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What are the ways to obtain permanent residence in Germany?

The “Niederlassungserlaubnis” is the permanent residence permit in Germany, granted to foreigners who wish to establish a long-term presence in the country. This permit allows you to live, work and study in Germany without the limitations associated with a temporary residence permit.

General rules

Here are some important rules and information about obtaining the “Niederlassungserlaubnis”:

  1. Length of Residence: Generally, to be eligible for permanent residence, you must have lived legally in Germany for a specific period of time, which is 5 years in most cases. However, this period can be reduced in some situations, such as for EU Blue Card holders (after 21 or 33 months) or for graduates of German universities (after 2 years of qualified employment).
  2. Financial support: You must prove that you have sufficient financial support for yourself and your family, without relying on public assistance. Proof is provided by bank statements, payslips or other financial documents.
  3. Health Insurance: It is compulsory to have valid health insurance in Germany for you and your family. This ensures that you can afford the medical costs if necessary.
  4. Adequate Housing: You must prove that you have adequate housing for you and your family, meeting German housing standards.
  5. Integration: In many cases, you must also demonstrate a good level of integration into German society. This can include participation in German language courses and a general commitment to German culture and values.
  6. No Serious Crimes: You must not have committed serious crimes or been involved in illegal activities.
  7. Documentation: You will need to present a series of documents, such as a valid passport, rental agreement, proof of income, health insurance, among others, as part of the application process.
  8. Application process: The application for the “Niederlassungserlaubnis” is usually made at the Aliens Office (Ausländerbehörde) responsible for your region. The process can vary according to your personal situation and the category of residence permit you have.
  9. Specific Categories: There are some special categories that may have slightly different requirements. For example, obtaining “Niederlassungserlaubnis” as a graduate of a German university or Blue Card holder may have specific requirements.
  10. Family: If you have spouses and children, they may also be eligible for permanent residence if they meet the requirements.

There are several ways to obtain permanent residence in Germany, each with its own requirements. Here are some of the main ways:

Permanent residence for a period of time (Niederlassungserlaubnis):

  • Generally, after 5 years of legal residence in Germany with a temporary residence permit (Aufenthaltstitel), it is possible to apply for permanent residence.
  • You need to prove that you have sufficient financial support, health insurance, adequate housing and have not committed any serious crimes.

Permanent Residence by Acquisition of Qualifications (Blue Card):

  • EU Blue Card holders can apply for permanent residence after 21 or 27 months, depending on their level of German language skills.
  • In addition, you must prove financial support and that you have worked in your field of qualification during the period.

University graduates:

  • Graduates of German universities can apply for permanent residence after 2 years of qualified employment in Germany.
  • The German language requirement varies depending on the sector.

Humanitarian reasons:

  • In exceptional cases, people facing serious risks in their home countries can be granted permanent residence on humanitarian grounds.

Highly Qualified Foreigners:

  • Highly qualified people in areas of interest can be granted permanent residence after 3 years.
  • Proof of knowledge of German is required.

Family ties:

  • Spouses of German citizens or permanent residence permit holders can apply for permanent residence after 3 years of marriage or cohabitation.

Citizens of European countries (EU/EEA):

  • Citizens of EU/EEA countries who have worked in Germany for 5 years can apply for permanent residence.

The above information is general and may vary depending on individual situations, specific regulations and possible changes in immigration laws. We recommend checking the most up-to-date details with the Aliens Office (Ausländerbehörde) or consulting a qualified immigration professional.

If you need support in the process of applying for your permanent residence, please contact us at or fill in the form below:



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