How can a foreigner obtain a right of Indefinite Leave to Remain in Germany? How can a highly qualified person obtain a permanent residence permit? What are the particularities of obtaining the permanent residence permit for children and spouses?

The BCA will answer all the questions in this article, related to the peculiarities of Indefinite Leave to Remain on the territory of the country, and you will find out, which conditions must be fulfilled to make it possible.

Residence permit, Permanent Residence Permit and EU long-term residence permit – DA-EU (Daueraufenthalt EU): What is the essence and the difference?

A residence permit is a temporary permit for foreign citizens to live in Germany for more than 90 days. Accordingly, residence permit sets a time limit on the duration of your stay. It is usually issued for a period of one to five years. The time limits depend on a number of reasons: the region, the profession, the employer, the right to do business, the family ties, etc.
Permanent Residence Permit or Niederlassungserlaubnis (NE) is a status that allows you to live in Germany for an unspecified period of time. In most cases, a valid residence permit is required in order to obtain a Permanent Residence Permit.

Having been granted permanent residence, a foreigner has all the rights enjoyed by German citizens, except the right to vote (electoral rights) and the right to work in public position.

It is important to distinguish Permanent Residence Permit with the EU long-term residence permit (Permit to Stay in the European Union, German name: Erlaubnis zum Daueraufenthalt-EU, DA-EU for short). It is the right of a foreign citizen to live and work in the entire territory of the European Union. Important: it must not be confused with the German Permanent Residence Permit! We will tell you about this in a separate article.

Conditions for obtaining a Permanent Residence Permit

Please note the main peculiarity of the process. There are 6 statuses for long-term residence: D visa – residence permit – Permanent Residence Permit – DA-EU – German citizenship – European citizenship. They are inextricably linked and you cannot obtain the next status without the previous one. You cannot, for example, obtain the Permanent Residence Permit immediately after your arrival in Germany, if you have not previously held a temporary residence permit. The requirements and conditions for obtaining a Permanent Residence Permit differ for various types of foreigners. Let’s figure it out.
Based on Section 9 AufenthG, in order to qualify for the Indefinite Leave to Remain, a foreigner must:

  • Live in Germany with a residence permit for at least five years, leaving the country for no more than one year.
  • Have a steady income. Neither the applicant nor his/her family members must be eligible for government grants
  • Have housing accommodations with at least 12 m2 per family member.
  • Permission for work in the profession
  • Make regular contributions to the retirement fund for 60 months.
  • Have a minimum B1 level of German language.
  • Know the basics of the social structure and the law of the land where he/she intends to live.

At the same time, the applicant must have no problems with German law.

Special features:

In order to obtain an alternative Permanent Residence Permit (DA-EG), one year’s residence outside of Germany and the EU and five years‘ residence within the EU borders (not necessarily in Germany) is permitted.
The applicant may also choose not to contribute to a retirement fund, provided that he or she has entered into the agreement with a private fund. And according to this agreement, he is guaranteed to receive a pension of at least the set level.
Unmarried children and children under the age of 18, moving with the permanent residence permit holder, will move on the basis of family reunification.

Reduced terms for obtaining a permanent residence permit

The time limits may be shortened for the following categories of foreigners:
Blue Card holders. They may apply for a permanent residence after 33 months. And if they have at least B1 language skills they may apply for one after 21 months.
Professionals without Blue Card, with language skills at level B1. They can apply for the permanent residence permit after 4 years of employment.
Applicants who have a university degree in Germany. They can apply for the permanent residence permit after 24 months from the successful completion of their studies.
Foreign citizens who live with German citizens (parents, child, spouse) may apply for a permanent residence permit after three years of cohabitation. It is not necessary to provide proof of their pension coverage.
An application for fast-track residence permit must be submitted to the Foreigners’ Office in the place where you are registered as a resident. On average, it takes one to six months to process the application.

Application documents for the Permanent Residence Permit

If you decide to take the next step and apply to the Foreigners’ Office to change from residence permit to permanent residence permit, you must take care of the right package of documents. The basic package must include:

• Application
• International passport
• 35x45mm biometric photos
• Health insurance
• Language certificate proving German language skills at A1 – B1 level
• Residence certificate and floor space document
• Document, confirming the right to work in Germany

The preparation of additional documents depends on the category of the applicant. They may vary from category to category.
In order to avoid mistakes, save time and money and simplify the process, you can enlist the help of our agency’s experts at any stage of the residence permit process. The Blue Card Agency can help you with anything from consultation, support, translation, to obtaining and processing documents. Our specialists will be happy to consult and help you with any questions you may have after your move to Germany.