Make it in Germany (Versicherungen für die Niederlassungserlaubnis)
The residence permit opens up many perspectives: You can live unlimitedly with your family members in Germany. In addition, you can work both as an employee and pursue a self-employed activity. You already work and live in Germany with a limited residence permit and would like to stay permanently? Under certain conditions, you can receive an indefinite residence title, the so-called settlement permit according to § 18c AufenthG, upon application as a qualified professional.
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Settlement Permit for Professionals
According to the Residence Act, you are a „professional“ if you belong to one of the following groups:
- People with completed vocational training (§ 18a AufenthG)
- People with academic qualifications (§ 18b Paragraph 1 AufenthG and holders of a Blue Card EU)
- International researchers under the Directive (EU) 2016/801 (§ 18d AufenthG)
What requirements must qualified professionals meet in order to receive a settlement permit?
- You have held a residence permit in accordance with Sections 18a, 18b or 18d of the German Residence Act (AufenthG) for at least four years.
- You are able to support yourself financially without relying on public funds.
- You have paid at least 48 months of mandatory or voluntary contributions to the statutory pension insurance fund.
- You are employed in a job that is suitable for or matches your qualifications.
- You have sufficient knowledge of the German language (level B1 according to the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR)) as well as knowledge of the legal and social system and of the German way of life. This can be proven by passing the „Life in Germany“ test.
- You have enough living space for yourself and your family members.
If you meet these criteria, make an appointment at your nearest Foreigners‘ Authority to apply for a settlement permit. At the Foreigners‘ Authority, you will find out which individual documents need to be submitted. Please note: In some cases, a settlement permit may be issued under facilitated conditions. This applies to the following categories of people:
- EU Blue Card holders
- People who have completed academic education or vocational training in Germany
- Highly qualified professionals
- Self-employed persons
The residence permit for holders of a Blue Card EU
If you have a Blue Card EU, you can apply for a residence permit pursuant to section 18c (2) of the German Residence Act. The following conditions apply to you:
- You have been practicing a qualified employment with payment of contributions to the statutory pension insurance for at least 33 months.
- You have basic knowledge of German (Level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)). If knowledge of the German language can be proven at level B1, the time will be reduced from 33 to 21 months.
- You have basic knowledge of the rules and regulations in Germany. Generally this can be evidenced by taking the Test of Life in Germany.
- You can prove that they have sufficient living space.
The residence permit for self-employment
If you hold a residence permit for self-employment under Section 21 of the Residence Act, you can already receive a settlement permit (Section 21 (4) of the Residence Act) after three years upon application. The following requirements must be met for this:
- At the time of application, you must possess a valid residence permit for the purpose of carrying out a self-employed activity.
- You must have successfully realised the planned self-employment.
- You must be able to demonstrate that your own livelihood and that of your family members in Germany is secured on a permanent basis.
The application for a residence permit is associated with corresponding fees, which however vary between the different activity groups. Generally, the costs for a residence permit are 113 euros, for self-employed persons they amount to 124 euros, and highly qualified persons have to pay 147 euros for the application for a residence permit.