Expulsion from Germany

Being expelled from Germany is not only a local issue but it concerns more. Having not voluntarily left means real troubles for reentering and branding the alien as "unwanted" – all over Schengen.

For what reasons can I be thrown out of Germany?

Just as the reasons are various, so is the strictness of expulsion. Misdemeanors like petty crimes or minor violations of administrative rules usually result in a “slap on the hand.” Typical examples would be stealing an apple or parking tickets. On the other hand, serious crimes like drug trafficking or murder will always result in a compulsory expulsion. In between those parameters, expulsion is a matter of the officer’s discretion.

Could you please give some more examples for discretionary expulsion?

Understand “discretion” as a possibility for the officer to be more flexible in dispensing justice in the individual case – so the statutory intention. Following §55 AufenthG, you can be expelled if you:

  1. gave false or incomplete information while applying for a permit, after you have been instructed upon the consequence thereof, or
  2. did not support measures which required your participation,
  3. not only committed a sporadic or minor offense of the law, decisions from courts or offices,
  4. endanger the free and democratic order or security of Germany or participate in acts of violence, distribute writings calling for violence or hatred,
  5. consume drugs, like heroine or cocaine, and are not willing to participate in rehabilitation programs.
  6. endanger public health, or if you are homeless for an extended period.
  7. require welfare for yourself or your family members.

This “can” means full discretion of the officer. Full discretion can be tested in court.

You mentioned discretion, does that mean that the officers in charge will usually decide to expel?

Not really – so the official understanding. It depends on one’s personal situation if one is to be expelled or not. In some cases, discretion is not limited at all and one has to prove that the rules to expel do not apply. In this case, discretion is extremely reduced. You will usually be expelled if you

  1. have been sentenced a minimum of two years to youth custody or youth prison without probation on one or more indictments for a purposely committed crime.
  2. have been sentenced for infiltrating foreigners to Germany,
  3. have been sentenced for illegally cultivates, produces, imports, transports, exports, sell, drugs,
  4. have produced facts that justify the assumption, you belong to or support a terrorist organization,
  5. have produced facts that justify the assumption, that you belonged or supported a terrorist organization (but only if a present danger can be verified.

This “will usually” implies reduced discretion. Normally, you will be expelled if you do not show any reason that justifies your stay. Before expulsion, the office must hear you. This means, you will receive a letter from the Ausländeramt stating that they want you to leave the country and asking if you have any reasons for staying. You “must” be expelled if

  1. were sentenced for one or more purposely committed crimes to at least three year imprisonment or have been imprisoned numerous times with at least three years during the last five years, or you were last sentenced with an extended term of imprisonment,
  2. were sentenced for offenses on drug laws, disturbing the public peace and were sentenced for up to two years youth custody or to imprisonment not on probation,
  3. were sentenced to imprisonment not on probation for infiltrating foreigners.
Come on, this has been all about the bad boys in life. I don't do such bullshit. Can't you give any hints for those living a normal life? What are common grounds for expulsion? I lost my job and have to live on unemployment funds.

A normal reason for expulsion consists of the fact that you cannot afford the costs of living, including sufficient health insurance from

  • employment,
  • your own assets,
  • alimony paid by family members or third persons,
  • stipends, education or retraining payments,
  • unemployment payments without welfare character (Arbeitslosengeld I) or other public payments for which premiums have been paid in the past.

Further reasons will be if

  • you endanger or interfere with Germany’s interests,
  • you entered Germany without the required visa, (e.g. officially only as a tourist but actually intending to remain permanently),
  • you do not have a passport,
  • your identity or citizenship is not clear and you have no right of return to another country,
  • you endanger Germany’s free democratic order or security, or if you resort to violence for political interests or publicly call for violence or threaten to resort to violence, or if facts prove that you belong to an association that supports international terrorism or supports another group favoring such terrorism.
I know that foreigners can be expelled from Germany. But I was born in Germany and my wife has a settlement permit. How great is the possibility for us to be expelled? Are there no exceptions?

Of course, there are exceptions! Your personal situation almost guarantees that you all can live the rest of your lives in Germany. If you fall under these exceptions, you will be expelled only if the danger you create is severe. This situation can be described, as a secure right of residence with the reservation of expulsion in severe cases (§56 AufenthG). Other typical privileged situations are

  • cohabiting with a German,
  • having a residence permit, and being born or having entered Germany as a child and having lived here for at least five years,
  • having a residence permit, having legally lived here for at least five years, and cohabiting with a foreigner having a settlement permit.
What’s so bad if I am deported? Okay, I am now outside the country and they had to force me out. But, who cares now?

The bad thing about being expelled is not only that you will be banned from reentering the country – and therefore also from residing in or just visiting Schengen Area for the next several years. The border authorities will be informed of you being branded not to enter Germany or Schengen Area. You will also have to cover the cost of your relocation. Latest when you apply for a visa or a residence permit will your deportation become a problem.

Having a settlement permit, am I correct that I am not subject to expulsion? Permanent residency surely means just that.

You are subject to deportation. However, the prerequisites are much higher for you to be expelled (§56 AufenthG).

Hey, they are really taking this expulsion serious! I just got an Ausweisungsbeschluß? What exactly is my situation?

The expulsion order (Ausweisungsbeschluß) will specify the date by which you have to have left Germany. If you ignore this order, you will be arrested. Your name will remain on the computerized Look-Out-List (Fahndungsliste) until the period stated in the expulsion order has expired. Upon arrest, you will be placed in penal detention because contempt of an expulsion order is considered a penal offense. While in detention, proceedings are initiated for your immediate deportation.