Right to Stay (Bleiberecht)

Individuals subject to tolerance (Duldung) should verify whether they can take advantage of a right to stay provision ( Bleiberechtsregelung) that will safeguard their residency. The basis for being granted a right to stay (Bleiberecht) is always sustainable social and professional integration or a positive integration projection. Depending on the provision, other requirements may include the ability to cover the cost of living, adequate linguistic skills or the duration of the stay in Germany to date. Under certain conditions, a right to stay (Bleiberecht) may also be extended to the core family members of the applicant.

The following are key regulations that govern the right to stay (Bleiberechtsregelungen):

  • Right to stay for adolescents and young adults pursuant to § 25a German Residency Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz = AufenthG)

  • Right to stay for adults pursuant to § 25b AufenthG

  • Hardship Application (Härtefallantrag) pursuant to § 23a AufenthG

Thuringia has specified the terms for the right to stay (Bleiberechtsregelungen) pursuant to §§ 25a and 25b AufenthG in more detail by passing laws aiming at their implementation in Thuringia. Thuringia’s IvAF Network has generated a related support plan and offers consultation services at: https://www.ibs-thueringen.de/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Infografik-25a-25b-A4-2018_IBS.pdf

Information on hardship applications ( Härtefallanträgen) in Thuringia and related to the Thuringia Hardship Commission (Thüringer Härtefallkommission) is available here: https://justiz.thueringen.de/ministerium/haertefallkommission#c7743 Request consulting services with the Flüchtlingsrat Thüringen e.V.

Apprenticeship/educational tolerance (Ausbildungsduldung) and employment tolerance (Beschäftigungsduldung) are variations of the right to stay (Bleiberecht). Anyone protected by this level of tolerance (Duldung) cannot be deported. However, the affected individuals do not simultaneously have residency rights and are therefore under an emigration mandate.

Network BLEIBERECHT STATT ABSCHIEBUNG , on the website www.bleiberechtstattabschiebung.de provides information on already existing options of rights to stay (Bleiberecht) and advocates for an extension of the existing provisions.

Preemptive regulation – Thuringia’s opportunity residency (Chancen-Aufenthalt) legislation

Thuringia’s Department for Migration, Justice and Consumer Protection (TMMJV), on February 8, 2022, published legislation on opportunity residency options (Chancen-Aufenthaltsrecht). This regulation is in effect in all of Thuringia and refers to the German Federal Government’s Coalition Compact (Koalitionsvertrag).

On Page 138 it stipulates the following with regard to opportunity residency rights (Chancen-Aufenthaltsrecht):

“We are countering the past practice of rubber stamping tolerance arrangements with an opportunity residency right (Chancen-Aufenthaltsrecht): Any person who has been living in Germany for five years as of January 1,M 2022 and has not committed any crimes, is committed to the liberties afforded by the democratic fundamentals, will be offered the opportunity to receive a one-year residency permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) on a trial basis to meet, during this time period, the other conditions for a right to stay (Bleiberecht) (in particular with regard to the coverage of living expenses pursuant to §§ 25 a and b AufenthG).“

To date, a legislative basis for this residency right does not exist within the AufenthG. Hence, the ruling of the TMMJV, to bridge the gap until a respective law will be passed by implementing an order effective in all of Thuringia to “offer individuals who are potential benefactors of the announced provision already now the opportunity to take advantage of a future change in the law” is a welcome development.

To ensure that individuals who are potentially eligible for an opportunity residency (Chancen-Aufenthaltsrecht) will be able to also take advantage of this regulation in the future, the Foreign Nationals Agencies are ”to initially forego residency terminating measures if the affected foreign nationals are subject to the announced regulation in the foreseeable future.”

To obtain a sample application on the basis of humanitarian discretionary tolerance (Ermessensduldung) pursuant to § 60a Sect. 2 Sentence 3 AufenthG, go to section “Tolerance” (Duldung) under Application for Tolerance Based on Preemptive Regulation Opportunity Residency Right (Duldung aufgrund Vorgriffsregelung Chancen-Aufenthaltsrecht) on this website: https://www.fluechtlingsrat-thr.de/arbeitshilfen/antragshilfen

In the event of doubt, it is always best for affected individuals to consult with their attorneys or a specialized consulting office.