Refugees

Everything about the permanent residence permit for individuals entitled to asylum, recognised refugees and those residing in Germany with subsidiary protection or a ban on deportation can be found in our chapter "permanent residence permit for refugees".

Skilled workers & Researchers

A skilled worker is a person with a job which requires vocational training or a degree. Skilled workers and scientists/researchers can obtain a permanent residence permit after 4 years of residence in Germany by meeting relatively relaxed requirements- You only need to have paid into the pension insurance for 48 months. You also must have a job, speak German at level B1 and meet the following requirements:

  • You must be able to secure a living for yourself (and your family) independently, i.e. you are not allowed to receive any money from the Job Centre or Social Welfare Office.

  • You must have enough living space for yourself and your family. Standard size varies from state to state. Ask the staff at the Immigration Office or a counselling centre nearby for more information.

  • You must have a work permit.

  • You must have successfully completed the "orientation course". You can find out more in our chapter "Integration courses".

  • You must not have committed any major offences (Minor convictions with fines of up to 90 days of income or suspended sentences of up to three months do not affect your case)

 

Holders of university degrees & vocational training certificates from Germany

If you have successfully completed vocational training or a university degree in Germany and have a residence permit as a skilled worker or researcher, you can benefit from easier conditions when applying for a permanent residence permit are easier for you: You can apply for a permanent residence permit after only 2 years of having a residence permit as a skilled worker or researcher. Furthermore, you are only required to have contributed to the pension insurance for 24 months. To apply, you must have a job, speak German at level B1 and also meet the following requirements:

 

  • You must be able to secure a living for yourself (and your family) independently, i.e. you are not allowed to receive any money from the Job Centre or Social Welfare Office.

  • You must have enough living space for yourself and your family. Standard size varies from state to state. Ask the staff at the Immigration Office or a counselling centre nearby for more information.

  • You must have a work permit.

  • You must have successfully completed the "orientation course". You can find out more in our chapter "Integration courses".

  • You must not have committed any major offences (Minor convictions with fines of up to 90 days of income or suspended sentences of up to three months do not affect your case).

Self-employed

If you run a company in Germany and can secure your livelihood for yourself (and your family) independently, i.e. you do not receive any aid from the Job Centre or Social Welfare Office, you can obtain a permanent residence permit after 3 years. You must also have adequate health insurance and have contributed to pension insurance. Furthermore, you must not have been convicted of any criminal offence.

Civil servants

Civil servants, i.e. those who work for public offices in Germany can obtain a permanent residence permit after just 3 years of residence. Furthermore, they do not have to prove contributions to pension insurance. As a civil servant, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be able to secure a living for yourself (and your family) independently, i.e. you are not allowed to receive any money from the Job Centre or Social Welfare Office.

  • You must be able to speak German at level A2 and provide relevant evidence.

  • You must have enough living space for yourself and your family. Standard size varies from state to state. Ask the staff at the Immigration Office or a counselling centre nearby for more information.

  • You must have a work permit.

  • You must have successfully completed the "orientation course". You can find out more in our chapter "Integration courses".

  • You have not committed any major offences (Minor convictions with fines of up to 90 days of income or suspended sentences of up to three months do not affect your case).

Holders of "EU Blue Card"

If you have an EU Blue Card, you can obtain a permanent residence permit very quickly. After 33 months of having an EU Blue Card, you would be able to apply for a permanent residence permit. You only need to have made pension insurance contributions for 33 months, have a suitable job and speak German at level A1. If you speak German at level B1, you will be able to obtain a permanent residence permit after just 21 months- you must also meet the following requirements:

  • You must be able to secure a living for yourself (and your family) independently, i.e. you are not allowed to receive any money from the Job Centre or Social Welfare Office.

  • You must have enough living space for yourself and your family. Standard size varies from state to state. Ask the staff at the Immigration Office or a counselling centre nearby for more information.

  • You must have a work permit.

  • You must have successfully completed the "orientation course". You can find out more in our chapter "Integration course".

  • You have not committed any major offences. Minor convictions with fines of up to 90 days of income or suspended sentences of up to three months do not affect your case.

 

Family members of German citizens

If you are a family member of a person with German citizenship, you need to meet simpler requirements when it comes to applying for permanent residence: You can apply after having a residence permit for 3 years. You must also speak German at level B1 and prove that you will continue to live with the person (with German citizenship). You can find out more about this topic in our chapters "Marriage", "Divorce" and "Born in Germany". To apply, you must also meet the following requirements:

  • You must be able to secure a living for yourself (and your family) independently, i.e. you are not allowed to receive any money from the Job Centre or Social Welfare Office.

  • You must have made pension insurance contributions for at least 60 months. The amount of the contributions does not matter- learn more in our chapter "Retiring in Germany".

  • You must have a work permit.

  • You have not committed any major offences (Minor convictions with fines of up to 90 days of income or suspended sentences of up to three months do not affect your case)

 

Spouses of those with a permanent residence permit

If you are or have been married to someone with a permanent residence permit, you can also obtain a permanent residence permit. The prerequisite for this is that your livelihood is secured without the help of the Job Centre or Social Welfare Office. You must also meet the following requirements:

  • You have to speak German at level A2 and provide relevant evidence.

  • You must be able to secure a living for yourself and your family. The minimum size required differs from state to state.  For more information, ask the staff at the Immigration Office or a counselling centre nearby.
  • You must have successfully completed the "orientation course". You can find out more in our chapter "Integration course".

  • You have not committed any major offences. Minor convictions with fines of up to 90 days of income or suspended sentences of up to three months do not affect your case.

Children of non-German parents

Children of foreign nationals can obtain a permanent residence permit if they have had a residence permit for at least 5 years when they turn 16 or later. As soon as the child is of legal age, additional requirements must be met: The adolescents who turn 18 must speak German at level B1. They also need to be able to secure a livelihood without the help of the Job Centre or Social Welfare Office- unless they are going through vocational training or study. Furthermore, to obtain a permanent residence permit, the child must not have been convicted of a major crime.