Can I obtain a "Beschäftigungsduldung"?

To obtain a "Beschäftigungsduldung", you (and sometimes your family) have to meet several requirements:

  • You must have been having a "Duldung" for at least 12 months. Please note: The new so-called "Duldung mit ungeklärter Identität" (§60b Residence Act) does not count here.
  • You must have been working in a job which includes social security contributions at least 35 hours per week for at least 18 months. If you are a single parent, you have to work at least 20 hours per week (in a job which includes social security contributions).
  • You have not been financially supported by the Social Welfare Office or Jobcentre for at least 12 months.
  • You must prove a German language skill of level A2.
  • You must have come to Germany before 08/01/2018.
  • You (and your spouse) must have identification documents (e.g. passport, driver's license, birth certificate, etc.) from your country or prove that, despite all efforts, you cannot obtain any papers.  There are important deadlines you need to observe. You can read more in section “When is my deadline for identity verification?”.
  • If you (and your spouse) had to take part in an integration course, you must have successfully completed it.
  • If you have school-age children, they must go to school.
  • You (and your spouse and children) must not have been convicted of a crime. You can find out more in the section "What happens if a family member has committed a crime?".
  • You (and your spouse) must have no connection with any terrorist or extremist organisation.

When is my deadline for identity verification?

People who entered the country before December 31, 2016, and were employed on January 1, 2020, are required to prove their identity before applying for "Beschäftigungsduldung".

People who came to Germany after January 1, 2020, must have their identities verified within their first six months in Germany.

Those who came to Germany before December 31, 2016, have to prove their identity when applying for a tolerated stay permit ("Duldung").

Even if, despite all your efforts, you have not been able to prove your identity, you may still be able to obtain an “Ausbildungsduldung”. But you are not legally entitled to it- which means Immigration Office' decide whether to issue you the permission.

Important: You have to document your efforts for verifying your identity. So if you, e.g. go to your embassy to ask for an ID, ask them to confirm in writing that you were there. You can also take photos, etc. The more evidence you have, the better. If you are concerned you may get deported, seek advice from a counselling centre or a lawyer in advance. You can find a counselling centre nearby, e.g. on proasyl.de. To search for a lawyer, check rechtberaterkonferenz.de.

Can my family members who live here also obtain a "Duldung"?

If you have a "Beschäftigungsduldung", your spouse and children will also be issued a "Duldung" which will be valid as long as your "Beschäftigungsduldung" is.

What happens if a family member has committed a criminal offence?

If you or your spouse have committed a criminal offence, in principle, you will not be issued a "Beschäftigungsduldung" -regardless of the seriousness of the crime. The only exception is a crime which is a violation of the Residence Act or the Asylum Act: for these types of crimes, only if you have been sentenced to more than 90 days of fine (calculated from your daily rate of income) the "Beschäftigungsdudludng" does not apply to you. 

The laws are somewhat milder for children. In principle, you will not be able to obtain a "Beschäftigungsduldung" if your child has been sentenced to more than a year in prison or has been convicted of certain - serious - criminal offences such as drug offences, violence, etc.

How long is a "Beschäftigungsduldung" valid?

The "Beschäftigungsduldung" is valid for 30 months. As long as you continue to meet the above requirements, you cannot be deported during this time. You can then apply for a residence permit or extend your "Beschäftigungsduldung".

Can I obtain a residence permit later?

Yes. After 30 months, you can apply for a residence permit for well-integrated adults (Section 25b Residence Act). You can also try to get a residence permit for humanitarian reasons (Section 25, Paragraph 5 of the Residence Act). If you have young children, a residence permit for well-integrated young people and adolescents (§25a Residence Act) and their relatives would also be an option. You can find out more about these options in our chapter "Residence Permits for Individuals with 'Duldung'".

Can I lose my "Beschäftigungsduldung"?

Yes. You may lose your "Beschäftigungsduldung" if the conditions mentioned above are no longer met, e.g. if you lose your job and don't immediately find a new one.

Can I change jobs while having "Beschäftigungsduldung"?

Yes. But you cannot be unemployed at any point in time, i.e. the transition from one job to the next must take place without interruption. Please also note that you often have to apply for a new work permit as well. You can learn more in our chapter "Work permit".

Can I switch directly from "Ausbildungsduldung" to "Beschäftigungsduldung"?

If you drop out of your dual vocational training after 18 months (at the earliest) and start working instead, you may obtain a "Beschäftigungsduldung". However, that is only possible if the Immigration Office responsible for you regards your previous training as "work". Currently, there is no precise regulation in this regard.

Where and how do I apply for a "Beschäftigungsduldung"?

You can apply for a "Beschäftigungsduldung" in writing at the Immigration Office responsible for you. To do so, submit the application and all relevant documents to the Immigration Office. There is no official application form available- but the Refugee Council of Thuringia has created an application template for "Beschäftigungsduldung" which you can use. You can find the template on the website of Refugee Council Thüringen, section "Beschäftigungsduldung".

Don't forget to seek advice from a counselling centre or a lawyer in advance. You can find a counselling centre nearby, e.g. on proasyl.de. You can search for a specialised lawyer at rechtsberaterkonferenz.de.

What rights do I have as someone with a "Beschäftigungsduldung"?

Please find the answer in our chapter Tolerated Stay (“Duldung”).

Can I travel abroad with "Beschäftigungsduldung"?

No. Individuals who have a "Duldung" are not allowed to travel abroad, including those with a "Beschäftigungsduldung". When you later manage to obtain a residence permit, of course, you can travel abroad.

What can I do if the Immigration Office rejects my application for a "Beschäftigungsduldung"?

Even if you meet all the requirements, the Immigration Office may reject your application as there is no legal entitlement to "Beschäftigungsduldung". If your application is denied, however, you should seek advice from a counselling centre or a lawyer. A lawyer can have the decision of the Immigration Office reviewed and possibly reversed. You can find a counselling centre nearby, e.g. on proasyl.de. Check rechtsberaterkonferenz.de to search for a specialised lawyer in your area. 

I do not meet the requirements for "Beschäftigungsduldung" - what can I do?

Even if you cannot obtain a "Beschäftigungsduldung", you still have a few options left. You can find out more in our chapter "Rejected Asylum".

Where can I seek advice and support?

If you have any questions regarding your rights and opportunities, contact a counselling centre nearby- you can find one, e.g. on the Pro Asyl website or the website of your Refugee Council. You can also find support at the Youth Migration Services (JMD) or the Migration Centers for adults.

At www.rechtsberaterkonferenz.de, you can find lawyers who specialise in refugees' and asylum seekers' issues.