Permanent residence titles

Straßenschild mit den Wörtern befristet und unbefristet
Image: JiSign - fotolia.com

General Information

If you have had a temporary residence title (residence permit or EU Blue Card) for several years, you may be able to obtain a permanent residence title.

The following are permanent residence titles:
  • Settlement permit = Niederlassungserlaubnis (with various legal bases)
  • EU long-term residence permit = Erlaubnis zum Daueraufenthalt-EU (pursuant to Section 9a of the German Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz))
A permanent residence title offers several benefits:
  • All forms of economic activity are permitted
  • It is not subject to any time limits or geographical restrictions

Overview of the different types of settlement permits (Niederlassungserlaubnisse)

Settlement permits are issued in line with various requirements and legal bases. It depends which temporary residence title you currently have.
(Please note: The following information is in German language only.)

All settlement permits offer the same benefits, irrespective of their legal basis.

EU long-term residence permit (Erlaubnis zum Daueraufenthalt-EU)

The EU long-term residence permit offers you greater mobility both inside and outside the EU:

  • If you wish to live outside the EU or in Denmark, Great Britain or Ireland, you can leave the federal territory for up to 12 months. Your EU long-term residence permit will not expire as a result. If you or a member of your family had an EU Blue Card before your EU long-term residence permit was issued, you can leave the federal territory for no less than 24 months.
  • If you want to move to another EU member state, you can stay there for up to 6 years. Your EU long-term residence permit will not expire as a result. (This does not apply to stays in the following EU countries: Denmark, Great Britain and Ireland!)
  • In order to receive the required residence permit in another EU country, you do not need to apply for a visa in advance at the relevant EU country’s embassy. You can travel directly to the other EU country and apply for a residence permit when you are there.

Do you wish to submit an application?

If you wish to apply for a permanent residence title, please ensure that you are aware of the requirements before you submit your application.
Above all, the time requirements vary depending on the permanent residence title that you may be able to obtain. It also depends on the purpose for which your residence title was issued (and therefore the Section pursuant to which it was issued).

If you fulfill the requirements for a permanent residence title, please apply (in writing) to the department that is competent for your application. The competent department is determined by your nationality.

Please note: It is possible to book appointments only for the following two permanent residence titles:

Do you have a residence permit for educational purposes?

If you are staying to do a degree or for other educational purposes, you cannot be issued with a settlement permit or an EU long-term residence permit during your stay.