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What is Fiction certificate - Fiktionsbescheinigung in Germany

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

With the fictional certificate, the immigration authorities are able to prove that the applicant has a provisional right to reside in the federal territory. This is frequently required for the issuance or extension of a residence permit.

Fiction certificate - Fiktionsbescheinigung in Germany

To legally live in Germany, foreign citizens need to apply for a residence permit and wait for the decision from the immigration authorities. During this waiting period, they receive a Fiction certificate (Fiktionsbescheinigung), a temporary document that shows their legal right to stay in Germany. This document ensures they won't be penalised for staying in the country while their application is being processed.

With a Fiktionsbescheinigung, you're permitted to:

  • Stay in Germany after your visa or residence permit has expired.

  • Carry on with your job, studies, or self-employment like before.

  • In some situations, travel outside of Germany.

How to get a Fiction certificate in Germany

A Fiktionsbescheinigung is issued only when a decision on someone's residence permit application is pending due to different reasons, such as needing more time for processing or awaiting additional documents from the applicant. In general, it is not possible to apply for a fiction certificate alone.

During your in-person appointment at the Ausländerbehörde for renewing or applying for the residence permit, they generally provide you with a Fiktionsbescheinigung if the new residence permit cannot be issued before the current one expires.

If you have applied for the renewal of your residence permit after its expiration or if your appointment was scheduled after the expiry date, you are typically given a Fiktionsbescheinigung without having to request it.

If you need to travel outside of Germany and haven't received a Fiktionsbescheinigung at the time of your in-person appontment, you can explain your situation to the person handling your case and sometimes provide evidence of the requirement. However, the provision of a Fiktionsbescheinigung depends on your specific case and the type of residence permit you hold.

German fiction certificat (Fiktionsbescheinigung) sample

Eligibility for a Fiction Certificate

The following are the general eligibility criteria for obtaining a Fiction Certificate in Germany:

  1. You must be a third-country national. This means that you are not a citizen of an EU member state or a country that is part of the European Economic Area (EEA).

  2. You must have submitted a valid application for a residence permit. This application must be submitted to the foreigners' registration office (Ausländerbehörde) in your town.

  3. Your application must be pending approval. This means that the foreigners' registration office has not yet made a decision on your application.

Types of Fiktionsbescheinigung in Germany

As noted in most of the fiction certificates issued, there are three main types of Fiktionsbescheinigung in Germany:

  • Fiktiv erlaubter Aufenthalt (Section 81(3) Sentence 1 of the Residence Act / 81 Abs. 3 Satz 1 AufenthG)

  • Fiktive Aussetzung der Abschiebung (Section 81(3) Sentence 2 of the Residence Act / 81 Abs. 3 Satz 2 AufenthG)

  • Fiktiv fortbestehender Aufenthaltstitel (Section 81(4) of the Residence Act / 81 Abs. 4 AufenthG)

Fiktiv erlaubter Aufenthalt (81 Abs. 3 Satz 1 AufenthG)

This type of fiction certificate is issued If you do not currently hold a valid residence permit and you have applied for one within the prescribed time frame.

This means that your stay in Germany is considered legal until a decision is made regarding your application. You are allowed to keep living, working, and studying in Germany while your application is being processed. Additionally, you cannot travel outside of Germany without receiving the permission from the immigration authorities beforehand.

Fiktive Aussetzung der Abschiebung (81 Abs. 3 Satz 2 AufenthG)

This type of Fiktionsbescheinigung is issued if you do not have a valid residence permit and you apply for one late.

With this fiction certificate, you are not allowed to travel outside of Germany while your application is being processed. You must wait until the Ausländerbehörde has made a decision on your application before you can travel.

Fiktiv fortbestehender Aufenthaltstitel (81 Abs. 4 AufenthG)

This type of Fiktionsbescheinigung is issued when there's currently a valid residence permit (like a temporary residence permit or a long-term national visa - Category D). It's issued according to Section 81, Paragraph 4 of the Residence Act.

The existing residence permit, along with all its additional conditions (including those related to work permissions), remains valid until a decision is made about the application. With this type of fiction certificate, traveling outside of Germany and re-entering the country is allowed.

Since immigration laws can be complicated and are often misunderstood, we recommend that you contact the Ausländerbehörde in your town to get the exact status of your fiction certificate.

Frequently asked questions about German Fiction certificate - Fiktionsbescheinigung

Can I work in Germany with a Fiction Certificate?

Yes, it is possible to work in Germany with a Fiction Certificate (Fiktionsbescheinigung), as it serves as proof of your legal presence in the country. However, you may be subject to certain restrictions and regulations depending on your specific circumstances and the type of work you are seeking.

Is it possible to travel with a fiction certificate?

What should I do if my Fiction Certificate is lost or stolen?

Can I study in Germany with a Fiction Certificate?

How long does it take to process a Fiction Certificate application in Germany?

Can I apply for a Fiction Certificate if I have overstayed my visa or permit in Germany?

What is the difference between a Fiction Certificate and a visa or residence permit in Germany?

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