Residence cards and certificate of permanent residence; application

A residence card or permanent residence card shall be issued to family members of Union citizens who are entitled to free movement and to permanent residents but who are not Union citizens themselves. Union citizens may apply for a certificate.

Description

EU citizens do not require a visa to enter Germany and do not require a residence permit to stay in Germany. Under the provisions of the Act on the General Freedom of Movement for EU Citizens (Freedom of Movement Act/EU - FreizügG/EU), nationals of the EEA states Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are treated in the same way as EU citizens, but without acquiring the status of EU citizen or family member of an EU citizen.

EU citizens who identify themselves by means of a valid passport or identity card enjoy freedom of movement and thus also the right to stay for more than three months as employees, for the purpose of seeking work or vocational training, as established self-employed persons, as providers and recipients of services and as permanent residents. EU citizens who are not gainfully employed are entitled to freedom of movement if they have adequate health insurance cover and sufficient means of subsistence.

The issuance of a certificate on the right to freedom of movement is no longer provided for by law.

EU citizens who have been legally resident in Germany for five years have the right of entry and residence (right of permanent residence), irrespective of whether the conditions for freedom of movement continue to apply (cf. § 4a FreizügigkeitsG/EU). Upon application, the Aliens Department will certify their permanent right of residence.

Family members (spouse or registered partner, children up to the age of 21 and, under certain conditions, other family members) of an EU citizen entitled to freedom of movement are also entitled to freedom of movement if they accompany or join them. However, family members entitled to freedom of movement who are not EU citizens (so-called third-country nationals) generally require an entry visa (cf. "Related Topics" - "National Visa"). After they have entered Germany, the foreigners authority issues them a residence card for family members of EU citizens ex officio within six months after they have provided the required information. This residence card is valid for five years. A certificate stating that the required information has been provided shall be issued to the family member without delay. Third-country nationals Family members of EU citizens are entitled to permanent residence if the latter is entitled to permanent residence and they have resided with him or her in Germany lawfully on a permanent basis for five years. They will be issued a permanent residence card by the Aliens' Registration Office within six months of submitting their application.

Please note: An absence of more than two consecutive years for reasons which are not merely temporary in nature will result in the loss of the right of permanent residence.

For further information on the subject of the right of permanent residence and certificates on the right of permanent residence as well as residence cards and the right of residence of family members (for example in the case of divorce from the EU citizen entitled to freedom of movement or his/her departure or death), please contact the foreigners authority responsible for your place of residence on a case-by-case basis.

Prerequisites

Permanent residence certificate:

  • Citizenship of a member state of the EU or citizenship of one of the EEA states Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway.
  • Five-year permanent legal residence in Germany (in the cases regulated in Section 4a (2) of the Freedom of Movement Act/EU, possibly even before).

residence card:

  • Third-country national family member (spouse or registered partner, children up to the age of 21 and, under certain conditions, other family members) of an EU citizen entitled to freedom of movement.
  • Accompanying or joining this EU citizen

permanent residence card:

  • Third-country national family member (spouse or registered partner, children up to the age of 21 and, under certain conditions, other family members) of an EU citizen who is entitled to permanent residence.
  • five years of permanent legal residence in Germany with the EU citizen who is entitled to permanent residence.

Note: Depending on the circumstances of the individual case, further requirements may have to be met. Please enquire with the relevant foreigners authority in each individual case.

Required documents

  • Valid identity card or passport
  • Current biometric ID picture
  • For the residence card:

    • marriage certificate or registered partnership certificate/birth certificate for every child - including an apostille or legal authentication note, where required
    • for foreign-language official documents: certified translation to the German language; only international official documents executed in several languages do not require a translation.
    • if necessary, the EU citizen's certificate of residency who is accompanied or subsequently followed by family members

  • 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 residence certificate: 10.00 euros

    Residence card or permanent residence card (persons up to the age of 24): 22.80 euros

    Residence card or permanent residence card (persons after the age of 24): 37,00 Euro

Status: 12.04.2022

Responsible for editing: Bayerisches Staatsministerium des Innern, für Sport und Integration

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