The Saxon Commissioner for Foreign Nationals promotes the integration of foreign nationals living in the Free State of Saxony and protects their interests. The office was established in 1992. At the beginning of each parliamentary term, the state parliament elects one of its members as Commissioner. The Commissioner is independent and autonomous and works to promote the legal, social and cultural integration of people with a migration background living in Saxony.
Of Saxony’s approximately four million inhabitants, about 5.3 percent do not hold German citizenship. The Commissioner for Foreign Nationals is committed to ensuring that the interests of such people are adequately represented in Saxony, within the state government, parliament and society as a whole.
We can provide information and advice
Which agency is responsible for this issue? What does the official document say? What does this law mean?
We can mediate
Which government agency, aid organization or advice centre can help with this issue?
We can offer support
If someone is having difficulties with their employer, landlord or an authority, we can work with them to try and resolve the matter.
We can’t decide
Decisions can only be made by the competent authority, such as the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, the Federal Employment Agency, the Social Welfare Office or the Immigration Office.
We can’t issue instructions
The Commissioner for Foreign Nationals does not have the right to instruct other authorities.
We are not lawyers
The office cannot act as a lawyer.
The tasks individuals have to complete and the problems they are usually faced with generally arise at local level. The Commissioner therefore works closely with municipal commissioners for foreign nationals and integration, homing in on concerns, identifying what action is needed, and bringing this to the attention of the regional government. The Commissioner’s office is part of the state parliament administration and supports and advises the incumbent.
KAIBs’ experience and commitment are fundamental to migration and integration work in Saxony. They are familiar with aid facilities, have local contacts and know who the decision-makers are.
Migration Guidance Centres (MBE) advise adult immigrants over the age of 27 who may be able to gain permanent residency. Immigrants under the age of 27 are looked after by the Youth Migration Services (JMD). The advice centres are run by social associations such as the Arbeiterwohlfahrt (Workers’ Welfare Association), Caritas (Catholic welfare association) and Diakonie (social welfare organisation of Protestant churches).
The Saxon Commissioner for Foreign Nationals offers all associations and alliances of the Free State the opportunity to discuss issues in confidence. It is not possible to provide financial support. Please call to make an appointment for a discussion either online or in person.
We are happy to send Saxon Commissioner for Foreign Nationals publications to all citizens and institutions. Shipping is free of charge to individuals and institutions within Germany.
Many places in Saxony have voluntary initiatives that provide advice, help with learning, or sponsorship to immigrants. There are volunteering and integration coordinators in a number of districts and cities. Help and contacts are often listed on the association’s or city’s regional website.
The immigration authorities of the relevant district or urban municipality are responsible for all rulings on residence or employment. Translation services and municipal interpreting services are available. District and municipal social welfare offices provide advice on social issues.
The Federal Employment Agency provides training and job opportunities as well as unemployment benefits. Local job centres advise jobseekers and employers, and provides support for education and training.
Vocational Information Centres (known by the acronym BIZ in German) provide comprehensive information to pupils, teachers and parental representatives on all aspects of education, careers and studies.
Decisions that are part of the asylum procedure are made by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).
Migration and integration issues in the context of social policy are the responsibility of the Saxon State Ministry for Social Affairs and Social Cohesion. Education is the responsibility of the Saxon State Ministry for Cultural Affairs. The State Directorate of Saxony (Landesdirektion Sachsen or LDS) is responsible for taking steps to terminate residence (deportations). Regulatory decisions are ultimately a matter for the Saxon State Ministry of the Interior.
Where anyone has a request or a complaint with regard to government action, they can contact the Saxon State Parliament Petitions Committee in writing or online.
The Saxon State Government’s support for integration projects is based on the funding guidelines for integration initiatives. The Saxon Commissioner for Foreign Nationals does not provide financial support for integration projects.
Most public administrations in Saxony are have weekday opening hours. Standby services are in place at police stations or courts to handle urgent cases within the responsibility of the regulatory authorities. Regional contacts can be reached via police departments. The public authority hotline is 115.
The Free State of Saxony Schools Act requires equality of educational opportunity for all pupils. The Saxon Education Agency offers special educational advice to all school-age children under the age of 18. A coordinated approach is taken to clarify what further studies pupils will pursue. Advisory services are provided at regional Education Agency offices in Bautzen, Chemnitz, Dresden, Leipzig and Zwickau, depending on pupils’ place of residence.
There is no compulsory education requirement for young migrants over the age of 18. They can continue their education and obtain their Abitur (high school diploma) provided they submit an application and attend special educational counselling at a designated college. Admission decisions are made by college management. The young adults are admitted to a preparatory class and gradually integrated into mainstream study. Over18s who are undertaking language courses and specific classes provided by the Federal Employment Agency (BA) in preparation for vocational training do not receive any special educational counselling.
The Saxon Commissioner for Foreign Nationals works with the Saxon Ministry of the Interior to promote naturalisation, by welcoming new Germans with a naturalisation ceremony, for example. Naturalised citizens have equality with all other citizens along with the same rights and responsibilities. Naturalisation is a clear signal that the person has put down roots in Germany.
The Hardship Commission can ensure that foreign nationals who would otherwise have to leave the country are granted residence permits for urgent humanitarian or personal reasons.
In the Free State of Saxony, a Hardship Commission was established in 2005 by the Saxon Hardship Commission Ordinance (SächsHFKVO), pursuant to Section 23a of the Residence Act. Geert Mackenroth is the elected Chairman of the Commission.