Can an "Ausbildung" help me stay in Germany?
Many asylum seekers believe they will have better chances in their asylum process if they work, but that is not true. Whether you will be granted protection in Germany has to do with what you have gone through in your home country. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) is not interested in whether you work in Germany or not, or your level of fluency in the German language.
German proficiency, however, can help you -regardless of the result of your asylum procedure - to stay in Germany: rejected asylum seekers or people with a tolerated stay (“Duldung“) can, for instance, obtain a so-called Tolerated Stay for the Purpose of Vocational Training (“Ausbildungsduldung“) if they start a qualified vocational training ("qualifizierte Ausbildung"). An “Ausbildungsduldung“ allows you to stay in Germany for the entire time of your training programme. If you find a job in your learned profession after completing your training, you will be granted a residence permit for another two years. This is called "3 + 2" regulation ("3+2" Regelung).
So it pays to learn German as soon as possible after you arrive in Germany and start vocational training. Then you can apply for a Tolerated Stay for the Purpose of Vocational Training ("Ausbildungsduldung") in case your asylum application is rejected. If your application for asylum has already been denied, or you have never applied for asylum, and you currently hold a "Duldung", it may be worth your while to apply for vocational training.
On July 7th, 2023, a new skilled worker immigration law was passed. It includes numerous changes and amendments to facilitate the immigration of skilled workers and make Germany more attractive to them. It is unclear when exactly these changes and amendments will be enforced. When the time comes, we will update our website– we encourage you to visit us regularly to stay well informed. If you have any further questions, you can always visit our community platform, “Together in Germany”– our community managers will be happy to help!
What do I need to know?
The "Ausbildungsduldung" is regulated in §60c Residence Act. It is a special kind of tolerated stay (“Duldung“) that you can obtain if you complete at least two years of vocational training.
You do not need to have a vocational tolerated stay to start vocational training. Rather, the opposite is the case: If you are going through vocational training or begin one now, under certain conditions, you may be entitled to a vocational tolerated stay permit. You cannot be deported after you are issued such a stay permit.
To obtain an „Ausbildungsduldung“, you must meet the following requirements:
- You have been having a "Duldung" for at least three months according to §60a Residence Act OR You have already started your training during your asylum procedure and would like to continue after your asylum application has been rejected. Important: As long as you have temporary permission to stay ("Aufenthaltsgestattung"), you cannot apply for an "Ausbildungsduldung"- you can, however, start vocational training.
- You already have a “Duldung“, or your application for asylum has been rejected, and you either have not appealed the decision, or your appeal has been rejected. If you still have a temporary residence permit ("Aufenthaltsgestattung"), you are not entitled to a Tolerated Stay for the Purpose of Vocational Training.
- You need to find a training place. You can go for a dual or school-based vocational training, but it must be a qualified vocational training (“qualifizierte Berufsausbildung“) that lasts at least two years. You can read more in the section "What is a qualified vocational training?"
- You have a passport or other ID documents (driving licence, birth certificate, ...) which verify your identity, or you can prove that your home country does not issue you any papers despite your request. But there are deadlines you need to keep in mind. You can learn more below in the section “When is my deadline for identity verification?”.
- You have a work permit, or you can apply for and obtain one. You can read more about work permit in our chapter "Work Permit".
If the following points apply to you, you will not be issued a Tolerated Stay for the Purpose of Vocational Training:
- The Immigration Office has already planned your deportation. If the date of your deportation is already fixed, the Immigration Office has already applied for a passport on your behalf from your home country, or a "Dublin procedure" ("Dublin-Verfahren") is in progress, you will not be able to receive a Tolerated Stay for the Purpose of Vocational Training.
- You were convicted of a crime in Germany. Small fines and monetary penalties occurring as a result of violating migration laws (e.g. illegal entry) are not counted. Being convicted of more substantial offences, however, means that you will not be able to obtain a Tolerated Stay for the Purpose of Vocational Training.
If you meet all the requirements and the two above-mentioned reasons for exclusion do not apply to you, you are entitled to receive a Tolerated Stay for the Purpose of Vocational Training for the entire duration of your training. If, nevertheless, the Immigration Office rejects your application, contact a counselling centre or a lawyer. Read the section "Where can I seek advice and support?" to learn about the counselling/support opportunities available.
Please note: If you come from a safe country of origin and the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has not yet decided on your asylum application, and you are able to find a spot in a training programme, it may make sense to withdraw your asylum application. Because if your application for asylum is rejected -which is very likely for people from safe countries of origin - you are not permitted to work and therefore cannot apply for a Tolerated Stay for the Purpose of Vocational Training. Make sure you seek advice from a counselling centre or a lawyer in advance.
People who came to Germany between January 1, 2017, and January 1, 2020, and intend to apply for a training allowance at some point must verify their identity by June 30, 2020. Meeting the deadline means that by then, the individual must have tried all feasible measures to verify their identity, even if the result of the identification process comes at some later point of time.
People who come 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 you miss the deadline or in case, 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 the 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.
Qualified vocational training refers to vocational training in a state-recognised or similarly regulated skilled occupation ("Ausbildungsberuf") which lasts at least two years. You will find a list of all the skilled occupations which require vocational training ("qualifizierte Ausbildungsberufe") at bibb.de.
Preparatory measures or other introductory classes ("Vorbereitungskurse") do not count as vocational training. In these cases, however, you can try to apply for a so-called "Ermessensduldung" following §60a (2), third sentence, Residence Act, and then start a qualified vocational training. Only with a qualified vocational training can you use the "3 + 2" regulation.
Please note: You can also obtain an "Ausbildungsduldung" for specific one-year-long assistant training courses, given you meet the following requirements:
- You must have secured a spot in a qualified two-year-long training programme following your one-year of training.
- The profession for which you are training is a so-called "Mengelberuf" which is in high demand, such as professions in the care sector.
You can apply for an "Ausbildungsduldung" up to seven months before starting your vocational training. Then you can obtain the "Ausbildungsduldung" up to six months before your training starts. Once you have the "Ausbildungsduldung", you are protected from deportation.
In case your vocational training starts in more than seven months, you can try to obtain a so-called "Ermessensduldung" for the interval period from the Immigration Office responsible for you.
You can apply for an „Ausbildungsduldung“ from the Immigration Office responsible for you. To do so, you do not require any official form. On the website of the Thuringia Refugee Council, you will find samples for the “Application for the issuance of ‘Ausbildungduldung’ immediately after the asylum procedure” and "Application for the issuance of ‘Ausbildungduldung’ after 3 months". In addition to the application, you must submit the following documents:
- For dual vocational training: a copy of your training contract along with the original as well as a statement from the vocational training register or a confirmation from the appropriate chamber
- For a school-based vocational training: a confirmation document from the school in which the training programme takes place
If you drop out, the company or school in which the training programme is taking place must notify the Immigration Office within a week. You then will be issued a non-renewable tolerated stay permit ("Duldung") valid for six months. If you find a new vocational training programme during this time, you can apply for a Tolerated Stay for the Purpose of Vocational Training again. Otherwise, you will lose your tolerated stay permit and may be deported.
If you fail the final exam, you can retake it. In that case, your training will be extended until the next exam. When you inform the Immigration Office about the extension of your training, your „Ausbildungsduldung“ will be extended accordingly.
After you have finished your training successfully, you can apply for a residence permit for two years, if:
- you find a job in the same field you are trained,
- you do not receive financial assistance from the Jobcentre or the Social Welfare Office,
- you speak German at level B1 or higher,
- and you have a flat or a shared room.
If you do not find a job immediately after completing your training, you will receive a non-renewable tolerated stay permit or "Duldung" valid for six months. In this period, you can search for a suitable job. Once you have found a job, you can apply for a residence permit by presenting the employment contract, your rental agreement and your German certificate to the Immigration Office.
If you continue to work, you will be able to extend your residence permit after two years.
If your application is rejected, the Immigration Office will send you written notice. You can appeal this decision at the Administrative Court. If you file a lawsuit, you must also submit a so-called "urgent request for suspensive effect" ("Eilantrag auf aufschiebende Wirkung"). Only if this request is accepted, you may stay in Germany during the legal action. Make sure to seek advice from a counselling centre or lawyer immediately upon receipt of the rejection notice. Please read the section "Where can I seek advice and support?".
Please read our chapter "Tolerated stay (Duldung)".
No. Individuals who have "Duldung" are not allowed to travel abroad, and the prohibition also applies to those with an "Ausbildungsduldung". If you manage to obtain a residence permit later, you can travel abroad.
If you have a Tolerated Stay for the Purpose of Vocational Training, your immediate family (i.e. your spouse and your minor children or, in case you are a minor, your parents and your under-age siblings) can apply for a so-called "Ermessensduldung". In most federal states, however, such an application is rejected. Make sure you seek advice from a counselling centre or a lawyer in this regard. Please read the section "Where can I seek advice and support?".
If your application for asylum has been denied, and you cannot obtain a Tolerated Stay for the Purpose of Vocational Training, you still have some options. You can read more about this topic in our chapter "Asylum Application Rejected".
Yes. To learn more, check out our chapter “Beschäftigungsduldung”.
If you are not sure about your rights and possibilities, contact a counselling centre in your area. You can find one online, for instance, on the website of Pro Asyl or the Refugee Council. You can also contact a branch office of Youth Migration Office or the Migration Counselling Center for adults.
On our Local Information page, you can find lawyers who specialise in advising refugees and asylum seekers. Enter the name of your city and search for asylum, residency or legal counselling service nearby.
With an "Ausbildungsduldung", you will be permitted to you may stay for the entire time of your education in Germany. If you find a job in your professional field after completing your training, you will be granted a residence permit for another two years.