BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge - Permanent residence

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Permanent residence

If you would like to settle in Germany for an indefinite period and are a national of a third country:

As a third country national, you are entitled to a settlement permit (section 9 of the Residence Act) if you have had a residence permit for five years and satisfy the further statutory preconditions (see brochure entitled "Studying and Working in Germany", pages 32 et seqq.) for a settlement permit.

If you have been in Germany for five years and have been in possession of a residence title, you have a right to an EC long-term residence permit (see brochure entitled "Studying and Working in Germany", pages 33 et seqq.), subject to certain preconditions. This permit is largely equivalent to the settlement permit (section 9a of the Residence Act).

Further information: see brochure entitled "Studying and Working in Germany", pages 32 et seqq. (including on how previous residence periods are counted)

In derogation from the principle of having to have had a residence permit for five years, a settlement permit can already be issued after shorter periods in the following cases:

  • Graduates of a German higher education institution have a right to a settlement permit after two years subject to certain preconditions (section 18b of the Residence Act), further information: see brochure entitled "Studying and Working in Germany", pages 34 et seqq.
  • Subject to certain preconditions, such as if they have received a specific job offer, highly-qualified foreigners may immediately receive an indefinite settlement permit (section 19 of the Residence Act), further information: see brochure entitled "Studying and Working in Germany", page 35
  • After 33 months' employment as a holder of an EU Blue Card (and after as few as 21 months if sufficient German language knowledge (level B 1) is shown), and if payment of contributions into an old-age pension is documented for this period, holders of an EU Blue Card may be issued with an indefinite settlement permit if they satisfy further prerequisites (section 19a subs. 6 of the Residence Act), further information: see brochure entitled "Studying and Working in Germany", pages 35 et seqq.
  • If self-employed persons have successfully established a business and their livelihood is secure, they can receive a settlement permit after three years (section 21 subs. 4 of the Residence Act), further information: see brochure entitled "Studying and Working in Germany", page 36
Date 17 June 2013

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