Skip to content

How to apply for a settlement permit in Germany

How to apply for a settlement permit in Germany
How to apply for a settlement permit in Germany

Life in Germany. If you have been living in Germany with a temporary residence permit for a few years, you can apply for an indefinite residence title called a settlement permit.

Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) says it is advantageous to apply for this permit since it entitles you to unrestricted right to live in Germany with your family. You can also work as an employee or take up self-employment.

What are the general requirements for a settlement permit in Germany:

Nationals of non-EU and non-EEA states can apply for a settlement permit if they meet the following requirements:

  • They have held a residence permit for five years
  • They have paid the compulsory or voluntary contributions to statutory pension insurance for at least 60 months. In the case of married couples, it is sufficient if one partner has paid the pension insurance contributions and is entitled to pursue gainful employment.
  • They are entitled to exercise gainful employment and have the permits to do so.
  • They have the means to support themselves without public funds
  • They have sufficient living space for themselves and their family.
  • They have a sufficient command of German and basic knowledge of the legal and social system and way of life in Germany.
  • compulsory German language certificate B1

If you meet all the requirements, please make an appointment at your local foreign nationals’ registration authority to make your application for a settlement permit. The foreign nationals’ registration authority will also tell you which documents you have to submit.

The settlement permit for persons entitled to asylum, persons entitled to subsidiary protection and (resettled) refugees

If you are entitled to asylum or are a (resettled) refugee, you will receive a settlement permit if;

  • you have held your residence permit for five years (incl. the period covered by the preceding asylum process),
  • the BAMF has not given notice that the conditions apply which might warrant revocation or withdrawal (in the case of an asylum decision from 2015, 2016 or 2017, the BAMF must have explicitly stated that the conditions for revocation or withdrawal are not satisfied),
  • your livelihood is largely ensured,
  • you are sufficiently proficient in German (corresponding to level A 2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages),
  • you have a basic knowledge of the legal and social system and the way of life in Germany,
  • you have adequate accommodation for you and all of the family members who live with you,
  • you have all the permits required to enable you to practice your occupation in the long term (this requirement may also be met by your spouse),
  • issuance is not precluded by any grounds concerned with public safety or order.

You will receive your settlement permit after only three years if you also have a command of German (corresponding to level C 1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) and are very largely able to earn your own livelihood.

Source: bamf


How and where to apply for the EU Blue Card to work in Germany

Coming to Germany for studies – How to get the visa and residence permit

Germany: EU Blue Card salary requirements in 2023