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Live in Germany

A German Permanent Residence Permit, sometimes known as a Settlement Permit, can be issued to non-EU citizens who have lived in Germany for more than five years. Among the benefits of such a residence title is that it does not require any prolongation and allows free movement within the eurozone. But it is not the same as becoming a German Citizen (naturalization).

A permanent residence permit allows individuals to stay in Germany for an unspecified period

It is not the same as getting German citizenship and having a German passport, but permanent residency offers much more security than having a Temporary Residence Permit.

Those from the EU or EEA do not need to apply for a Permanent Residence Permit, sometimes called a settled permit or German settlement permit, because they already have the right to live and work in Germany and also have the option to apply for the EC long-term residence permit, also known as an EU Residence Permit.

In some instances, it is possible to gain a Germany Permanent Residence Permit in just two years. This applies to those who have graduated from a German university and then lived and worked in Germany for two years.

Individuals married to German citizens may be able to apply for Permanent Residence Permits for themselves and their family members after three years. The other way to be fast-tracked for a permanent resident permit is if you are a highly qualified professional in a specific technical/research area.

Benefits Of A Permanent Residence In Germany

Learn more about the benefits of having a German settlement permit

A German Permanent Residency offers several advantages:

* Work in Germany without restrictions

Any gainful employment is permitted. It is also unlimited in time and place. This means that with a valid Residence Permit, the individual can freely choose their occupation, such as self-employment. This also entails that the Residence Permit is not tied to a specific job! Hence, you can change your job without having to notify the Federal Office or the Federal Employment Agency. In addition, you do not have to apply for an extension of your Residence Permit every few years.

* Better credit rating

Another advantage of the unrestricted Residence Permit in Germany that should not be neglected becomes apparent when taking out a loan. If you only have a temporary right of residence in Germany, no bank will grant you a loan. It would be too uncertain whether you can really repay the loan. An unlimited settlement permit entitles you to permanent residency in Germany and significantly increases your chances of obtaining a loan from the bank.

* Travel Permit

Permanent residency in Germany gives you complete freedom of movement. This means that you can not only travel within Germany without restrictions but also leave and return without any problems. The only important thing is that you are not allowed to leave the country for longer than 6 months or with the intention to emigrate. Upon application, you may even leave Germany for longer than 6 months. This has the particular advantage that you can travel to your country of origin at any time without losing your Residence Permit in Germany.

* EU Permanent Residence Permit

This unlimited Residency Permit goes beyond a temporary settlement permit. In addition to permanent living and working in Germany, a longer stay in other EU countries is also possible. Depending on the country, there is also a work permit. If this residence title was acquired in Germany, it expires for Germany, for example, only after one has resided in another EU country for 6 years.

* Guaranteed Social Security

German permanent residents are entitled to social security and health insurance: this means that you have access to social benefits, such as childcare benefits, health benefits and social assistance if you lose your job or are made redundant.

Requirements For A Permanent Residence Permit

Documents needed to apply for Permanent Residence Permit;

This is a list of all required documents needed to apply for a permanent settlement permit and the local Foreigners' Office:

  • Completed application form (Antrag auf Erteilung der Niederlassungserlaubnis)
  • Proof of current and paid health insurance (at least 60 months of social security contributions)
  • Valid Passport
  • Recognised certificate of knowledge of the German language; at least B1 level German
  • 1 x biometric photo
  • Certificate of German university degree (if applying for a fast-tracked Permanent Residence Permit as a graduate of a German university)
  • Marriage Certificate (if applying for a fast-tracked Permanent Residence Permit as a result of being married to a German citizen)
  • Proof of being financially secure (bank statements for employed individuals and tax returns for self-employed)
  • A letter from your employer/or university
  • Proof of accommodation and registration (Anmeldungsbestätigung)
  • Professional license (if applying for fast-tracked Permanent Residence Permit as a result of being highly skilled in a field)

Application Process

There are various steps to take to navigate the application process successfully

  • The first job is to pick up the correct form (Antrag auf Erteilung der Niederlassungserlaubnis) from the immigration office and make anappointment. Then, ensure that all your paperwork (listed above) is in order.
  • Return for your appointment with the completed form and all the aforementioned documents. During your interview, your documents will be checked, and you may be asked questions about why you are making the application.


Is it easy to get permanent residence in Germany?

If you meet all the necessary criteria, have all the required documents, and successfully sit the interview, then yes: it can be easy to gain permanent residence and permanent residency status.

How can I stay in Germany permanently?

Those with a Permanent (Settlement) Residence Permit can stay in Germany permanently as a German Permanent Resident. However, the next step, should you choose it, is to apply for naturalization (becoming a German Citizen), which is possible after 8 years as a permanent resident.

How do I become a resident of Germany?

You are technically already a resident of Germany if you have any long-stay visa or temporary/current residence permit. But, if you want to become a permanent resident of Germany, then you need to apply for a Permanent Residence Permit.

These are only issued after living in Germany for a period of more than five years, and you must have had a temporary residence permit or visa for that length of time. You will need to have sufficient knowledge of the German language, as well as an understanding of local legal and social order and German society as a whole.

Can you travel with a German Residence Permit?

Yes, with a Permanent Residence Permit you can travel freely in the EU.

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