☎ +49 69 71 67 2 67 0
DE   EU  CN
25.10.2016 07:00
Ausländerrecht

Right of Residence in Germany - Introduction of the Residence Titles

The 2nd part of this series deals with the various residence titles (visa, residence permit, EU Blue Card, Settlement Permit and Permanent EU Residence Permit) and their general prerequisites.

By: RAin (Lawyer) Katharina Huber

Introduction of the Residence Titles

Introduction of the Residence Titles

Foreign nationals from a third country, i.e. not from the European Union, Switzerland or the European Economic Area, on principle always need a residence title for their stay in Germany. We distinguish among the following residence titles, each of which is subject to different prerequisites and conveys the right to stay for different periods: visa, residence permit, EU Blue Card, Settlement Permit and Permanent EU Residence Permit.

1. Visa:

A visa is required for entering Germany. It is on principle issued for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day-period.

For nationals of Andorra, Australia, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Canada, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, South Korea and the USA, it is sufficient, if they apply for the visa only after entering Germany (unless they intend to become gainfully employed).

All other foreign nationals are obliged to apply for a visa at the competent German diplomatic mission abroad before entering Germany.

2. Residence Permit:

The Residence Permit is a residence title for a limited period of time, which is on principle granted only for a specific purpose of residence. Such purposes may be:

  • residence in Germany serves education and training purposes,
  • the foreign national seeks employment in Germany (as an employee, self-employed person or freelancer),
  • residence is taken up under international law, or for humanitarian or political reasons,
  • the residence is taken up for family reasons (to establish or preserve family life),
  • there are particular reasons that justify residence (right of return, residence title for ethnic German repatriates and residence permit for persons with long-term right of residence in other Member States of the European Union).

3. EU Blue Card:

The EU Blue Card is issued for a limited period of up to four years or, for longer-term employments, for the term of the employment contract plus three months. The prerequisites for the issuance of an EU Blue Card are:

  • the foreign national holds a university degree,
  • the foreign national has already held a qualified job for five years,
  • the residence in Germany serves the purpose of pursuing employment commensurate with the person's qualification in Germany;
  • a concrete job offer has been made or an employment contract has already been signed  or the employment relationship already exists,
  • in this job, the foreign national earns a minimum annual salary amounting to two thirds of the annual contribution assessment ceiling for general pension insurance (at present EUR 49,600.00). This salary threshold may be reduced in the case of jobs for which a particular need exists in Germany, to 52 per cent of the assessment ceiling (at present EUR 38,688.00).

A foreign national who is a holder of the EU Blue Card may obtain a permanent settlement permit, after s/he has held a relevant qualified job for at least 33 months and paid contributions to general pension insurance during this period. If the foreign national has German language skills at level B1, the required contribution period is 21 months.

4. Settlement Permit:

The Settlement Permit is a residence title unlimited in time, which in addition grants the right to work in Germany. As a rule, the prerequisites for obtaining a settlement permit are the following:

  • the foreign national has held a residence permit in Germany for five years,
  • living expenses are covered (sufficient health insurance cover, sufficient means to cover the costs of living),
  • the foreign national has made contributions to general pension insurance for a minimum of 60 months,
  • such permit is not precluded for reasons of public order or safety,
  • a work permit (for employees only) and other permits that may be required for gainful employment (such as an admission to practice as a lawyer) has been obtained,
  • the foreign national has German language skills at level B1,
  • the foreign national has basic understanding of the legal and social system and of living conditions in Germany,
  • the foreign national has sufficient living space available.

5. Permanent EU Residence Permit:

The Permanent EU Residence Permit is also a residence title not limited in time, which grants the right to take up gainful employment. The difference to the Settlement Permit is that the Permanent EU Residence Permit entitles the foreign national to obtain a residence title limited in time in another Member State of the European Union. The prerequisites for obtaining this permit are the following:

  • the foreign national has held a residence permit in Germany for five years,
  • the living expenses of the foreign national and his/her family members are covered by fixed and regular income (sufficient health insurance cover, sufficient means  to cover the costs of living),
  • the foreign national has German language skills at level B1,
  • the foreign national has basic understanding of the legal and social system and of living conditions in Germany,
  • residence is not precluded for reasons of public order or safety,
  • the foreign national has sufficient living space available.

Whether a foreign national is able to obtain a residence title for residence in Germany always depends on the individual case and cannot be answered in general. Should you have any questions concerning the subject of 'right of residence', do not hesitate to contact us.



LIESEGANG & Partner News

Legal experts from our law firm keep you informed about new developments in German and international law especially trademarks, patens and designs.

Our Legal Services