Permanent Residence Permit

Can I obtain unlimited residence permit and settle in Germany?

A permanent residence permit (also known as "settlement permit") is, in fact, an unlimited permit to reside in Germany, i.e. contrary to a regular residence permit, you do not have to have your permanent residence permit extended frequently at the immigration authorities. A permanent residence permit also allows you to work without restrictions.

In order to get a permanent residence permit, some requirements apply:

  • You must have had a residence permit for at least 5 years.
  • 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 made pension insurance contributions for at least 60 months. The amount of contributions does not matter. Learn more in our chapter "Retiring in Germany".
  • You must have enough living space for yourself and your family. Note: The standard size varies from state to state- ask the staff at the Immigration Office or a counselling centre for more information.
  • You must have a work permit.
  • You must have successfully completed the orientation course. Find out more in our chapter "Integration course".
  • 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)

If you all mentioned above apply to you, you can receive a permanent residence permit and settle in Germany.

For some groups of people, however, the requirements for obtaining a permanent residence permit is somewhat more straightforward.

Who is eligible for easier requirements?

Refugees

Skilled workers & Researchers

Holders of university degrees & vocational training certificates from Germany

Self-employed

Civil servants

Holders of "EU Blue Card"

Family members of German citizens

Spouses of those with a permanent residence permit

Children of non-German parents

What else do I need to know?

Where can I apply for a permanent residence permit?

Could I lose my permanent residence permit?

Where can I find advice and support?

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

Important

Children can only obtain a permanent residence permit from the age of 16. The application must be submitted by the parents or a guardian.