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Permanent settlement permit; Issuance

The permanent settlement permit is an unlimited residence title allowing its holder to pursue gainful employment, it is not limited to certain territories, and it must not be subjected to secondary conditions except in cases legally approved under the German Residence Act (AufenthG).

Description

This residence title plainly documents a foreign national's right of permanent residence. The permanent settlement permit is unlimited in terms of time or territory and must not be subjected to obligations and conditions, thus enabling its holder to be e.g. gainfully self-employed. The requirements for a permanent settlement permit are therefore accordingly high, including proof of guaranteed means of subsistence and adequate living quarters as well as five (5) years' possession of a residence permit, mainly impunity, adequate proficiency in the German language and a basic knowledge of the legal and social order and the living conditions in the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Please ask your Aliens Department – it is well worth the effort: If all prerequisites have been met, the foreign national has a legal entitlement to the permanent settlement permit.

Although the issuance of a permanent settlement permit "normally" requires five (5) years' possession of a residence permit, among else, there are also cases where it is possible for the residence title to be granted after shorter possession of a residence permit, or even right after a foreign national's entry into Germany, as the first title to be granted. The rules & regulations to that effect are contained in the German Residence Act (AufenthG), e.g. for the foreign spouses of German nationals (issuance of a permanent settlement permit normally after three (3) years), for successfully self-employed foreign nationals (discretionary issuance after three (3) years), for persons qualifying for political asylum with issuance after three (3) years provided the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has advised the Aliens Department of the absence of any requirements for a cancellation or withdrawal of the foreign national's eligibility for political asylum. Since August 1st, 2012, foreign nationals who have successfully completed their university studies at a German university have been entitled to the issuance of a permanent settlement permit after only two (2) years of possession of a residence permit for the pursuit of gainful employment or self-employment or only two (2) years of possession of an EU Blue Card. Otherwise, the holders of an EU Blue Card are entitled to the issuance of a permanent settlement permit after 33 months of highly qualified gainful employment; and in cases where they can establish proof of adequate proficiency in the German language, they are entitled to a permanent settlement permit after merely 21 months of months of highly qualified gainful employment. Notably highly qualified persons may be issued a permanent settlement permit right away, as their first title to be issued (e.g. scientists with special professional knowledge, or specialists). In addition to the prior times required for the possession of a residence permit, the other granting prerequisites also vary to some extent.

Foreign nationals who were granted a residence permit in accordance with Section Five of the German Residence Act (AufenthG) for reasons of international law, for humanitarian reasons or for political reasons need seven (5) years' possession rather than five (5) years' possession of a residence permit in order to be entitled to a permanent settlement permit. Any residence permit issued for the foregoing reasons, with the exception of a residence permit granted to foreign nationals qualifying for political asylum, is initially not aimed at permanent residence. This is because any residence permit issued for the foregoing reasons residence permit must not be renewed if the obstacle to deportation or the other reasons precluding the termination of residence have ceased to apply.

Applications for a permanent settlement permit shall be submitted to the competent Aliens Department.

Prerequisites

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

Article 9 Para. 2 of the German Residence Act (AufenthG) governs the prerequisites for permanent settlement permits not issued for a specific purpose. The prerequisites include, among else,

  1. possession by the foreign national of a residence permit for at least five (5) years,
  2. assurance of the foreign national's subsistence,
  3. payment by the foreign national of compulsory or voluntary contributions to the statutory pension scheme for at least sixty (60) months
  4. adequate proficiency in the German language by the foreign national,
  5. a basic knowledge of the legal and social order and the living conditions within the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany by the foreign national, and
  6. adequate living quarters for both for the foreign national and for the family members living with him or her in a family community.

In addition to the foregoing, the German Residence Act (AufenthG) provides for special rules & regulations for the issuance of a permanent settlement permit for certain purposes of stay which are to some extent contingent upon deviating conditions.

Deadlines

None

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
  • 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).

Fees

Permanent settlement permit for highly qualified professionals: 250 Euros

Permanent settlement permit for the pursuit of self-employment: 200 Euros

Permanent settlement permit for all other cases: 135 Euros

 

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

Legal bases

Remedy

Administrative court proceedings

Administrative court action

Related links

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Status: 29.02.2016

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

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