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At a glance

Find out here about the most important changes to the electronic residence title.

  • Introduced on 1 September 2011
  • The electronic residence title largely replaces the old adhesive label in your passport.
  • The aim is to achieve a standard European residence title format for third-country nationals.
  • The electronic residence title is a separate document in a practical credit card format.
  • The electronic residence title contains a contactless chip inside the card on which a digital photograph and two fingerprints are stored to protect it from being misused and to create a reliable link between the owner of the electronic residence title and the document.
  • The electronic residence title contains an online ID card function allowing transactions, for example on the Internet or at vending machines, to be carried out quickly and easily.
Date 1 December 2017

Additional Information

Frequently questions

Are fingerprints stored in the local immigration office permanently?

No. They are stored until the electronic residence title is given to the applicant. After this, the data are deleted irrevocably.

Are my data secure from hackers during transmission?

Your data are encrypted every time they are transmitted. All information and transmissions are protected with internationally recognised and established encryption processes.

Each provider wishing to use the electronic residence title for its services must apply for the relevant state authorisation certificate from the Issuing Office for Authorisation Certificates [Vergabestelle für Berechtigungszertifikate (VfB)] which is part of the Federal Office of Administration [Bundesverwaltungsamt]. The Issuing Office has strict rules about the data required to perform the service.

Are my data secure when using the internet?

Yes, your personal data are in fact more secure than if you were to use the internet without an electronic residence title when shopping or participating on social networking sites. The on-line identity function checks before each action whether the service provider really is the one it purports to be.

Are the old residence titles still valid?

The existing residence titles in passports and replacement passport documents retain the validity entered there until 31.08.2021 at the latest.

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