Permanent residence permit in Germany

Apply for settlement permit PDF

We explain when and how you can apply for the permanent residence permit. This is because an unlimited residence title not only entitles you to remain in Germany permanently, but also brings many other advantages for you and your family.


Permanent residence permit – What is it?

Foreigners generally need a permit to stay in Germany.
This residence permit is issued upon application by the competent foreigners authority.
It is always limited in time and can, for example, be extended or converted into a (permanent) settlement permit in accordance with the legal provisions.

Source: Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF)

In principle, residence in Germany is only permitted for a limited period, i.e. temporarily. However, if you have had a residence permit for several years, it may be possible for you to obtain a permanent residence permit in Germany, which would give you almost the same rights as Germans and allow you to stay in the country permanently.

You can find an overview of various permanent residence titles on the Website of the Federal Government .

For foreigners who came to Germany after 2015, the settlement permit is probably of greatest importance. Therefore, we would like to provide you with all the information you need on this topic.

The permanent residence permit and its advantages

We have already written a comprehensive blog article on the many advantages of a settlement permit as a permanent right of residence. For more information, so just click here.

However, we would like to give you an overview of the most important advantages of a settlement permit:

  1. Secured residence
    The settlement permit allows you to live permanently in Germany.
  2. Facilitated family reunification
    The settlement permit makes it significantly easier for you to bring your family to Germany.
  3. Better Credit
    Loans allow you to make larger investments, such as buying a home or opening a business.
  4. Free entry and exit
    With the settlement permit you receive an almost unrestricted travel permit.
  5. Unrestricted work permit
    You can change your job or start a business without any problems.
  6. No earmarking
    The settlement permit does not simply cease to exist when studies, training or marriage ends.
  7. Secure future prospects for you and your family
    A major advantage is the planning security you receive with the settlement permit.
  8. No more stress with the foreigners authorities
    With permanent residence status, you are largely spared the need to go to the foreigners authorities.
  9. No fear of deportation
    With very special exceptions, your permanent settlement permit cannot be taken away from you again.

This means that every settlement permit, regardless of its legal basis, is unlimited in time and space. In addition, any gainful employment is permitted with it and a secure life in Germany is possible. For these reasons, a permanent residence permit is enormously desirable for you and your family.

Basic requirements for a permanent residence permit

Establishment permits are issued according to different requirements and legal bases. As you will learn in the next point, the type of settlement permit depends largely on what right of residence you have. For this reason alone, it is not always easy for foreigners to find out what requirements you need to meet.

  • Residence permit for 5 years
    In order to obtain a settlement permit, a legal residence in Germany of at least. 5 years required.
  • Secured livelihood
    In order to obtain a permanent residence permit, you must be able to finance the livelihood of yourself and your family independently and without state support (e.g. unemployment benefit II). Certain social benefits, such as child benefit, are excluded from this. In the case of married couples, only one of them needs to meet this requirement.
  • Pension contributions
    In order to obtain a permanent residence permit, you must also have paid at least 60 monthly contributions to the statutory pension insurance or to a comparable pension scheme (e.g. private health insurance) as an applicant.
  • Basic Penalty Exemption
    You must not have been convicted of an intentional crime in the last 3 years to a juvenile or prison sentence of at least 6 months or to a fine of more than 180 daily rates. Likewise, you must not pose a threat to public safety or order.
  • Employment permit
    In principle, you must be permitted to work in Germany in order to obtain a permanent residence permit. For certain professions, a corresponding professional practice permit is also required. In particular, self-employed applicants must submit the necessary permits for the specific gainful activity.
  • Sufficient knowledge of German
    In order to obtain a settlement permit, you must have sufficient knowledge of the German language. This can be proven by a language certificate. Here you must achieve at least the language level B 1.
  • Integration course
    For an unlimited right of residence, you must prove that you have a basic knowledge of the legal and social order and living conditions in Germany. This is considered proven by the successful completion of the integration test “Test – Living in Germany”. However, proof can also be provided by the successful completion of a school career or other training that provides such knowledge.
  • Sufficient living space
    To obtain a permanent residence permit, you must have sufficient living space for your entire family. The easiest way to prove this is with a valid rental agreement. The most important thing is that the condition and size of the apartment should be considered sufficient for the number of family members. A minimum of 12 sq. ft. is required for each person over 6 years of age; 10 sq. ft. is sufficient for a child under 6 years of age. Children under two years of age are not considered in the calculation of required living space. Deviations of 10% are usually allowed. In addition, ancillary rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom are absolutely necessary. These standards are based on the general administrative regulation to the Residence Act and can be found there in Art. 1 Para. 2.4.
When do I get the settlement permit?
We check for you according to which legal regulation you can obtain the settlement permit the fastest and easiest way. Let us advise you!

Exceptions & special regulations

Depending on which residence permit you currently hold, other legal requirements may be relevant to you.
This means that in addition to the general requirements just explained from § Section 9 Residence Act there are various other legal bases that could facilitate the obtaining of a permanent right of residence for you. In some cases, even an earlier application for the settlement permit is possible.

  • Settlement permit for recognized persons entitled to asylum & refugees
    Special facilitations apply to persons entitled to asylum and recognized refugees with regard to securing a livelihood as well as language skills. In cases of particularly well-integrated persons, a permanent residence permit for recognized refugees is also possible after only 3 years. However, more stringent language proficiency requirements apply here. The legal basis is in § 26 par.3 AufenthG to find.
  • Settlement permit for professionals
    Gem. § 18c Residence Act you can already receive a permanent residence permit after 4 years if you have a residence title for employment as a skilled worker, min. have paid pension contributions for 48 months, are gainfully employed and have sufficient knowledge of German. In addition, the requirements of § 9 para. 2 sentence 1 No. 2 and 4 to 6, 8 and 9 are present.
  • Settlement Permit for Family Members of Germans
    If your spouse or registered partner is a German citizen, you can apply for a settlementpermit according to § 28 para. 2 S. 1 Residence Act receive the unlimited residence permit after only 3 years if you have sufficient knowledge of German and there is no interest in deportation. The same applies if you are a minor and your parent has German citizenship.
  • Settlement permit for EU Blue Card holders
    In this case, you can obtain a settlement permit after only 33 months of highly qualified employment. In case of particularly good knowledge of the German language, it is possible to obtain a permanent residence title even after 21 months.
  • Settlement permit for children aged 16 and over
    Minors who have already held a residence permit for 5 years on their 16th birthday must, after § 35 Para. 1 S. 1 Residence Act do not meet any other requirements. For young adults over 18 years of age, the provisions of section 35 para. 1 S. 2 AufenthG, which are slightly more stringent.
  • Settlement permit for self-employed
    Gem. § 21 para. 4 Residence Act you can be the founder of a company that has min. 5 People employed after three years of holding the residence permit get a settlement permit if you have at least. have invested € 250,000. If these conditions are met, the legislator assumes that there is an overriding interest in your self-employment.
  • Settlement permit for apprentices/students
    If you are doing an apprenticeship that leads to a recognized educational qualification, they do not need to prove 60 monthly pension contributions. There is also relief regarding your livelihood, as you are allowed to receive government funds for support.
  • Settlement Permit for Sick Persons
    People who suffer from a serious mental or physical illness or disability do not have to meet all the requirements. Depending on the impairment, they are exempt from some requirements, such as independent financing of living expenses, language skills or payments into the pension fund.
  • Settlement Permit for Highly Qualified Persons
    If you have special technical knowledge, you have the following options due to your high importance for the German labor market according to § 19 AufenthG the possibility of obtaining a permanent residence title immediately (e.g. scientists and other specialists).
  • Settlement Permit for Former Germans
    Former Germans can settleafter § 38 para. 1 S. 1 No. 1 AufenthG receive a permanent residence permit, if they have previously resided in Germany as Germans for five years. In principle, the livelihood must be secured here,
    However, exceptions are possible.

It is important that all permanent residence titles offer the same advantages, regardless of the legal basis on which they are issued! For a successful application for a settlement permit, however, it is of enormous importance to know the appropriate basis of entitlement in the law and to submit the correct documents in full. As this is very challenging for many people due to the high complexity of the law, we at migrando offer a free test of your requirements!

Apply for unlimited residence permit

In order to be able to apply for a permanent residence permit, you must inform yourself in advance about the respective possibilities and requirements. This is because the many different paragraphs impose different strict requirements for the issuance of a permanent residence title. To find out which legal basis applies in your case, simply do the following here is our free test on the unlimited residence title.

When and how you should apply for a settlement permit, we explain to you here.

The essential documents you need for the application are:

  • Valid identification document (passport or passport replacement)
  • Current biometric passport photo
  • Proof of residence in Germany for 3 or 5 years (varies depending on legal basis)
  • Sufficient proof of salary (requirements for the amount vary here as well).
  • Work permit, professional practice permit or permission to engage in gainful activity
  • Proof of health insurance (statutory or private)
  • Rental contract or proof of home ownership
  • Language certificate (varies according to legal basis)
  • Certificate of participation in an integration course
  • Proof of receipt of other benefits
    (e.g. child benefit, child supplement, parental allowance, childcare allowance or similar benefits)
  • If applicable, certificate of pension contributions paid
  • If applicable, school certificates or proof of training
  • Employment contract, if applicable
  • If applicable, tax assessment notices (for self-employed persons and freelancers)
  • If applicable, severely disabled pass
  • If applicable, pension certificate (in case of disability or retirement age)
  • If applicable, current expert reports (in case of disability or reduction in earning capacity)
  • If applicable, audit reports from auditors or tax consultants (for self-employed persons and freelancers)

The documents required vary depending on the individual case and on the legal basis on which you are basing your application for the permanent residence permit. In addition, the examination is left to the regional foreigners authority, as a result of which various procedures have become established. Due to our many years of experience with foreigners authorities throughout Germany, we can submit your application with legal certainty.

Necessary documents are missing – What now?

If you are currently missing required documents (such as the valid national passport, the written rental contract or the successful participation in the integration test) to apply for a permanent residence title, we at migrando can almost always find a way to replace the missing documents or to submit them late. So do not be afraid if you are currently missing documents.

The cost of a permanent residence permit

The permanent right of residence costs between 100 – 150 € per person. The price depends on the type of settlement permit applied for. As a rule, the cost for most applications for a permanent right of residence is €113. For a settlement permit for highly qualified persons, on the other hand, €147 must be paid and for self-employed persons €124. The legal basis of the fees is found in § 44 AufenthV.

For minors are in § 50 para. 1 Residence Ordinance Special arrangements established. According to § 50 para. 1 p. 1, only 50% of the costs are incurred for children.

When do I get the settlement permit?
We check for you according to which legal regulation you can obtain the settlement permit the fastest and easiest way. Let us advise you!

Obtain permanent residence permit with the help of migrando

Due to the many difficulties and the enormous mass of application procedures, we clearly recommend you to apply with migrando with us! On the one hand, with the help of migrando you get at the time of application, proof (lawyer’s receipt) of the application, which may be of great importance later. And on the other hand, migrando can submit your application for a permanent residence permit to the competent authority in a legally secure manner by consulting experienced lawyers. This means that your proceedings are directly given preferential treatment, since the Foreigners Authority knows that a lawyer can file an action for failure to act according to § 75 VwGO in the event of a long processing time. § 75 VwGO can raise.

If you file an application without a lawyer, you may currently face enormous waiting times and processing times due to the overload of the authorities, as an extreme wave of applications is to be expected in the coming months and years.

Advantages of applying through migrando:

  1. No errors when filling out the application
  2. Enormously accelerated procedure
  3. Uncomplicated process
  4. If necessary, judicial enforcement of your claim

get permanent residence permit easily with migrando


If you want to live and work in Germany permanently and without restrictions, as well as finally lead a secure life with prospects for the future, applying for a permanent residence title is strongly recommended. The settlement permit is probably the most practically relevant permanent residence permit and offers countless advantages for you and your family. This can be based on different legal bases and thus has very different requirements. For this reason, an individual examination of your circumstances is necessary in order to be able to make a reliable statement about your chances of success.

We at migrando have developed a free online test for this purpose, which determines and then queries all the requirements for your specific case. Should you obtain a positive result, an immediate application is at the responsible foreigners authority is advisable. We at migrando are happy to help you! Our cooperation with experienced lawyers enables us to provide you with legally secure support and to enforce your rights before the immigration authorities or even in court.

Use our simple callback service. We will then contact you as quickly as we can, to help! Or leave us a message so that we can answer your questions as soon as possible.

Use our simple callback service. We will then contact you as quickly as we can, to help! Or leave us a message so that we can answer your questions as soon as possible.

New law for tolerance permit (Duldung) !

Livestream with lawyer Fabian Graske

On Wednesday, 19.10.2022 at 18:00 o’clock the German Bundestag decides on a law so that tolerated foreigners in Germany get a right of residence faster. Attorney Fabian Graske comments in this livestream for Migrando if and when the law comes into force.

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