You might be able to. The residency restrictions for refugees in Germany are called “Wohnsitzauflage”. According to these restrictions you have to stay in the federal state (Bundesland) that was responsible for your asylum procedure for the three years after your recognition as a refugee. This law applies to everybody who was granted:
- a refugee status (Flüchtlingsschutz)
- an entitlement to asylum (Asylberechtigung)
- subsidiary protection (Subsidiärer Schutz)
- or a national ban on deportation (Abschiebungsverbot)
after the 01.01.2016.
But there are several exceptions to that law. Even if it applies, you may be able to study at a university in another federal state during these 3 years.
If you can prove (i.e. with a contract or a notification of admission) that you (or members of your immediate family) will:
- work (more than 15 hours per week and with social insurance)
- or start an apprenticeship
out of the federal state you are currently living in, you can be allowed to move to another federal state.
Example: You were recognized as a refugee in Brandenburg where your asylum procedure took place and where you should stay for the next three years. However you want to study at a university in Hamburg and your application was accepted. As a result you may be allowed to leave Brandenburg and move to Hamburg for your studies.
In this case you should send an application (“Antrag auf Aufhebung der Wohnsitzauflage”) together with your letter of enrollment (or a similar document that proves that you can start studying at the university) to the authority of foreigners (Ausländerbehörde) that is responsible for you. If you are not sure if this law affects you and how to handle it, please have a look at our list of legal consultation services where you can find support.