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Simplify your move to Germany: How to obtain permanent residence as an EU citizen

Life in Germany. Permanent residence in Germany. Having a permanent residence certificate (Daueraufenthaltsbescheinigung EU) in Germany can significantly simplify various aspects of life in the country. While distinct from citizenship, permanent residence offers numerous advantages. Here are the conditions that EU citizens need to fulfill to secure residence in Germany.

What is the right to permanent residence in Germany?

The right to permanent residence in Germany grants foreigners the legal privilege of unrestricted and extended stay in the country. Individuals holding this status can live and work in Germany indefinitely, even in the absence of employment. It’s important to note that this right differs from citizenship, as individuals retain their original citizenship while gaining several rights and entitlements similar to those of German citizens.
Read also: From Integration to Naturalization: costs and requirements for German Citizenship

The Daueraufenthaltsbescheinigung EU is a document that verifies a European Union citizen’s (and their family members‘) entitlement to permanent residence in Germany under EU law. Possessing this document streamlines various bureaucratic processes, such as applying for benefits like Kindergeld. Those holding a certificate of permanent residence in Germany are subject to fewer document requirements when applying for certain matters compared to those without a Daueraufenthaltsbescheinigung EU.

How do you obtain permanent residence in Germany?

Under the provisions of the right to free movement, EU citizens who have been legally residing in Germany for 5 years acquire the right of permanent residence. This means that they have the right of residence regardless of whether they meet the conditions for free movement. Immediately after submitting an application to the office for foreigners, EU citizens receive a certificate of permanent residence,” the federal government informs in a statement on its website.

An application for a certificate of permanent residence in Germany (Daueraufenthaltsbescheinigung EU) is submitted to the Ausländerbehörde office.

Permanent residence rights for family members of an EU citizen

The entitlement extends to family members and close relatives who have legally resided in the country with the EU citizen for a continuous period of five years. If these family members are not EU citizens themselves, they can obtain a permanent residence card within six months of submitting their application.
Read also: Higher support for low-income families: Kinderzuschlag increased in Germany

These people can obtain residence within 5 years

In special cases, EU citizens have the right to permanent residence even before 5 years have passed.

  • It is granted in particular in the following situations (§ 4a section 2 FreizügG/UE ),
  • cessation of paid work over the age of 65, 
  • earlier retirement,
  • complete limitation of earning capacity as a result of an accident at work or an occupational disease
Daueraufenthaltsbescheinigung EU document verifies a European Union citizen
Daueraufenthaltsbescheinigung EU document verifies a European Union citizen

How to obtain permanent residence in Germany? Income and health insurance required

If you plan to reside in Germany for more than 3 months for purposes like living, studying, or working, it’s mandatory to register at the registration office within 7 to 14 days upon arrival, depending on the regulations of the specific federal state. Registering at the city or municipality office is a crucial step when moving to Germany as it grants you a certificate of registration (Anmeldebescheinigung). This certificate is essential for various tasks, including opening a bank account or registering with the employment office.
Read also: New year, new benefits: what you are entitled to in Germany in 2024

What is the income requirements

During a period spanning three months to five years, German officials may conduct checks to verify your continued eligibility to reside in the country. To secure long-term residency, it is imperative to meet the minimum income requirements stipulated by law and maintain valid health insurance coverage.