Right of residence

Can I permanently stay in Germany?

If you would like to choose Germany as your new home or already migrated to Germany, you need a residence permit. Therefore, the provisions of the right of residence are important to you. Which right of residence is important to you depends on whether you are a citizen of the European Union, you have fled to Germany for political or humanitarian reasons or have come to Germany to work or study.

In this chapter, we explain the most important differences of residency, the forms of protection for refugees and how long you may stay.

The forms of protection for refugees

If you came to Germany for political or humanitarian reasons and want to stay here, you can apply for asylum. If your application for asylum has been accepted, you will be granted a residence permit for up to three years. You can then obtain a permanent residence permit if the reasons for your protection still exist. These will be omitted only if the conditions in your country of origin have improved fundamentally and a return is reasonable. In other words, if you are still not safe in your country of origin, you can remain permanently in Germany.

But everything depends on what kind of residence permit you have got and according to what law you are accepted.

What type of residence permit will I receive after a successful asylum process?

Refugee protection

Entitlement to asylum

Subsidiary protection

National ban on deportation


The forms of protection can not be considered if you have committed a war crime or a serious non-political offense outside of Germany. Also if you breached the goals and principles of the United Nations or you are seen as a risk to the security or danger to the Federal Republic of Germany or the general public because you have been sentenced to imprisonment.

If non of this counts for you, but still no form of protection was granted to you, the immigration offices have the possibility of granting temporary suspension of deportation status (Duldung).

The EU Blue Card

With the Blue Card EU, you have the right to stay for four years in Germany for the first time.

You will get the Blue Card EU if you

• migrated from a “Drittstaat” - third country (not from Europe),

• have a university degree or equivalent qualification,

• want to take up employment on the basis of your professional field and your qualifications in Germany,

• can supply evidence of an employment in Germany through which a minimum annual salary is payed (two-thirds of the annual contribution assessment ceiling for general pension insurance). In 2016 the ammount was 49.600 euros, and 38.688 euros with regard to professions for which there is particular demand in Germany (“Mangelberufe”).

If you had an EU Blue Card for more than 33 months and you can proof that you were working during that period in Germany as described above, you will be granted a permanent settlement permit. If your German knowledge is at level B1, the settlement permit can be granted even after 21 months.

Your spouse or accompanying spouse does not have to demonstrate any German language skills and is given immediate access to gainful employment.

Blue Pass

If you are entitled to asylum or refugee protection, you will get a "passport for foreigners", the blue passport. Find out more here.