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Residence permit; Application and Renewal

A residence permit is a temporary residence title which can be issued to non-EU citizens for a variety of different purposes of stay (e.g. gainful employment; university studies; au-pair job; subsequent immigration of family members) and which is renewable.


For prolonged stays in Germany, foreign nationals are obliged, upon their entry into Germany with or without a visa, depending on their nationality and the purpose and duration of their intended stay, to contact their competent Aliens Department – normally the district administration authority in whose sphere of competence the foreign national has his or her habitual residence – to apply for a residence permit, or a permanent settlement permit, or an EU BLUE CARD (see "Related Links"). The application form is available from the Aliens Department, which will also be happy to advise you about any other documents required.

A residence permit is a temporary residence title. It is granted for the purposes specified in the German Residence Act (AufenthG) (e.g. stay for humanitarian reasons; for the purpose of pursuing university studies; for the purpose of professional training or research; for the purpose of employment or self-employment; for the subsequent immigration of family members for spouses and children, provided the foreign national living here possesses the right of residence, or for the spouses and children of German nationals). The German Residence Act (AufenthG), in addition to regulating the granting prerequisites for the various purposes of stay, also establishes whether or not a legal entitlement exists for the granting of a residence permit or whether a discretionary decision will have to be passed by the Aliens Department. A residence permit is normally valid for the entire federal territory, but its issuance may also be subject to obligations and conditions. Other obligations such as e.g. territorial restriction may even be imposed at a later date.

The residence permit - in spite of its initial time limit - constitutes the basis for a permanent right of residence unless its renewal was excluded right from the outset, e.g. in cases of time-limited purpose of stay. It opens up the possibility for a future unlimited right of residence (permanent settlement permit or EU Permit for Permanent Residency) unless this possibility has been barred to certain groups of foreign nationals right from the outset due to specific rules, notably concerning the pursuing of gainful employment. For example, the stay of au-pairs has been limited to one (1) year; the stay of foreign specialty chefs has been limited to four (4) years; and the stay of language teachers teaching indigenous languages in schools has been limited to five (5) years.

Please contact your competent Aliens Department (Ausländerbehörde) to apply for the renewal or issuance of a residence permit.


The prerequisites for issuance of a residence permit differ in accordance with the purpose of stay.

In general, a residence permit will be granted only to foreign nationals

  • whose subsistence is ensured,
  • whose identity, and, unless authorized to return to another country, whose nationality has been clarified,
  • for whom no grounds for expulsion exist,
  • whose stay in Germany, insofar as they are not entitled to the issuance of a residence title, does not compromise or jeopardize the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany for any other reason, and
  • who meet the obligation to hold a passport acc. to Article 3 of the German Residence Act (AufenthG),

and to foreign nationals

  • who have entered Germany with the required visa, and
  • who have already provided the data relevant for the issuance of a visa in their visa application.

The same regulations apply to the renewal and to the issuance of residence permits. Prior to renewal of the residence permit, it is mandatory to establish whether or not the foreign national has duly met his or her obligation to attend the integration course.


Foreign nationals obliged to hold a visa have to apply for the residence title required for their further stay in Germany while their visa is still valid.
Foreign nationals exempted from the obligation to hold a visa have to apply for the residence title required for their further stay in Germany either immediately following their entry, but not later than 90 days after their date of entry.

Required documents

  • Valid passport
  • Current biometric photo (front shot)
  • Supporting documents evidencing guaranteed means of subsistence
  • Supporting documents evidencing adequate living quarters
  • Supporting documents evidencing medical insurance coverage
  • Supporting documents evidencing the purpose of stay, e. g. employer's certificate or employment contract
  • If necessary, you may be required to produce additional documents

    The documents to be presented may vary greatly. Please find out more details from your competent Aliens Department (Ausländerbehörde). As a general rule, the documents listed above will be required (among others).


Up to one (1) year of validity: 100 Euros

More than one (1) year of validity: 110 Euros

Renewal for up to three (3) months: 65 Euros

Renewal by more than three (3) months: 80 Euros


Cost exemptions or cost reductions may be granted under certain conditions.

Legal bases


Administrative court proceedings

Administrative court proceedings

Related links

Related issues

Status: 26.01.2016

Responsible for editing: Bayerisches Staatsministerium des Innern, für Bau und Verkehr

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