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 freedom from criminal prosecution, sufficient knowledge of the German language and basic knowledge of the legal and social order and living conditions in the Federal territory.
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 in a civil service relationship with 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 met. An application for a settlement permit must be submitted to the locally competent foreigners authority.