Procedure descriptions


Permit for permanent residence in the EC

If you have been a legal resident in Germany as a foreigner for at least five years, then you can apply for a permit for permanent residence in the EC which will allow you to move within the area of the EU to a greater extent, provided that certain requirements have been fulfilled. In many ways it has an equal standing to the settlement permit and is also a permanent residence title.

Responsible authority

the authority for foreign nationals, where your primary residence is located.
The authority for foreign nationals is the city council (Stadtverwaltung) or the regional council office (Landratsamt) depending on your place of residence.


  • Your identity is established and you fulfil your passport obligations.
  • You have been living in Germany with a residence title for at least five years without interruption.
  • Your livelihood and that of your dependents is ensured by a fixed and regular income. This includes that you are entitled to work and you have fulfilled your tax obligations (certificate from your tax authority). In addition you have to be insured in the statutory health insurance fund or have an indefinite health insurance protection or one that is renewed automatically and have paid contributions to the statutory pension insurance fund or into another healthcare facility with comparable services.
  • Your knowledge of German is sufficient and you have basic knowledge of the German legal system and social system.
  • You have housing that is large enough for you and your family.
  • There are no grounds for expulsion or other reasons relating to public safety or order, which taking into consideration the type and severity of the offence committed would conflict with the granting of the permanent residence permit for the EC.

The following periods are deducted from the minimum residence period of five years:

  • Periods in which you were in possession of another residence title, but were living abroad for professional reasons. This period may not exceed six months. If you spend a longer period abroad, the authority for foreign nationals may grant you a certificate of exemption in certain circumstances. However you may not spend more than ten months abroad for professional reasons within the minimum residence time of five years.
  • If you have already been granted a settlement permit or a permit for permanent residence in the EC and this only become invalid, because you travelled out of the European Union or because you received the legal status of a long-term permanent resident in another EU member state. In this case, up to four years can be credited to you.
  • Periods, in which you have studied in Germany or have completed vocational training. 50 percent of the time will be credited.

Generally the following persons cannot receive a permit for permanent residence in the EC:

  • Persons who have already received a comparable permit in another member state of the European Union (EU)
  • Refugees or holders of a residence permit on humanitarian grounds as well as foreigners, who have only filed an application for refugee recognition or granting of subsidiary protection
  • Persons who are living in Germany for educational purposes or for other purposes of a temporary nature
  • Diplomats and other persons, who enjoy a special legal status in particular in accordance with the Vienna Convention for diplomatic and consular relations

Note: If a permit for permanent residence in the EC cannot be granted to you, then your dependents who have moved to Germany also have no right to it.


You have to file an application for a permit for permanent residence in the EU at the responsible authority for foreign nationals.

Required documents

Proof of meeting the aforementioned requirements


The permit for permanent residence in the EC will only become invalid in the following cases: You have

  • acquired the legal status of a long-term permanent resident in another member state of the European Union (EU),
  • lived outside Germany for six years or one year longer outside the EU,
  • attained the permit for permanent residence in the EC due to fraud, threatening behaviour or corruption or
  • you have been expelled or you have been notified of a threat of deportation.


EUR 109,00

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Innenministerium released it on 22.01.2018. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.