Corona-Update #4: Residence permit for a freelance employment
The office of foreign affairs has updated its FAQ on the Corona-Virus:
According to this, artists with a residence permit can now apply for social benefits.
My residency title contains an additional stipulation stating, “becomes invalid if benefits are drawn under SGB II/XII or AsylbLG”. Owing to the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak I am having to draw SGB II (Hartz IV), SGB XII (social assistance) or AsylbLG (Asylum Seeker Benefits Act) benefits. Does that mean my residency permit has become invalid?
No. On 24th March 2020 and 27th March 2020 Berlin Immigration Office issued two General Decrees. These state that your residency permit does not become invalid if, between 18th March 2020 and 17th June 2020, you draw short-term work benefits, SGB II (Hartz IV), SGB XII (social assistance) or AsylbLG (Asylum Seeker Benefits Act) benefits.
This applies in spite of the conditional stipulation in your residency permit, provided that for the entire period when you draw these benefits Berlin Immigration Office remains the Foreigners Authority responsible for your residency status (i.e. provided you retain your primary place of residency in Berlin and are registered as living here). In that case you do not need to take any action.
Owing to the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak I am having temporarily to draw SGB II (Hartz IV), SGB XII (social assistance) or AsylbLG (Asylum Seeker Benefits Act) benefits. However, a condition for my right of residency was that I could secure my subsistence without recourse to welfare benefits. Is my right of residency now under threat?
No. It is true that your residency permit may be terminated by Berlin Immigration Office if one of the fundamental criteria for obtaining it is no longer met (the so-called curtailing of validity under Section 7(2)2 of the Residency Act). However, Berlin Immigration Office will not apply this provision with effect until 17th June 2020 with regard to the resort to such benefits.
Please bear in mind that, when seeking a formal extension of your residency permit after the Coronavirus pandemic has ended, you will once again be required to prove that you can secure your subsistence yourself without recourse to supplementary welfare benefits.
If your residency permit is due to expire within the next six weeks, please complete our online form.