Can I work in Germany with a Fiktionsbescheinigung?

The simple answer is – Yes, you can work in Germany with a Fiktionsbescheinigung if you had a valid residence permit when you applied for Fiktionsbescheinigung.

You can also get Fiktionsbescheinigung without a valid residence permit in hand and in this case, you are not allowed to take employment in Germany or travel abroad.

Let’s dive deeper into the Fiktionsbescheinigung topic and help you understand the overall concept.


What is a Fiktionsbescheinigung?

A Fiktionsbescheinigung is a Probationary Residence Permit which indicates that the holder of this certificate has another application in progress for an actual Residence Permit.

A Fiktionsbescheinigung is provided when immediate approval of the Residence Permit application can not be provided because of one of the many reasons. The most common reason in the case of a Jobseeker visa is the conversion of the Residence Permit from a Jobseeker to a Blue Card visa.

The other scenario is when your current temporary residence permit is about to expire and you are unable to get a Blue card visa appointment. This is a very common scenario in cities like Stuttgart where the waiting time to get a Blue card visa appointment is several months.

In most common scenarios, a Fiktionsbescheinigung allows the person to work in Germany and travel abroad.

Different types of Fiktionsbescheinigung

There are primarily two types of Fiktionsbescheinigung:

1. Based on § 81 Section 4 of the Residence Act

This type of Fiktionsbescheinigung is granted when the applicant already has a valid Residence permit (e.g. Category D National Visa).

The Fiktionsbescheinigung holder in this case is allowed to work in Germany and travel abroad without restriction.

2. Based on § 81 Section 3 of the Residence Act

Under this act, a Fiktionsbescheinigung is allotted to an applicant who does not hold a valid residence permit but is allowed to stay in Germany because of his/her Nationality.

Under this category, a person can not work in Germany and is also not allowed re-entry into Germany.

Comparison with other Residence Permits

Let’s compare Fiktionsbescheinigung with the most common types of visa for Germany.

Jobseeker VisaFiktionsbescheinigung
A Jobseeker visa is granted to an applicant who is looking for a job in Germany.A Fiktionsbescheinigung is granted to a person who already holds a Residence Permit or is allowed to stay in Germany based on their Nationality.
A Jobseeker visa is valid for 6 months.A Fiktionsbescheinigung is valid until a decision is made around the new residence Permit application or until you get the new Residence Permit.
You can travel outside of Germany and can re-enter Germany without any issue.Only the “§ 81 Section 4 of the Residence Act” category of Fiktionsbescheinigung allows a re-entry to Germany.
You can not work directly on a Jobseeker visa.You get a Fiktionsbescheinigung when you find a job while you are on a Jobseeker visa. Once you get the Fiktionsbescheinigung, you can work in Germany.
A Jobseeker visa is applied directly from the Home country.A Fiktionsbescheinigung is applied while you are in Germany.

Another very common type of visa among ex-pats is the Blue Card Visa. Let’s see how a Fiktionsbescheinigung is different from a Blue Card Visa.

Blue Card VisaFiktionsbescheinigung
A person is eligible for a Blue card Visa only if they have an employment contract that pays above the Blue card threshold amount.A person is eligible for a Fiktionsbescheinigung irrespective of the salary.
A Blue card visa holder can work anywhere in Europe as it is called an EU Blue card.A Fiktionsbescheinigung allows you to work only within Germany.
You get a physical card (e-Card) when you apply for the Blue card visa.You get a paper certificate when you apply for a Fiktionsbescheinigung.
You can apply for a Blue card visa directly from the Home country. But, you will get the Physical Blue card only once you are in Germany.You can apply for a Fiktionsbescheinigung only when you are in Germany.

Things to keep in mind

Even though it is a pretty straightforward process to apply for a Fiktionsbescheinigung, there are a few things that you should keep in mind for smooth processing and to get the maximum out of this probationary residence permit.

  1. Make sure that you apply for the new Residence permit at least 3 months before the expiry date of the current residence permit.
  2. Always ask for a Fiktionsbescheinigung when you apply for a new Residence Permit to ensure that there is no timeframe where you do not hold a valid Residence Permit.

Documents required for Fiktionsbescheinigung

There are 3 main documents required for a Fiktionsbescheinigung application

  1. A valid Passport.
  2. Proof of your residence in the city where you are applying for the new Residence Permit.
  3. Current and valid Residence Permit (If applicable).

You might be required to provide additional documents based on your situation and eligibility for the new Residence Permit.

You will also have to pay a fee for the Fiktionsbescheinigung application. It is usually under 20 EUR per person.

FAQs about Fiktionsbescheinigung

Can I apply for a Fiktionsbescheinigung while on a Schengen Visa?

No, If you hold a Schengen Visa or a Tourist Visa, you are required to travel back to your home country and apply for a new visa to travel to Germany.

Can I travel outside of Germany with a Fiktionsbescheinigung?

Yes, you can always travel outside of Germany with a Fiktionsbescheinigung. The only catch here is that if your Fiktionsbescheinigung is under § 81 Section 3 of the Residence Act, you won’t be allowed re-entry into Germany.

Can I work in Germany with a Fiktionsbescheinigung?

Yes, you can work in Germany with a Fiktionsbescheinigung which is allotted under the § 81 Section 4 of the Residence Act.

What is the waiting time to get a Fiktionsbescheinigung?

After an application is submitted, a Fiktionsbescheinigung takes a couple of weeks to get via Post. You could also pick up your Fiktionsbescheinigung from the Auslanderbehoerde of your city in some cases.

Anoop is a German PR holder and a Software Engineering manager with over 12 years of experience in the IT industry. He worked for several renowned IT companies in India and many startups in Germany. Anoop was featured on YourStory Germany, Zeit Online, Imagine Foundation, Tech Job Fairs Berlin, and many other platforms.

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