BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge - Ethnic German resettlers

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Ethnic German resettlers

Ethnic German resettlers are ethnic Germans from the successor states of the former Soviet Union and from other Eastern European states. By means of a special acceptance process they are entitled to live in Germany.

Certifying status as an ethnic German resettler

Being recognised as ethnic German resettlers means that immigrants automatically receive German nationality. German ethnicity is key in the acceptance and certification procedure carried out by the Federal Office of Administration The legal basis for accepting ethnic German repatriates is the Federal Expellees Act (BVFG).

Family members can apply to immigrate to Germany together with ethnic German resettlers who are applying for entry. They have been required since 1 January 2005 to prove that they have a basic knowledge of German.

Arrival in Germany

After the ethnic German resettlers have registered in one of the Federation's initial reception centres, the Federal Office of Administration allocates them to the host Federal Länder. However, since 31 December 2009, ethnic German resettlers have not been required to live in a stipulated place.
Ethnic German resettlers and their family members are legally entitled to attend an integration course free of charge. Further information about attending an integration course can be found here.

4.5 million ethnic German resettlers

More than 4.5 million (ethnic German) resettlers including their family members have immigrated to Germany since Germany began to accept this group of immigrants in 1950. The numbers of immigrants decreased steadily between 1990 and 2012. 1,817 people classed as ethnic German resettlers arrived in Germany in 2012. In the years after that, however, an increase was once more recorded in the numbers of ethnic resettlers immigrating. 6,118 people were registered as ethnic German resettlers in 2015.

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You will find more information on immigration, on the demographic characteristics of ethnic German resettlers and on their integration in Germany in Research Report 20(Spät-)Aussiedler in Deutschland (in German).

Date 17 February 2017

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Wichtige Mitteilung


There have been several occasions very recently in which people have pretended to be employees of the Federal Office and asked for an interview at which they questioned asylum applicants intensively. This took place in some cases on the pretext that a second hearing was allegedly needed. Important: The Federal Office does not conduct home visits! These individuals do not work for the Federal Office. The Federal Office has therefore filed criminal charges. If something similar happens to you, or if you observe anything of this nature as a carer, please report this to your local police station.Interviewers from reputable survey institutes who are currently conducting interviews as part of research projects in which data are collected on a voluntary basis clearly state who they are working for. They also give the name of the survey institute and prove this by showing the appropriate documentation. This means that you can make enquiries should you have any doubts.

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