Situation upon arrival

Registration after arrival

As soon as you arrive in Germany, you need to register with a state authority, for example the police. Explain that you would like to apply for asylum. You will then be sent to a nearby accommodation facility for asylum seekers where you will receive initial care and accommodation.


As an asylum seeker it is generally not possible to freely choose where to live. Asylum seekers are allocated to different regions throughout Germany where the asylum procedure will be carried out. You thus might be asked to travel to another federal state before or after your registration. If your family did not apply for asylum together, you can still apply to live with your husband, wife or children (under 18 years). The place of residence of other relatives can only be considered in exceptional cases.


You will be officially registered once you expressed that you are seeking asylum. This is done by different state authorities such as the police, the reception centre at which you live, or an arrival centre. Your personal data, photo and fingerprints will be recorded during registration.

As proof of your registration you will receive a so-called proof of arrival. This is an official document and proves that you have been temporarily allowed to stay in Germany. With this proof of arrival you have the right to basic services as an asylum seeker in Germany.


At the beginning of your stay in Germany you are under the obligation to live in an initial reception centre where your essential needs will be provided for. During this period of time you will receive support in the form of goods such as food and clothing. After a maximum of six months, your obligation to live in the initial reception centre will end and you can move to a collective accommodation facility or apartment, if you find a place. Collective accommodation is often smaller and spread all throughout the federal states.

A special provision applies to people from so-called safe countries of origin (currently these are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ghana, Kosovo, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Senegal and Serbia). Asylum seekers from these countries are obligated to live in an initial reception centre for the entire period of the asylum seeking process.

As an asylum seeker you have to immediately inform the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, often just called BAMF, of your current address after each move. This is very important for the asylum seeking process, as summons to hearings as well as any decisions regarding your asylum application are sent to the address that you report to the BAMF.

Please find further information here.