Travel With Fiktionsbescheinigung: Guide + Where You Can Go

Fiktionsbescheinigung is a common document many foreigners living in Germany encounter. An immigration office issues Fiktionsbescheinigung, also known as a fictitious certificate, when your current residence permit is about to expire and you apply for a new one. Many applicants want to travel with Fiktionsbescheinigung, so the question arises whether it’s possible and how to go about it.

You can travel abroad if the Fiktionsbescheinigung was issued to prolong an existing and currently valid residence permit. For this, the Fiktionsbescheinigung must be regulated under §81 Section 4 of the Residence Act. If Fiktionsbescheinigung was issued under §81 Section 3 of the Residence Act, a foreigner can not travel outside Germany and re-enter the country.

The Fiktionsbescheinigung in German extends to you the same rights you had before. Therefore, you can travel abroad, but some other factors must be considered. Read this article to learn more about Fiktionsbescheinigung in Germany and how to travel with it.

Also read this guide on how to change a visa or residence permit in Germany.

Traveling with Fiktionsbescheinigung: all you need to know

A foreigner can travel with a Fiktionsbescheinigung or fiction certificate under certain conditions. The most crucial factor here is the paragraph and Section a Fiktionsbescheinigung is subject to.

A typical Fiktionsbescheinigung (§81 Section 4) is issued to extend to you the same rights that you had before, assuming you made an application while having a valid residence permit or visa D type.

That means that Fiktionsbescheinigung gives you the same rights as your previous German residence permit. Therefore, you are allowed to leave Germany and travel to other EU states.

However, Fiktionsbescheinigung is similar to the regular German residence permit. It doesn’t give additional permissions for entering other than EU and EEA states. Therefore, you need to check the visa requirement for each country you want to visit. It will all depend on your citizenship.

If, however, you applied for Fiktionsbescheinigung when your residence permit or visa has expired, or you never had them before, you can not travel abroad, i.e., re-enter Germany.

When is Fiktionsbescheinigung issued? The temporary resident permit or Fiktionsbescheinigung will be given to you if the immigration office can not issue a residence permit at the moment. This can be due to missing documents or something else.

In general, there are two different types of Fiktionsbescheinigung: one is issued following §81 Section 4 of the Residence Act and another with §81 Section 3 of the Residence Act.

The first option allows you to travel abroad and re-enter Germany an unlimited number of times. While traveling, you must carry a valid passport with you.

You can see the related Residence Act here.


What is Fiktionsbescheinigung?

A Fiktionsbescheinigung or fictitious certificate in English is a document issued to a foreigner by the immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) in Germany to give them a temporary right of residence in Germany. In other words, a Fiktionsbescheinigung is a temporary residence permit.

A Fiktionsbescheinigung is issued when your residence in Germany is still lawful at the time of applying for the issue or renewal of a residence permit. This document will be given to you during the application or renewal of a residence permit.

There are three different types of Fiktionsbescheinigung

Your right to travel will depend on which type of Fiktionsbescheinigung you have:

1. Fortbestandsfiktion (Continuance) – §81 Section 4 of the Residence Act

As a rule, if you have a valid residence permit (temporary residence permit or national visa D), you will receive a fictional certificate according to §81 Section 4 of the Residence Act will be issued. Only with this type of Fiktionsbescheinigung can you travel outside Germany and re-enter.

This Fiktionsbescheinigung will give you the same rights as your current residence permit or visa. That said, if you have an employment permit, you can also work with a Fiktionsbescheinigung. The same applies to travel.

2. Erlaubnisfiktion (The right of stay) – §81 Section 3 of the Residence Act

This type of Fiktionsbescheinigung applies to foreigners who legally reside in Germany but don’t have a residence permit. In that case, you will receive a Fiktionsbescheinigung in accordance with §81 Section 3 of the Residence Act. It won’t give you the right to travel.

In fact, you can leave, but you won’t be able to enter Germany again. Yet, travel within Germany is permitted.

It also does not permit foreigners to work.

3. Duldungsfiktion (Suspension of deportation) – §81 Section 3 of the Residence Act

This type of Fiktionsbescheinigung applies to foreigners who fail to submit an application for an extension of a residence permit or another residence title before the previous one expires.

In that case, you will receive a Duldungsfiktion Fiktionsbescheinigung which is also regulated in §81 Section 3 of the Residence Act. Therefore, you can not travel outside of the country or work in Germany. But you can travel within Germany.

The main difference between Duldungsfiktion and Erlaubnisfiktion is that, in this case, your stay is no longer legal. This document allows you to stay without being deported until a new decision is made on the application.

Out of these three options, you can travel abroad only with the first one. Keep in mind that a fictional certificate is always only valid in conjunction with a valid passport or substitute passport. Therefore, you must always have a valid passport with you when traveling.

Besides that, a fictional certificate cannot be issued to holders of a Schengen visa for short-term residence (Category C).

How to apply for a Fiktionsbescheinigung?

To apply for a Fiktionsbescheinigung, you need to meet these criteria:

  • You must have a valid residence permit or visa category D or
  • Be entitled to a residence without a visa in Germany. This can be due to your nationality. For example, US citizens can apply for a residence permit without an initial visa.

Can you leave Germany with a Fiktionsbescheinigung?

You can live in Germany with any type of Fiktionsbescheinigung, but you can re-enter the country only with a document issued under §81 Section 4 of the Residence Act.

Can you travel in Europe?

You can travel to all EU, and EEA countries with Fiktionsbescheinigung issued under §81 Section 4 of the Residence Act.

Travel with Fiktionsbescheinigung within the EU

You can travel to all EU, and EEA countries with Fiktionsbescheinigung issued under §81 Section 4 of the Residence Act.

Travel outside of the EU

To travel outside of EU and EEA countries, you must check the visa requirements for your passport. If, for example, entry into the country is allowed only with a visa for nationals of your state, then you need to apply for a visa beforehand.

Some countries have E-visas, and some issue visas on arrival.

Can you travel to Schengen with Fiktionsbescheinigung?

Schengen area includes 26 European countries; you can enter all of them with a German residence permit, or Fiktionsbescheinigung issued under §81 Section 4 of the Residence Act.

Moreover, borders of non-EU states like Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Lichtenstein are also open to foreigners holding the travel documents mentioned above.

Yet, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Croatia don’t belong to the Schengen. You need to check the entrance requirements for these countries. Generally, you don’t need an extra visa if you hold a valid German residence permit or Fiktionsbescheinigung.

The same rules apply to residence permits issued by other Schengen countries.

Traveling to Ukraine 

You can travel to Ukraine with any Fiktionsbescheinigung, yet here is more a question of whether you are allowed to re-enter Germany. This is only possible with Fiktionsbescheinigung regulated by §81 Section 4 of the Residence Act.

Traveling to India

According to German law, foreigners can travel to India and return to Germany if they have Fiktionsbescheinigung issued in accordance with §81 Section 4 of the Residence (Act § 81 Abs. 4 AufenthG).

In that case, Fiktionsbescheinigung allows the holder to enter and exit all Schengen countries the same way a German residence permit would.

Assuming you meet entrance requirements for India, you can travel with a fiction certificate to India.

Extension of Fiktionsbescheinigung

Once issued, it’s not possible to extend Fiktionsbescheinigung. You can either receive a new residence permit or leave the country. However, the immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) will decide depending on the individual case.


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