Permanent Residence Permit

How to Get a German Permanent Residence Permit?

Permanent residence permit can be obtained after 5 years of legally residing* in Germany if the general pre-conditions in § 9 Residence Act has been fulfilled. Half of previous periods of study and training will be credited.

The settlement permit for skilled workers is regulated in § 18 c Residence Act. A skilled worker must be granted a settlement permit without the approval of the Federal Employment Agency if he / she has been in possession of a residence title in accordance with §§ 18a, 18b or 18d Residence Act for 4 years.

To obtain the Settlement Permit, according to § 9 Residence Act in Germany you need:

  • Sufficient financial resources to maintain yourself, not seeking social assistance. In other words: The applicant’s livelihood has to be ensured by a fixed and regular income. Holders of residence permit with respect of §§ 18a, 18b, 18d, 21 Residence Act will be essentially eligible to apply for a permanent residence permit earlier. During a stay for study or for other training purposes, you cannot apply for a settlement permit.
  • You must pay social distribution at least for 60 months before your application or furnish evidence of an entitlement to comparable benefits from an insurance or pension scheme or from an insurance company.
  • Proper accommodation for you and your family members.
  • Health Insurance which covers your medical care; it is a MUST for all German residents
  • Sufficient knowledge of German language (B1).
  • You possess a basic knowledge of the legal and social system and the way of life in the Federal territory
  • You and your actions shall not pose a danger or a threat to security of the society. This will be checked by an official security check.

How can you obtain your permanent residence in a shorter period?

  • If you complete an academic degree in one of the German universities or institutions, you may apply for a permanent residence only 24 months after your successful graduation (§18c subsection 1 Residence Act). Please note further requirements.
  • The holders of the EU Blue Card may apply for a settlement permit, 33 months after obtaining the Blue Card. This period might be shorter to 21 months if the applicant has adequate German language knowledge (§ 18 c subsection 2 Residence Act).
  • As a self-employed person you can apply for a settlement permit after three years. The prerequisite for this is that your company has successfully established itself on the market and that you finance the livelihood for yourself and your family members. Moreover, you also need to provide a proof of adequate retirement provision (§ 21 (4) Residence Act).
  • If you are a freelancer, you cannot benefit from this reduced period.
  • If you live together with a German spouse, child or parent for three years and the familial partnership with the German continues in Germany, you can apply for the settlement permit. You do not have to provide proof of adequate retirement provision (§§ 28, 35 Residence Act).

If you are in one of the above-mentioned categories, you may submit your application with all required documents in the Foreigners’ Authority (Ausländerbehörde) in your place of residence and you will get your unlimited residence permit in most cases less than 6 months after your application if all documents and conditions has been fulfilled.

With permanent residency, you are given free access to almost the same benefits as the citizens of the hosting state and can also move freely within the rest of the EU member states.

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