A refugee taking up apprenticeship training, or "Ausbildung" in Germany
A refugee taking up apprenticeship training, or "Ausbildung" in Germany

The 3+2 regulation allows asylum seekers to stay in Germany to complete vocational training, despite their asylum application being rejected. Here's a look at how it works.

Asylum seekers in Germany who have received a negative decision on their asylum application may be in luck if they have they have already started a vocational training (Ausbildung) in the country. 

In August 2016, the German government enacted a regulation called "3+2" which allows asylum seekers who have been rejected but are living in Germany with a "Duldung" - a suspension of deportation - and fulfill certain requirements the right to finish their vocational training program. 

The regulation further allows the asylum seeker to stay an additional two years after completion of the program to work in Germany, but only if they have been offered follow-up employment. 

Certainty for employers and trainees

"3+2" refers to the duration of the two stages: three years is the usual duration of a vocational training and two years is how long the person will have the right to remain and work in Germany.

The idea of the regulation is to provide more legal certainty not only to asylum seekers but also to the companies and organizations that provide them with vocational training. The regulation guarantees the organization providing the trainee with vocational training that the individual will not be deported.  


The 3 + 2 regulation applies to asylum seekers who have completed their asylum application and received a rejection from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). It does not apply to asylum seekers who are in the middle of the asylum process and have the authorization to reside ("Aufenthaltsgestattung") in Germany.   

For example, an asylum seeker has a "Duldung" until the end of the year, but still two more years left in his/her vocational training. This regulation would allow them to stay in Germany to complete the training. Vocational training in Germany is usually a combination of attending classes and on-the-job practical experience.   

The vocational training has to be a minimum of two years long. Shorter vocational trainings or preparatory measures are not taken into consideration under the 3+2 scheme. For example, a training for a nurse assistant (usually one year) would not qualify the trainee for 3+2 as opposed to the vocational training for a nurse (usually three years).


If the asylum seeker is still waiting on his/her asylum application in Germany, then they are not eligible to be covered by the regulation. If an asylum seeker is in the middle of criminal proceedings, they may not be able to take advantage of the regulation. 

Asylum seekers also may not qualify if they come from a country that Germany determines to be a safe country, such as Morocco or Algeria and applied for asylum after  August 31 August 2015.

Students in a one-year preparatory measure ("Einstiegsqualifizierung") do not qualify for the regulation. 

The Foreigner's Office processes the applications and run checks on whether the asylum seeker has entered Germany with a fake identity or has provided false information to receive benefits from the government. 

It is also important to note that if the asylum seeker receives help from the regulation, it does not allow him or her to reunite their family in Germany.


More articles