Aspects of daily life

Special rights of residence

There are special rights of residence for foreigners who had their legal habitual residence for eight years in the Federal Republic of Germany as a minor or pensioner and then left the country and also for former Germans, who have lost their nationality.

A foreigner who had his/her legal habitual residence in the Federal Republic of Germany as a minor is issued with a residence permit if

  • prior to leaving, he or she was legally resident in Germany for eight years, and he or she attended school in Germany for six years or attained a recognised educational qualification,
  • the foreigner's livelihood is assured by his or her own occupation or by a maintenance commitment into which a third party has entered for the period of five years and
  • the application for the residence permit is filed after reaching the age of 15 and prior to reaching the age of 21, and before five years have elapsed since he or she left.

Note: The residence permit entitles the holder to pursue an occupation.

A residence permit may still be issued at the discretion of the authorities if there is a minor deviation from some of the above requirements.

Foreign pensioners who have been legally resident in Germany for eight years or more have, upon returning, a legal entitlement to be reissued with a residence permit, if they are drawing their pension from a pension provider in Germany and their livelihood is assured by this pension.

A former German is

  • issued with a settlement permit if he or she had their habitual residence in Germany for five years before losing his or her German nationality,
  • issued with a residence permit if he or she had their habitual residence in Germany for one year before losing his or her German nationality.

Note: A former German who has his habitual residence in a foreign country can be issued with a residence permit if he or she has sufficient knowledge of the German language. The residence permit entitles the holder to pursue an occupation.

The foreigner must file an application for a residence title within six months of becoming aware of the loss of German nationality.

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Innenministerium released it on 27.10.2015. 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.
Die hier dargestellten Informationen werden von service-bw übernommen und regelmäßig aktualisiert.