Regulations for permanent residence (PR) in Germany


A Niederlassungserlaubnis is an unrestricted residence permit for permanent residency in Germany and was introduced in 2005. It can be applied for once certain conditions have been met. In some cases it is granted automatically on arrival in Germany to citizens who have specific high qualifications to contribute to the German labour market, but usually it is issued once a person has completed an acknowledged period of residency in Germany.

The “difficult” and common way for obtaining a PR in Germany described in §9.

§ 9 Permanent Residence in Germany (Niederlassungserlaubnis)

(1)  The residence permit is a permanent residence permit. You are entitled to exercise an economic activity and can be provided with an additional stipulation only in cases expressly authorized by this Act. § 47 remains unaffected.

(2)  A residence permit is granted if one possess the followings:

  1. Valid residence permit for five years.
  2. Proof of ongoing financial support (Job, Phd etc.) and valid work permit.
  3. Proof that the applicant has been employed for five years and has paid the relevant social insurance contributions into the German system (Rentenversicherung). This is not required if one applies for the Daueraufenthalt-EG* ( which is a PR for all EU countries.
  4. Sufficient knowledge of the German language
  5. Basic knowledge of German legal and social systems
  6. You do not pose any threat to the state or have not been punished in a criminal court.
  7. Proof of sufficient accommodation.

The requirements in (2.4) and (2.5) are fulfilled with successful completion of an integration course. Participation of an Integration course can be avoided if one is able to communicate orally in German.

The study period is calculated half of the duration and the duration of stay with residence permit with full time Job is calculated full. So if you have studied for 3 years and worked for 3.5 years, you are entitled to get a PR under this clause. If you are out of Germany for more than 6 months, you will lose your residence permit automatically.

In general, if you get a visa under clause 16 (Aufenthalt zum Zweck der Ausbildung  §16 Studium; Sprachkurse; Schulbesuch), the time will be counted 50%. Visa with clause 18-21 (Aufenthalt zum Zweck der Erwerbstätigkeit §18 Beschäftigung), 100% of stay will be counted for point 1.

*Note: Any job contract or Phd position that does not require (e.g. Phd with scholarship or students job with low income below 500) paying “Rentenversicherung”, does not count for Niederlassungerlaubnis. But the better alternate to Niderlassungerlaubnis is Daueraufenthal-EG, which does not require to pay “Rentenversicherung”. All you need is consecutive 5 years of valid residency (study period counted as half) inside Germany (vacation upto 6 months allowed).

Now the “easiest” way is described in clause § 19, still unknown to most foreigners.

§19 Permanent Residence for high qualified (Niederlassungserlaubnis für Hochqualifizierte)

A high qualified foreigner may get a PR right away (no waiting period – you can get on the first day of arrival, no language skills needed) once one fulfills the following criteria:

  1. Researcher with special knowledge
  2. Professorship in a University or specialists with leading position in Industry
  3. One shall earn a minimum salary of 64000 per year (This limit was 84K per annum earlier).

Wish our new generations will aim to become leaders and experts in their own field of studies so that they dont need to bother much about getting a PR :-). Germany is lacking experts like nowhere else in the world, they will be happy to provide a PR once you fulfill what they are looking for.

Further reading on net in English: 

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