On March 28, 2019, the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig ruled that under European Union legislation a spouse from a third country that is married to an EU citizen has the right to reside in Germany and is entitled to the right of free movement even if they live separately from one another and the EU citizen temporarily returns to his/her country of origin (BVerwG 1 C 9.18).

The Higher Administrative Court of Hesse issued a ruling on 5 March 2018 (case no: 9 B 56/19) withdrawing the right to free movement for European Union workers from a Bulgarian national. The Court issued this ruling because an overall assessment of the objective circumstances in her case led it to believe that she did not comply with the intent of the freedom of movement regulations, even though she formally met the conditions set out under EU law. The court came to this conclusion because the Bulgarian had acted with the intention of benefiting from EU law by arbitrarily meeting the prerequisites for freedom of movement as a worker in order to obtain additional social security benefits.

The Court of Justice of the European Union decided on 26 March 2019 in its judgment in case C-129/18 (SM v Entry Clearance Officer, UK Visa Section) that a minor in the guardianship of a citizen of the EU under the Algerian kafala system cannot be regarded as a ‘direct descendant’ of that citizen. However, that citizen’s Member State of residence must facilitate, following an assessment, that minor’s entry to and residence in its territory.

On 12 September 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a recasting of the 2008 Return Directive, which stipulates common standards and procedures in Member States for returning irregular migrants who are non-EU nationals. Effectively returning irregular migrants is one of the key objectives of the European Union’s migration policy. However, Member States currently face challenges: national practices implementing the EU rules vary and the overall return rates remain below expectations. The proposal was not accompanied by a Commission impact assessment. The European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) therefore asked the European Parliamentary Research Service to provide a targeted substitute impact assessment of the proposed recast Return Directive.

In order for the United Kingdom (UK) to avoid a ‘hard’ Brexit, an interim agreement addressing, amongst other issues, the legal status of UK nationals living in other European Union (EU) countries as well as that of EU citizens living in the UK is required. The agreement must come into effect by 30 March 2019 unless the European Council, in agreement with the UK, unanimously agrees to extend this deadline in accordance with Article 50, paragraph 3 of the Treaty on European Union. Otherwise, all agreements pertaining to the Union and to the treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community will no longer have effect for the UK as of midnight (Brussels time) on 29 March 2019. After this deadline, the United Kingdom will be considered a third country, i.e. a non-member country. All agreements pertaining to overseas countries and territories that have special relations with the UK and to the European territories whose foreign affairs are overseen by the UK, and to which the agreements apply under Article 355 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, will no longer have effect.

The future of Germany as a business location depends to a large extent on how well it is possible to secure and expand the skilled labor base of companies and enterprises. Prosperity, the stability of social security systems and the associated social cohesion, as essential elements of the social market economy, are closely linked to the strength of the economy. The aim is to maintain and expand this strength in the future by providing good framework conditions and a forward-looking skilled workforce.

On 21 August 2018, the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig decided that the deportation of a foreigner is not illegal even if a decision has not been previously made about how long the foreigner’s entry ban into Germany will last. The fact that a decision has not been made also does not prevent the government from imposing deportation costs on the foreigner concerned. Furthermore, the Federal Administrative Court clarified once again that under EU law, a ban on entry and residence always requires an official or judicial case-by-case decision and cannot be automatically imposed.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) recently ruled in the case Yön v. the Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart (City of Stuttgart, case no: C-123/17) that the introduction of a visa requirement for family members of employed Turkish workers who are already residing legally in Germany can be justified on the grounds of implementing effective immigration control and the need to manage migratory flows into Germany. In the court’s view, a visa requirement is justified as long as the process of obtaining one is proportionate to achieving the objective.

On 11 July 2018, the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig issued a ruling (case no. BVerwG 1 C 18.17) concerning the right of asylum applicants to file legal actions to force The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) to make a decision about their asylum applications. The court determined that applicants may lodge an action against BAMF if a decision has not been made on their asylum application within three months. It also believed applicants have a legitimate interest in taking legal action for the sole purpose of obliging BAMF to make a decision on their applications.

The Federal Administrative Court issued a ruling in Leipzig on 12 July 2018 (Case no BVerwG 1 C 16.17) which addresses the issue of expelling foreigners who have committed crimes on grounds of general deterrence. According to German law, general deterrence can be used as a reason for justifying the government’s demand to expel a foreigner even under the new expulsion legislation in effect since 2016. The law stipulates that a residence permit normally cannot be granted if there is a public interest in expelling a foreigner.

The Court of Justice of the European Union decided on 12 July 2018 in the case C-89/17 that a Member State must facilitate the entry and residence of the non-EU partner with whom an EU citizen has a durable relationship. A decision to refuse such a residence authorisation to the non-EU partner must be founded on an extensive examination of the applicant’s personal circumstances and be justified by reasons.

Foreigners who have been granted subsidiary protection as their final status, and as such are not entitled to family reunification, do not have a legitimate interest in taking legal action for the additional ascertainment of meeting the preconditions for being issued a national ban on deportation, which would make it easier to meet the requirements for family reunification. This was the ruling of the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig in its judgment from 19 April 2018 (BVerwG 1 C 29.17) in a leapfrog appeal filed by the plaintiff in December 2017, which bypassed the lower appeals court.

The Court of Justice of the EU decided on 17. April 2018 in joined cases C-316/16 and C-424/16 that it is a prerequisite of eligibility for enhanced protection against expulsion that the person concerned must have a right of permanent residence. The requirement of having ‘resided in the host Member State for the previous ten years’, which is also a prerequisite of eligibility for that enhanced protection, may be satisfied where an overall assessment of the citizen’s situation leads to the conclusion that, notwithstanding his detention, the integrative links between the citizen and the host Member State have not been broken.

I. General Information for Non-EU citizens

The legal basis for being issued a visa in order to work as an au-pair is section 18 paragraph 3 of the German Residence Act in conjunction with section 12 in the Employment Ordinance. Moreover, an au-pair must comply with the instructions in the Bundesagentur für Arbeit’s current information sheets. EU regulation 2016/801 (REST regulation) does not specify that the rules on entering and residing in the country must be implemented for working as an au-pair. For this reason, no adaptations to German national laws were made for this group of people.

The number of deportations continued to increase again in 2016. The government released numerous statistics related to the topic of deportations and voluntary departures upon the request of the socialist party DIE LINKE. The figures show there were 25,375 deportations in 2016, which is the equivalent of a 21.5 % increase compared to the previous year. The number of assisted voluntary departures even increased by 45% to well over 54,000. Additionally, there were many departures assisted by state funds as well as unassisted departures, but unfortunately there is no valid data on the number of these.

In January 2018, the German lawyers association, Deutsches Anwaltsinstitut, held its 24th annual conference on administrative law in Leipzig, where the President of the Federal Administrative Court, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Klaus Rennert, spoke about the challenges the administrative courts are facing as a result of the dramatic increase in legal proceedings in asylum-related matters.

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