Can I have a tolerated stay permit (“Duldung”)?

In principle, you have to leave Germany when your application for asylum is rejected. Same applies to you if you have entered Germany without a visa or residence permit and have not applied for asylum. Under certain circumstances, however, you may be granted a tolerated stay permit or "Duldung".

You may be issued a "Duldung", if:

  • there is an obstacle to deportation, i.e. your deportation is not feasible due to legal or practical reasons. This is the case, for instance, when you do not have a passport, you are unable to travel due to your health conditions, or when there are no flight connections to your home country. In such situations, you must be permitted a tolerated stay, i.e. the Immigration Office is obliged to issue you a "Duldung".
  • you should stay in Germany for important humanitarian or personal reasons. This is the case, for instance, when you are about to graduate from school, need to complete medical treatments, care for a sick family member in Germany, or take part in pre-vocational courses or study in a university. In such situations, the Immigration Office can grant you a "Duldung", although they are not obliged to do so ("Ermessensduldung").
  • the public interest requires your further presence in Germany. This is the case, for instance, when you are a witness in a lawsuit.
  • you start a qualified school-based vocational training programme or a dual degree course. In such cases, you will be granted a so-called educational tolerated stay or "Ausbildungsduldung" if you meet certain preconditions. In contrast to other forms of tolerated stay, the educational tolerated stay is valid for the entire duration of your training/education, i.e. usually two to three years. For more on "Duldung", see the section "educational tolerated stay or Ausbildungsduldung (3 + 2 regulation)” below.
  • you have been holding a "Duldung" for at least 12 months, you have an ID issued by your country, you have been working for at least 35 hours a week for at least 18 months, you are not receiving aids from the Social Welfare Office, you have an A2 (or higher) language certificate, and you have come to Germany before 01.08.2018. If you meet all of these requirements, you will be issued a so-called "Beschäftigungsduldung" valid for 30 months.
  • the Ministry of the Interior in your federal state or the German Federal Ministry of the Interior has issued a deportation ban for people from your country. However, such a decision is made rarely and only in cases of acute disaster. It may happen if, for instance, there is a famine in your home country.

Contact a counselling centre or a lawyer to learn more about your options and whether you can be issued a tolerated stay permit. You can search for a lawyer or a counselling centre, namely on the ProAsyl website.

What are my rights and obligations during my tolerated stay?

There are many special regulations for people with a tolerated stay permit- and their rights are limited. When you have a "Duldung", you:

  • may only work if the Immigration Office issues you a work permit. But you can take part in vocational training programmes and study.
  • are not entitled to participation in an integration course. However, you can search for a free spot in an integration course and submit the corresponding application to the BAMF.
  • receive asylum seeker benefits rather than benefits from the Jobcentre.
  • are not, in principle, entitled to any parental benefits ("Elterngeld") or child support ("Kindergeld").
  • are not allowed to move to another city or federal state as long as you receive state benefits.
  • are not permitted, in principle, to travel abroad. Traveling out of Germany may lead to the revocation or termination of your "Duldung".

Those with a tolerated stay permit are obliged to cooperate to make their deportation possible. For instance, you may be asked by the authorities to apply for and obtain a passport from your home country’s embassy. If you do not cooperate toward your deportation, the state benefits you receive may be reduced. To avoid being accused of not cooperating, make sure that you document your efforts for obtaining a passport with photos, a confirmation from the embassy, ​​or witness testimonies. Learn more in our chapters “Asylum Application Rejected” and “Deportation”.

Please note: If you are not sure whether you are legally obligated to fulfil the authorities' demands, consult a lawyer or a counselling centre. You can search for a lawyer or counselling centre, namely on Pro Asyl’s website.

Can I be deported despite having a "Duldung"?

A "Duldung" is not a residence permit but rather the suspension of your deportation obligation. Having a "Duldung" does not eliminate your obligation to leave Germany, but only postpones it for a specific period. If your tolerated stay ("Duldung") expires or is revoked, you may be deported. A tolerated stay can be revoked when the reasons for its issuance are not valid anymore. If you, e.g. have been issued a "Duldung" because you did not have a passport and now can obtain one from your country, your "Duldung" may be revoked.

After the expiration or revocation of your "Duldung", in principle, you may be deported. Your deportation then may be carried out immediately and without any notice. Only if you have lived with a "Duldung" for more than a year, the authorities are obliged to notify you of your imminent deportation at least one month in advance. In this case, you will be sent a deportation notice.

Where and how can I apply for a "Duldung"?

You can apply for a tolerated stay permit or "Duldung" at the Immigration Office responsible for you. You need to make an appointment and bring along all the documents you need for your application. For instance, if you wish to apply for aso-called "Ausblidungsdudldung", you need to bring along your vocational training contract and, if necessary, a confirmation from the Chamber of Crafts ("Handwerkskammer") or the Chamber of Commerce and Industry ("Industrie- und Handelskammer").

If your deportation is not possible due to practical or legal reasons, you will automatically be granted a tolerated stay permit, i.e. you do not need to apply for it personally.