Settlement permit; application

The settlement permit is an unlimited residence title and entitles the holder to pursue gainful employment. The requirements for issuance differ depending on the purpose of residence.

Description

The settlement permit establishes a permanent right of residence in Germany. It is unlimited in time and space and may not be subject to conditions and requirements.

The requirements for the granting of a settlement permit are correspondingly high. In addition to a secure livelihood and sufficient living space, the granting of a residence permit also requires (as a rule) five years of possession of the residence permit, as well as essentially exemption from punishment, sufficient knowledge of the German language and basic knowledge of the legal and social order and living conditions in the Federal Republic.

Although the granting of a settlement permit generally requires, among other things, five years' possession of a residence permit, the Residence Act also provides for exceptional cases. For example for

  • foreign spouses of Germans (as a rule after 3 years),
  • for successful self-employed persons (at discretion after 3 years),
  • foreigners who are civil servants of a German employer (after 3 years),
  • foreigners who have successfully completed domestic vocational training or domestic studies (after two years),
  • Holders of a residence permit as a skilled worker (after 4 years).
  • Holders of an EU Blue Card (after 33 months of highly qualified employment, after 21 months if proof of sufficient German language skills is provided).
  • In special cases, particularly highly qualified persons can be granted a settlement permit right away as their first title (e.g. scientists with special technical knowledge or specialists).

In addition to the required periods of possession of a residence permit, the other conditions for issuance, which vary depending on the case constellation, must also be fulfilled. An application for a settlement permit must be submitted to the locally competent foreigners authority.

Prerequisites

The requirements for the granting of a settlement permit differ depending on the purpose of residence.

Section 9 (2) of the Residence Act regulates the requirements for the settlement permit granted as a rule. Prerequisites include,

  1. that the foreigner has held the residence permit for five years,
  2. the foreigner's livelihood is secure,
  3. the foreigner has made compulsory or voluntary contributions to the statutory pension insurance for at least 60 months,
  4. the foreigner has sufficient knowledge of the German language,
  5. he/she has basic knowledge of the legal and social order and living conditions in the Federal Republic of Germany, and
  6. he has sufficient living space for himself and his family members living with him in a domestic community.

In addition, the Residence Act provides for special regulations for the granting of a settlement permit for certain purposes of residence, for which in some cases different requirements must be met.

Deadlines

None

Required documents

  • 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).

  • 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

Fees

    • Settlement permit for highly qualified persons: 147 euros
    • Settlement permit for self-employment: 124 Euro
    • Settlement permit in all other cases: 113 Euro

Remedy

Administrative court proceedings; information

administrative claim

Links to more information

Status: 12.04.2022

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

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