Non-EU citizens who meet certain conditions can be allowed to live in Germany permanently. Please note that foreign nationals must not necessarily be citizens of the European Union in order to be allowed to stay in Germany permanently.
One of the ways of being allowed to remain in Germany permanently is by acquiring the Permanent EC resident status.
Both third-country nationals who live in Germany and those from other states in the European Union can obtain the permanent residence permit.
To qualify for the EC long-term residence permit, one of the conditions is that the applicant must have lived legally in Germany or another EU Member State for at least five years.
Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) says this permit allows the holder to live in Germany or another EU Member State permanently.
Conditions to be met by foreign nationals from third countries who want to obtain the EC long-term residence permit in Germany (Permanent EC Residence)
This permit is an independent unrestricted residence title in addition to the settlement permit. The applicant must meet the following conditions:
- Have uninterrupted five-year legal residence in Germany with at least 60 months of contributions to the German pension insurance (Rentenversicherungsverlauf).
- Acquire an adequate knowledge of the German language, basic knowledge of the legal and social systems and living conditions in Germany. Such knowledge can be acquired by attending an integration course, for example
- Secure a livelihood (including adequate health and care insurance) with long-term and regular income, fulfil tax obligations and adequate provision for old age
- Have adequate living space.
- Represent no risk to public security and order by violating the legal system (in particular criminal law), for example, or by taking part in extremist or terrorist activities
- Proof of health insurance from your health insurance fund
- For any fast-track applicant, the proof that allows you to fast-track (degree, business permit, EU Blue Card, marriage certificate, etc.)
Conditions to be met by third-country nationals who have acquired the EC long-term residence permit in another EU Member State
This residence permit will be granted to a third-country national who wishes to live in Germany for longer than three months. The applicant must meet the following conditions
- Have a “Permanent EC Resident” title from another Member State of the European Union; except the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark, to which the Directive concerning the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents does not apply
- Have a valid travel document that is recognised in Germany
- Hold proof that he/she independently assures his/her livelihood and has adequate health and long-term care insurance
- Hold proof of intended employment or planned course of study.
For further information about how to obtain the EC long-term residence permit, please contact the responsible local immigration office. You can find your responsible local immigration office by clicking here.
How to apply for a settlement permit in Germany