Very important!! The card has an expiry date which corresponds to that of your passport. See the remarks section on the card as well as nr 7 below.
Germany has a “Passpflicht” law – which means Foreigners may only enter or stay in the federal territory if they have a recognized and valid passport or passport substitute unless they are exempted from the passport requirement by statutory order. For the purpose of residence in the federal territory, possession of a substitute identity document also suffices in order to meet the passport requirement (Section 48 (2)). This means you need a valid passport at all times.
- Symbol for the electronic CHIP
- Surname and Names
- Your Aufenthalts number
- Your Nationality /”Staatsangehörigkeit”
- your date of birth
- The valid date for the Card, not your residence
- Your birthplace.
- Registered Domicile/address
- The competent Ausländerbehorde
- Online-Ausweisfunktion logo
- Machine code
- You have been the holder of a residence permit in accordance with Sections 18a, 18b or 18d AufenthG (German Residence Act) for at least four years.
- You are able to cover your costs of living without using public funds.
- You have paid at least 48 months of mandatory or voluntary contributions to the statutory pension insurance fund.
- You are employed at a job for which you are qualified or that adequately suits your qualifications.
- You possess sufficient knowledge of the German language (B1 level in accordance with the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR)) as well as knowledge of the legal and social order and of the German way of life. This can be proved by way of passing the “Life in Germany” test.
- You have enough living space for yourself and your family members.
EU Blue card holders
Blue card holders qualify after they have been employed in a qualified job for at least 33 months
- You have been employed in a qualified job for at least 33 months during which you made monthly contributions to the statutory pension insurance fund.
- You possess a basic command of the German language (A1 level in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)). For persons who can provide proof of German language skills at B1 level, the required time of 33 months can be reduced to 21 months.
- You have basic knowledge of the legal and social order in Germany. This can be proved by way of passing the “Life in Germany” test.
- You can provide proof of adequate living space.
Those who have completed university or vocational training in Germany
- Have you successfully completed university or vocational training in Germany? Special conditions also apply to you when it comes to applying for a settlement permit.
- You have held a residence permit for the purpose of employment as a “qualified professional” for at least 2 years (Residence permit in accordance with Sections 18a, 18b or 18d AufenthG (German Residence Act)).
- You are employed at a job for which you are qualified or that adequately suit your qualifications.
- You have paid into the statutory pension insurance fund for 24 months.
- You possess sufficient knowledge of the German language (B1 level in accordance with the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR)) as well as knowledge of the legal and social order and of the German way of life. This can be proved by way of passing the “Life in German” test.
- You can provide proof of adequate living space.
Highly qualified professionals
- In individual cases, highly qualified professionals can receive a settlement permit in accordance with Section 18c (3) AufenthG (German Residence Act) straight away without having to first spend a set amount of time in Germany.
- For example, if you are a scientist with special technical knowledge or a teacher in a high-level position, you can obtain a settlement permit immediately upon entering Germany.
- You must be able to provide proof of academic training and It must be correct to assume that you can integrate into the German way of life and that your living costs will be covered without having to use public funds.
- It is a good idea to gather the required documents prior to entering Germany to be able to immediately obtain your settlement permit.
- If you have held a residence permit for self-employed work in accordance with Sect. 21 AufenthG (German Residence Act) for three years, you may request to obtain a settlement permit (Sect. 21 (4) AufenthG (German Residence Act)). To obtain the settlement permit, you must fulfil the following requirements:
- At the time of the application you are the holder of a valid residence permit enabling you to be self-employed.
- You are successfully self-employed.
- You can provide proof that you and your family members are able to permanently cover your costs of living.
Family members of a German national
- You will receive your settlement permit if you have held a residence permit for three years, the family unit continues to exist in Germany and you have sufficient knowledge of German.
Depending on your temporary residence (Aufenthaltstitel) conditions, you are allowed to change jobs before applying for permanent residence. There are a few things to keep in mind though.
- If you move to another Town or state, you will have to obtain permission to work in that town/state.
- For the same type of Aufenthaltstitel e.g. a Blue card, your new job must meet the same requirements as for your current job.
- You will not get permanent residence if you are still in the probation period of your new job.
As a rule, a residence title expires if its holder remains abroad for more than six months without interruption (section 51 subsection (1) No. 7 of the Residence Act).
Here is a short summary of the most important points, but please refer to the official websites for detailed information.
- A German permanent residence permit becomes invalid 6 months after leaving Germany.
- EU Permanent residence becomes invalid 12 months after leaving Germany.
Extensions can be granted in special cases. If you stay abroad for a longer period of time, you need a re-entry certificate issued by the Foreigners Office.
Long absences should always be communicated with the Foreigners Office before you leave Germany.
Your re-entry certificate cannot be issued after you have left Germany.
EU Blue Card
Blue-Card holders and their family members are allowed absences of less than 12 months without affecting the Blue Card’s validity.
Your settlement permit stays valid
a) if you are the spouse or registered partner of a German national. In this case, you have to make a joint statement, that your marriage or registered partnership continues to exist while abroad and after returning to Germany.
b) if you are 60 years or older, have legally resided in Germany for 15 years and return to Germany within 12 months. The same applies to the settlement permit of your spouse or registered partner if they are also 60 years or older.
c) if you have legally resided in Germany for 15 years and have sufficient means of subsistence after re-entry. In this case, the settlement permit of your spouse or registered partner also stays valid.
EC Permanent Settlement Permit
An EC Permanent Settlement Permit for Germany expires
a) if you live in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark or outside the European Union for more than 12 consecutive months (for prior holders of a Blue Card: for more than 24 successive months)
b) if you live in another EU Member State (with the exception of the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Denmark) for more than six consecutive years.
Resources on the web
|Permanent Residence Permit||Die Nierderlassungserlaubnis|
|Residence Permit||Der Aufenhalstitel|
|Blue Card||Die Blaue Karte|
Long Term visas are seen as visits longer than 90 days and will typically be for work or study visits. If your application is approved,
Please note: Although the information on this website has been prepared with the utmost care, we cannot accept any responsibility for inaccuracies contained herein. Always
If you plan to stay in Germany for longer than 3 months, you will need to register at your local Bürgeramt (Town office).This is called