Federal State Reception Centers (LAE)

If you have come to Germany seeking protection and wishing to apply for asylum, public authorities will allocate you by law and quota system to a temporary residence in a federal state, the so-called federal state reception center (LAE).

Your initial reception (registration) as asylum seeking person takes place in the LAE. If Saxony-Anhalt does not handle applications for asylum from your country of origin, staff members will transfer your application to the authorized federal state.

In the LAE you receive accommodation, food and other necessary requirements for living. You will be accommodated here until you are allocated to a municipality and transfer.

You have to remain on site

In the course of your initial reception, a residential obligation (Aufenthaltsverpflichtung) applies, often called Residenzpflicht. That means that your residence is restricted to a certain area (administrative or urban district). Residential obligation exists in order that public authorities are able to reach you anytime and that you receive important documents in time. It is valid at least three months or as long as you are obliged to remain at the federal state reception center.

If you want to visit relatives or if you need to leave your initial reception area for other reasons, you need permission (leave pass – Urlaubsschein). You can apply for permission at the Federal Office. If you leave the area without permission, you will face a fine; in case of recurrence, criminal proceeding is imminent.

Length of Residence in the LAE

According to the law, the length of residence in initial reception centers is a period of up to six months. At the moment, the actual period depends on the state of your asylum process.

If you come from a safe country of origin as Albania, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Ghana, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Senegal or Serbia, there is only a small chance of your asylum application being recognized. In this case, you usually remain in the federal state reception center until the asylum procedure has been concluded.

Protection of Unaccompanied Minor Refugees

If you are younger than 18 years old (under age) and stay in Germany without any parent or custody holder, you are in particular need of protection. After your arrival, you will be adopted by the authorized youth welfare office. You do not stay in the initial reception centers but will receive advice, care and accommodation by youth welfare services.

Sexual identity

In Germany, no one can be disadvantaged because of his or her sexual orientation (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersexual and queer people). If you have any questions and/or if you look for consulting services, please do not hesitate to contact your social worker. Look for hints (rainbow) for special consulting offers.

Distribution (transfer) to Rural Districts

If you have good prospects of permanent residence or if your asylum application is approved, you will be allocated to a municipality. The LAE staff will tell you which municipality is going to admit you. Currently, personal wishes regarding your residence in Saxony-Anhalt cannot be taken into account. Nevertheless, if you have first-degree relatives (children, parents, minor siblings, in the case of minors also siblings over 18 years) you are entitled to claim to move to your relatives’ place of residence.

Action in Case of Conflict

Living together in a very confined space might lead to conflicts. You can contribute to de-escalation through your own responsible actions.

  • Please keep calm in case of conflict.
  • Try to settle disputes with involved parties on-site by addressing conflict resolutions.
  • Report any dangerous situation to social workers immediately.
  • In the event of an emergency, call the security service or the local police.
  • If you have been a victim of racist and right-wing violence, you can contact the mobile victim consultation for support and assistance.


In your federal state reception center you receive statutory aids and an initial fitting-out.

You receive as non-cash benefits:
• vouchers for breakfast, lunch and dinner
• bed linen and dishware
• clothes and hygiene products

Besides, you receive pocket money for your individual demand. It is paid cash and it is calculated for one person of legal age (18 years). Only one member of a family receives the full sums. Other family members receive reduced sums.

Hygiene products are part of the initial fitting-out. After having received pocket money, you will have to buy them yourself. You will receive vouchers for clothes from the social welfare office, which allow you to do shopping in the city. Urgent supply of clothing is secured by means of a clothing store.

Health Care

In case of acute illness, please go to the medical supply point (MediCare) of your facility.

There, you will always find a doctor during the day. If it is not possible to treat your condition in the LAE, this doctor may prescribe further treatment with another doctor. For that, he issues a letter of referral (Überweisungsschein).
In case of non-acute diseases, you always need a treatment certificate (Behandlungsschein). You must apply for this certificate and pick it up at the social welfare office before the doctor’s visit.

If certain experiences depress you, if you sleep badly or if your body reacts unaccostumedly, you might suffer a trauma. Support (as far as existing in the LAE is provided by the Psychosocial Office (Psychosozialer Dienst) and the Psychosocial Centers (Psychosoziale Zentren) of the Federal State in Halle and Magdeburg. If necessary, make an appointment there.

If you need support regarding HIV (or other sexually transmitted diseases), please contact the HIV-supports (AIDS-Hilfen) in Halberstadt, Halle or Magdeburg. These will advise you anonymously and will name specific contact points.

Organizing the time in the LAE

Allow sufficient time and tranquility for your asylum procedure. Take advantage of the local counseling centers with their services as well as corresponding information material (flyers, videos and others). In this way, you can prepare yourself for your hearing.

Allow sufficient time for learning German. In your facility, there is usually the possibility to learn the German language. Take advantage of existing offers or find out about possibilities of independent learning by asking the social workers.

Please also note first orientation services such as the multi-lingual orientation course for refugees. Outside of the initial reception center (for example, in the municipal community college), you also have the possibility to attend German courses or courses on daily routine. Thus, you can make yourself familiar with life in Germany.
Attention: Please ask beforehand if these courses are charged.

For children, fleeing is worse than for parents. Therefore, provide your children with the opportunities to play together. In all initial reception centers, there are offers for the leisure time of your children. Encourage your children to participate.
Please note: As legal guardian you are principally responsible for the welfare and actions of your children. That means, in the initial reception center you should always know where your child is. Watch it yourself wherever possible or inform other legal guardians where they can reach you. Your child, too, should always know where you are.
Take part in job opportunities or charitable work (translation, support at events, cleaning work, repairs and other work). You can thus gain first experiences with the German labor market. In addition, you can thus actively shape your immediate living environment and improve your pocket money.

Assessing professional competences

In the federal state reception center, the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) already provides the assessment of your professional competences. You will be asked about your educational and professional qualifications as well as your previous work experiences. If your professional qualification is needed on the labor market, you will receive a quick labor market consultation and you will be placed in recognition consultation. In case your professional qualification meets the requirements of the local labor market, you might also be allocated to the respective municipality.

Competences and qualifications are required for most professions. Especially, if you already have completed a vocational training or if you have a university de- gree, you should therefore take advantage of the competence assessment in the LAE.