People seeking asylum and people entitled to asylum

In Germany, the public broadcasting services offer independent radio, television and online services. They report free of economic and political influences. For this, all people living permanently in Germany pay the licence fee. It is currently 18.36 euros per month. The contribution service of ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio collects the licence fee and administers the accounts of the contributors.

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What do I have to do if I receive a letter from the contribution service?

Were you contacted by the contribution service to clarify your contribution obligation? Read the letter carefully and for your answer, please use the online form [in German] provided in the letter. In case you have questions, you can gladly establish contact with the contribution service.

Please note: If you do not respond even after a reminder, you will be automatically registered and this could give rise to claims. Therefore, the following applies: Please always respond when you receive letters from the contribution service!

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I live in my own dwelling. Does this affect my contribution obligation?

Provided you live in your own dwelling as a person entitled to asylum in Germany and have your own income, you are obligated in principle to pay the licence fee and must register [in German] with the contribution service. If another person is already paying the licence fee for the dwelling in which you live, you do not have to pay it yourself. In case you receive a letter from the contribution service, we request that you inform us of the contribution number of the person paying the licence fee for the dwelling. The fee only has to be paid once per dwelling. Please use our online form [in German] for your answer.

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Can I get an exemption from paying the licence fee?

In some cases, you can get an exemption from the licence fee obligation. If you can prove that you have no income and/or draw benefits according to the Asylum Seekers Benefit Act or other social security benefits (citizens’ income – previously unemployment benefits II, welfare benefits, old-age minimum pension, BAföG (a student grant), aid to the blind), you can apply for an exemption [in German].

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I live in a collective dwelling. Who pays?

If you are housed in a collective dwelling such as a home for asylum seekers, you do not have to register for the licence fee. The same applies if you live in a hotel or boarding house used exclusively for housing asylum seekers.

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