration of commitment. A declaration of commitment must be submitted for each person to be accommodated.

Further documents may be required in individual cases.

Processing time

We will process the requests as quickly as possible. If all the requirements are met, we will promptly announce a date for submitting the declaration of commitment.
Due to the great interest, please expect waiting times of several weeks.

In the interests of speedy processing, please refrain from submitting status inquiries.


Visa applications must be submitted to one of the above-mentioned German agencies abroad by 31 December 2024 (regardless of the date of submission of the documents to the Landesamt für Einwanderung).