Where can I apply for a permanent residence permit?

You must apply for the permanent residence permit in writing at the Immigration Office responsible for you. You can search for the responsible Immigration Office at  bamf.de. You will find the necessary form, i.e. "Application for the Permanent Residence Permit" ("Antrag auf Erteilung der Niederlassungserlaubnis") on the website of the Immigration Office. You have to send the filled application form, a biometric passport photo and the following documents to the responsible Immigration Office per post:

  • a copy of your passport

  • a copy of your employment contract, your last six payslips, and a recent confirmation letter from your employer which verifies that you are still employed there. This confirmation must not be older than 14 days. If you are self-employed: your last tax assessment and an audit report completed by a tax consultant.

  • a recent document from your health insurance company verifying that you are insured.

  • a copy of your rental agreement

  • a copy of your German language certificates

  • your pension information (from the German pension insurance scheme)

  • if you receive child benefit, parental allowance or alike: the relevant confirmation letters

  • the confirmation of your registration with the police

  • If you belong to a group entitled to easier requirements, you will have to submit fewer documents. You can find out the list of needed documents on the application.

Keep in mind that you have to pay in order to obtain a permanent residence permit.

As soon as the Immigration Office has checked your application, they will notify you in writing.

Could I lose my permanent residence permit?

Yes. Under the following circumstances, you may lose your permanent residence permit:

  • If you do not reside in Germany for more than 6 months or move to another country, in principle, you will lose your permanent residence permit (§ 51 I Residence Act). That does not apply to people with a Blue Passport.

  • Your permanent residence permit may be revoked if you have obtained it as a result of providing false information to the authorities.

  • If you are considered to be a threat to public safety and order, you may be deported. In this case, you will also lose your permanent residence permit.

If you think you may lose your recognition or residence permit, make sure you seek advice from a counselling centre or lawyer. You can find support, for instance, at a Counselling Centre for Adult Migrants or Youth Migration Service.

Where can I find advice and support?

The Counselling Centre for Adult Migrants (MBE) or the Youth Migration Service (JMD) can provide you with advice regarding permanent residence permit. The counselling centres of the JMD specialise on providing support for youth and young adults (under the age of 27). The staff at the MBEs and JMDs speak many languages and the service they provide is cost-free.

I have a permanent residence permit. Can I also live and work in another EU country?

No, not with a permanent residence permit you have obtained from Germany. To live and work in other EU countries, you need a permanent EU residence permit. With an EU long-term residence permit, you have the option of obtaining a residence permit in another EU country. You can find out more in our chapter "EU Permanent Residence Permit".