Applying for a permanent EU residency permit
With the permanent EU residency permit, foreign nationals can move more freely within the European Union (EU). In many respects, it is comparable to the settlement permit and is a permanent residency title.
- Your identity is established and you satisfy the passport and visa obligation. You are deemed to satisfy the passport obligation if you present an alternative form of identification.
- You have lived in Germany for at least five years without interruption with a residency title.
- Your maintenance and that of your family is guaranteed by fixed and regular income. This includes you
- being entitled to take up paid employment and
- you fulfilling your tax obligations (certificate from your tax office).
- You are insured under the statutory health insurance scheme or have permanent health insurance or a policy which is automatically extended.
- You have paid contributions into the state pension insurance scheme or into another pension system with similar benefits.
- You have sufficient knowledge of the German language and basic knowledge of the legal and social system in Germany.
- You have sufficient living space for yourself and your family.
- No reasons for expulsion are present and no other reasons connected to public security or order which prevent the issuing of the EU permanent residency permit are applicable.
Note: The following are counted in the minimum period of residency of five years:
- Times when you had a different residency title but resided abroad for work reasons. This period of time may not be more than six months. You were abroad for longer, but the Foreigners' Authority can issue you with an exemption permit. However you may not spend more than ten months abroad for work reasons during the minimum period of residency of five years.
- Up to four years in the following cases: You already had a settlement permit or permanent EU residency permit. This only became invalid because
- you left the EU or
- have obtained the legal standing of a person entitled to residency or long term residency in another EU Member State.
- Times when you studied or completed vocational training in Germany. This can be taken into account as half.
The following persons cannot obtain a permanent EU residency permit:
- Persons who have already received a comparable permit in another EU Member State
- Refugees, persons with a residency permit for humanitarian reasons and foreign citizens who only have an application for recognition as a refugee or the granting of subsidiary protection
- Persons who are in Germany for training or education purposes or for other temporary reasons
- Diplomats and other persons who are entitled to a special legal position primarily according to the Vienna Treaty concerning Diplomatic and Consular Relations.
Note: Should you not be able to obtain a permanent EU residency permit, this also applies to your family members who have moved to Germany.
You must request the permanent EU residency permit from the competent Foreigners' Authority.
You will receive the residence permit in the format of a bank card incorporating additional electronic functions. You will find further information at “Application for electronic residence permit (eAT)".
- Evidence that you satisfy the passport and visa requirements
- Proof that you have lived in Germany for at least five years without interruption with a residency title.
- Evidence of sufficient income
- Proof of health insurance coverage
- Evidence that you have paid contributions to the state pension insurance scheme or a comparable fund
- Evidence that you have sufficient knowledge of the German language and basic knowledge of the legal and social system in Germany
- Evidence that you have sufficient living space for yourself and your family
- Proof that no reasons for expulsion are present and no other reasons connected to public security or order which prevent the issuing of the EU permanent residency permit are applicable.
Generally four to six weeks
The permanent EU residency permit becomes invalid in the following cases:
- The permit is withdrawn due to fraud, threats or bribery.
- You are expelled or you are notified of a deportation order.
- You reside for a period of twelve consecutive months outside of the territory where the legal position of a person with permanent residency rights can be acquired; the period of time is 24 consecutive months in case of
- a foreigner who was previously in possession of an EU Blue card and
- his or her family members who were in possession of certain residency permits.
- You reside outside of Germany for a period of six years or
- you acquire the legal status of a person entitled to permanent residency in another EU Member State.
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.