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What is a probationary certificate?

This is for employment and integration: the probationary certificate (Fiktionsbescheinigung) pursuant to section 81 of the Residence Act is a document issued by the Foreigners’ Registration Office during the processing of an application for a residence permit. This allows foreigners in Germany to demonstrate the existence of a provisional right of residence. 

It is called a ‘probationary’ certificate because it is a document that shows that, while residence rights are enjoyed in accordance with an assumed residence title, this title is only probationary, i.e. temporary and merely assumed. 

Upon receipt of a probationary certificate, it is possible to pursue employment in Germany subject to social security contributions.

It is important that an application for the extension of the probationary certificate is always submitted on time.

The Federal Printing Office wasn’t able to print probationary certificates fast enough. Therefore, replacement documents were issued: so-called substitute probationary certificates (Blattfiktionen). These are identity documents printed on A4 paper that are valid for the time being until the date indicated (yellow).

For those whose probationary certificates are only valid for three months:

  • you will either receive a written reminder to attend the Welcome Centre, or the person in question will attend of their own accord.
  • In all likelihood, a regular probationary certificate will be able to be issued by this point. Until then, it should be noted that substitute probationary certificates are often misused. This must be avoided. These are official replacement documents. You should always keep the originals with you.

For those whose probationary certificates are valid for six months:

  • A decision has not yet been made, but there is a possibility that residence may be possible as early as this autumn. You will be informed about this by post in good time. Otherwise, the same applies here: keep the expiry date in mind and, if you do not receive a reminder, take autonomous action and contact the Foreigners’ Registration Office (currently still in the Welcome Centre at Prager Straße 128, Haus B).

Furthermore, the probationary certificate is the prerequisite for entry into the scope of Social Code II and entitles the holder to participate in an integration course (purple).

The probationary certificate states whether or not travel to non-EU countries is permitted. Travel is not permitted if the probationary certificate was issued pursuant to section 81 (3). If it is pursuant to section 81 (4), travel is possible (green).