permanent residence permit

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Sample of a settlement permit (front and back) in the credit card format issued from September 1, 2011

The settlement permit under German immigration law a residence status under the applicable since 1 January 2005 Residence Act (AufenthG), which applies to citizens of States not to European Economic Area includes (EEA). EEA citizens and their family members acquire a right of permanent residence after a certain period of residence, which is attested by a certificate of permanent residence or a permanent residence card . It is nevertheless possible to issue a settlement permit to you.


The settlement permit is issued for the purpose of consolidating the residence of a foreigner in the federal territory . It is valid for an unlimited period, even if the electronic residence permit used for the settlement permit is technically valid for up to ten years. If the holder of a settlement permit receives a new carrier document ( passport or German passport substitute paper, cf. § 4 AufenthV), the settlement permit will only be transferred without the requirements for issuance being checked again. However, the settlement permit expires in the cases provided for by law (see Section 51 of the Residence Act), in particular in the event of expulsion, a non-temporary departure and an absence from the Federal Republic of Germany of more than 6 months, with further exceptions for certain groups of people apply (see Section 51, subsections 2 and 3 of the Residence Act). In addition, it entitles the holder to work as an employee as well as to be self-employed. When the competent immigration authority decides whether to issue a deportation order, the settlement permit, in the case of a legal residence of at least five years, represents an aspect of the interest in remaining ( Section 55 Paragraph 1 No. 1 of the Residence Act), which takes into account all the circumstances of the On a case-by-case basis, the interests in leaving the country must be weighed against the interests in remaining in the country ( Section 53 subs. 1 of the Residence Act), which can suppress public interests in deportation ( Section 54 of the Residence Act). In addition to the EU long-term residence permit, the settlement permit can therefore be described as the legally strongest form of the five types of residence permit (cf. Section 4 subs. 1 sentence 2 of the Residence Act).

Requirements for issuance

The basic requirements for issuing a settlement permit are in accordance with Section 9 (2) sentence 1 of the Residence Act:

  1. the five-year possession of a residence permit ,
  2. securing livelihoods (see Section 2 subs. 3 AufenthG),
  3. Proof of at least 60 months of mandatory or voluntary contributions to the statutory pension insurance or expenses for a claim to comparable benefits from an insurance or pension institution or an insurance company (e.g. private insurance for old-age provision or professional provision ),
  4. the general impunity,
  5. permission to work if the foreigner is an employee,
  6. the possession of any necessary permits for the gainful employment exercised in the specific individual case (e.g. license to practice medicine , entry in the trade register )
  7. sufficient knowledge of the German language (see section 2 subs. 11 AufenthG),
  8. Basic knowledge of the legal and social order and the living conditions in Germany,
  9. Sufficient living space for yourself and your family members (see Section 2, Paragraph 4 of the Residence Act).

There are exceptions and supplementary regulations to these individual requirements. For example, the requirements of No. 2, 3, 7 and 8 can be waived for foreigners with physical, mental or emotional illnesses or disabilities.

In addition to the general provision of Section 9 of the Residence Act for issuing a settlement permit, there are also some special provisions according to which settlement permits can also be issued (under different conditions):

  • Skilled workers ( Section 18c, Paragraph 1 of the Residence Act)
  • Holders of a Blue Card / EU ( Section 18c, Paragraph 2 of the Residence Act)
  • Highly qualified persons ( Section 18c, Paragraph 3 of the Residence Act)
  • Self-employment ( Section 21, Subsection 4, Sentence 2, AufenthG)
  • Humanitarian reasons ( Section 26 subs. 3 and 4 AufenthG)
  • Family unions with Germans ( Section 28 subs. 2 sentence 1 of the Residence Act)
  • Unlimited right of residence for children ( Section 35 subs . 1 p. 1 and 2 AufenthG)
  • Former Germans ( Section 38, Subsection 1, Sentence 1, No. 1 of the Residence Act)

For example, when a settlement permit is issued to a family member of a German according to 28 para. 2 sentence 1 AufenthG only three-year possession of a residence permit in accordance with Section 28, subsection 1 of the Residence Act (and corresponding residence), livelihood security and sufficient knowledge of the German language are required. For example, in principle for a settlement permit in accordance with § 9 required 60 pension contributions or even proof of basic knowledge of the German legal and social system are required for a settlement permit in accordance with Section 28 (2) sentence 1 of the Residence Act is not required.

In addition, transitional regulations that are regulated in Section 104 of the Residence Act may apply to some foreigners . For example, according to Section 104, subsection 2 of the Residence Act, foreigners with a residence permit issued before January 1, 2005, only have basic language skills, no 60 contributions to the pension insurance and no basic knowledge of the German legal and social order to obtain a settlement permit. It should also be mentioned, for example, that Section 104 (8) of the Residence Act stipulates that family members of Germans who were in possession of a residence permit pursuant to 28 Abs. 1 AufenthG were, for a settlement permit according to. According to Section 28, Paragraph 2, Sentence 1 of the Residence Act, they only have to demonstrate basic language skills.


Since September 1, 2011, the settlement permit has been issued as an electronic residence permit in credit card format. The registration of the settlement permit in the national passport in the form of a sticker no longer takes place. To the extent that this still happens with individual authorities, it is illegal.


The fees for issuing a settlement permit are based on the Residence Ordinance (AufenthV) and range between € 113.00 and € 147.00 ( Section 44 of the Residence Ordinance ), whereby exemptions and reductions are also possible ( Section 52 of the Residence Ordinance).

For Turkish citizens entitled to association, this fee has been declared unlawful by judgment of the BVerwG (Az .: 1 C 12/12) due to a violation of the provisions of the Association Agreement with Turkey. For Turkish citizens entitled to association, the fee for the settlement permit (as well as other residence permits) is now € 22.80 or € 28.80 ( § 52a Residence Ordinance), depending on the age of the applicant .


  • Wolfgang Tiede and Maximilian Yang: On the settlement permit for spouses and underage unmarried children of Germans according to Section 28 Paragraph 2 of the Residence Act , in DVBl . (Deutsches Verwaltungsblatt), issue 2/2015, pp. 66–72.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Juan-Ramón Munuera: 5 questions about consolidation of residence. Retrieved May 3, 2018 .