Are refugees granted asylum in Germany afforded any rights of citizenship?

I understand the citizenship process for Germany takes around eight years. Do they have any rights to travel within the EU during this time?

  • 3
    Due to the Schengen agreements, the right to travel to other Schengen area countries is not restricted to citizens and is available to third party nationals -even on a tourist visa-, so I would not qualify it as a "right of citizenship". In general, that you get some right with citizenship does not mean that you cannot get in other way, so qualifying a right as "of citizenship" or not is not very practical (e.g. a citizen has the right not to be detained without a motive, but a foreigner has that same right).
    – SJuan76
    Commented Oct 6, 2018 at 17:12
  • It's important to understand that in most of the EU, individuals can obtain the right to reside, work and travel without a full "citizenship" status in the strictest legal sense. Refugees granted asylum do not get a citizenship status, but they do get the right to reside in the country, which in turn thanks to the Schengen agreements allows travel within most of the EU.
    – Mahn
    Commented Oct 6, 2018 at 20:52

2 Answers 2


While I do not share your notion that the right to travel to other countries can be qualified as a "right of citizenship" (because there are people who are not citizens who have the same rights), people granted asylum status can travel freely within the Schengen Area, Ireland and Romania.

People granted the Refugee Travel Document(the "Blue Passport) can travel without visa to:

Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland*, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein*, Litvania, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway*, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland*, Slovakia, Slovania, Spain, the Czech Republic, and Hungary (Schengen States) as well as Ireland and Romania. The latter two are not among the Schengen States; nevertheless, they are Contracting States of the above-mentioned agreement on EU-wide visa abolition for recognised refugees

The "Blue Passport" can also be used to travel to any country that grants its holder a visa.


Do they have any rights to travel within the EU during this time?

Yes. Article 28 of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees states:

travel documents

  1. The Contracting States shall issue to refugees lawfully staying in their territory travel documents for the purpose of travel outside their territory, unless compelling reasons of national security or public order otherwise require, and the provisions of the Schedule to this Convention shall apply with respect to such documents. The Contracting States may issue such a travel document to any other refugee in their territory; they shall in particular give sympathetic consideration to the issue of such a travel document to refugees in their territory who are unable to obtain a travel document from the country of their lawful residence.
  2. Travel documents issued to refugees under previous international agreements by parties thereto shall be recognized and treated by the Contracting States in the same way as if they had been issued pursuant to this article.

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