I have a US passport. My 90/180 days visa-free stay in Europe is ending soon, and then, under normal circumstances, I will be able to return to Europe only in January 2017.

I have to leave the country next week for some meetings and want to return in a month. I have applied for a German Residence Permit, but it won't be ready before I leave. I will get a Fiktionsbescheinigung (a provisional Residence Permit) before I leave next week, but my question is: Can I re-enter Germany (and by extension, other Schengen countries) with the Fiktionsbescheinigung even if I have used up my 90/180 days?

My doubt stems from not knowing whether a Fiktionsbescheinigung just makes it legal to stay in Germany beyond the end of the 90 visa-free days, or that it also allows traveling out of Germany and re-entering.

From the article linked above:

If a currently valid residence permit (temporary residence permit or national visa for long-term durations - Category D - ) is available, a fictional certificate according to § 81 Section 4 of the Residence Act will be issued.

In this case, the residence permit and all supplementary regulations (also regarding the stipulations concerning gainful employment) remain in force until a decision has been made in relation to the application. Journeys abroad and re-entry into the area of the Republic are possible with a valid fictional certificate in accordance with § 81 Section 4 of the Residence Act.

If the male or female applicant is lawfully resident without a visa in the Federal Republic, because he or she is entitled to be by virtue of his/her nationality, the fictional certificate will be issued in accordance with § 81 Section 3 of the Residence Act.

This permits residence in the area of the Federal Republic until a decision has been made regarding the application. This fictional certification, however, does not permit re-entry into the territory of the Federal Republic. It also does not permit the commencement of gainful employment.

From my (pessimistic reading), I seem to fall under the §81 Section 3 of the Residence Act (lawfully resident without a visa in the Federal Republic,… by virtue of my nationality).

  • 6
    I voted to reopen the question because it's clearly about travelling (i.e. entering the country). The OP also happens to be an expat and the question could have been asked there but it does not make it off-topic here.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 15:54
  • yes, thanks, you are absolutely correct. My intent is to clarify travel rules, not rules about residency. I have accepted your answer.
    – punkish
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 16:18

1 Answer 1


Yes, unfortunately, your reading is correct. A Fiktionsbescheinigung under § 81 Section 4 is only issued when you applied for a renewal (which is not your case) and it would say so explicitly on the document. Not allowing travel inside the Schengen area while waiting for a decision on a first application is also pretty standard (I have seen similar rules in other Schengen countries).

  • revisiting this question: turns out my Fiktionsbescheinigung was issued under § 81 Section 4 (even though it is clearly not a renewal but an interim permit while the actual one is in progress). The problem is, the actual permit is taking too long (something about me being self-employed, so them having to do more checks than usual). This brings me back to the question: Can I live in Germany with this Fiktionsbescheinigung? Can I travel to other Schengen countries esp given there are not passport checks during such travel?
    – punkish
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 14:27
  • A corollary: does my Schengen 90-days duration stop counting for the validity of the Fiktionsbescheinigung?
    – punkish
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 15:25

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