Förderprogramm "Integration durch Qualifizierung IQ"

What is a Beratungsschein (advisory aid certificate) and how do I get one?

This certificate for advice is for people who don’t have much money (low income). It gives them the chance to get advice from a lawyer for a small price. In addition to simple legal advice, it can also cover representing you out of court (assertion of claims, settlements, etc.).

Certain income and asset limits apply for this. Pensioners, the unemployed, recipients of social welfare or benefits under the Asylum Seekers' Benefits Act (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz) generally fulfil this requirement. Individuals who would receive instalment-free legal aid can also obtain a Beratungsschein (advisory aid certificate). If you take this certificate with you to a lawyer, you only have to pay him/her a maximum fee of 15 Euros. He/she can claim back the rest of the fees from the state.

The application for advisory aid (Antrag auf Beratungshilfe) can be made in writing using a form or orally at the responsible local court (Amtsgericht). Your responsible local court is the one in the district where your main residence is located. If you would like to apply for an advisory aid certificate, it is helpful to call the local court beforehand to find out what documents you need and to know the opening hours. You should have completed the application form before you go.

You can find it here: https://justiz.de/service/formular/dateien/agI1.pdf

Take the form and the necessary documents to the legal application centre. They will check the approval requirements there. You might get your advisory aid certificate there (if the check is positive).

It usually takes about 2 weeks before you receive the advisory aid certificate. The court only issues one certificate for each out-of-court matter. The advisory aid procedure at the responsible local court is free of charge for you.

Advisory aid can also be applied for after the consultation with the lawyer. However, the risk here is that the application will not be approved and you will then have to pay for the lawyer yourself.

If you want to be sure that a certificate will be approved before you apply, you can calculate this using a legal aid calculator: 


Anyone who would receive instalment-free legal aid can also obtain an advisory aid certificate. In addition, there must be no other possibility of free advice/representation in the out-of-court matter (e.g. by a trade union, legal expenses insurance). A further requirement is that the responsible local court has not yet approved or rejected an advisory aid certificate for the same matter.

How to apply for an advisory aid certificate:

If you want to apply for an advisory aid certificate at the legal application centre at the local court, you must bring the following documents with you:

  • A valid form of identification (identity card, residence permit, passport, ...)
  • Your current proof of income and that of your spouse (e.g. payslip, notification from the employment agency or job centre)
  • Proof of child maintenance obligations, if applicable
  • Proof of other monthly payment obligations, if applicable
  • Bank statements for the last 3 months
  • Your current rental contract and proof of heating or electricity costs
  • If applicable, any documents relating to the matter (e.g. notice of termination, formal warning letter, etc.)

Once your advisory aid certificate has been approved, you can go to a lawyer with it. Lawyers are generally obliged to take on clients with approved advisory aid. If a lawyer has too many cases or the client's behaviour is bad, he/she can refuse the case. Before you make an appointment, you should always inform the lawyer that you have an advisory aid certificate.

Advice centres

If you have any further questions, please contact your Faire Integration advice centre. You can find out who is responsible for you in your federal state on the advice centre page.

Information material

Here you will find informative material, flyers and videos on labour and social law issues.

Do you want to find out about your rights at work in Germany? We have done short videos on topics such as redundancy, mini-jobs, health insurance and more. Just click through and find out more.

Go to the videos