the good news first: You do not have to go to the Syrian embassy in Berlin and apply for a new Syrian passport or have your old passport renewed.
You already have a residence permit (subsidiary protection) that has to be extended. According to Section 5 (3) sentence 1 of the German Residence Act the fulfillment of the passport obligation is to be waived if a residence permit, according to Section 25 (2) sentence 1, second alternative of the German Residence act (subsidiary protection) or Section 25 (3) German Residence Act, is granted or extended (see Section 8 (1) German Residence Act). In these cases, the granting or extension of a permit is not to be made dependent on the fulfillment of the passport obligation pursuant to Section 3 (1) of the Residence Act.
The Federal Ministry of the Interior has clarified this due to an inquiry once again: „Generally, foreigners must present a passport to obtain a residence permit (Section 5 (1) No. 4 German Residence Act). However, this does not apply to recognized refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection and holders of a residence permit pursuant to Section 25 (3) (Section 5 (3) sentence 1 German Residence Act). These are exempt by law from the obligation to fulfill the passport requirement for the issuance of the residence permit. The residence title is therefore to be issued irrespectively of this requirement for issuance.” *
However, if you want to travel abroad, you will need a travel document.
Persons entitled to subsidiary protection can apply for a travel document for foreigners. This travel document is only issued if the foreigner does not have a passport and cannot demonstrably obtain one in a reasonable manner (Section 5 of the Ordinance Governing Residence). Under the current law, persons eligible for subsidiary protection may also be reasonably expected to apply for a national passport from the national authorities of the country of origin. The specific requirements for the existence of unreasonableness are assessed by the foreigner’s authority according to the circumstances of each individual case.
Existence of unreasonableness
The circumstances justifying unreasonableness must generally be explained and proven by the foreigner to the foreigner’s authority (cf. OVG NW, decision of 17.05.2016 – 18 A 951/15). Such could be demanded bribe payments or because the relatives in the home country are endangered.
So, you should go to the foreigner’s authority and insist on the extension of your residence permit for another 2 years – even if your Syrian passport is no longer valid. Show them the Email of the BMI as below.
For any remaining difficulties with the foreigner’s authority, you would have to consult a lawyer.
*Here you can find the original Email of the BMI:
***This article was first published in German in 2017 and therefore reflects the law as of 2017***