Germany is quite a bureaucratic country where getting any paperwork certified can take ages. Becoming one of the country’s residents is full of a problematic checklist of requirements.
Becoming a permanent resident usually takes five years. To become a permanent resident in Germany, you first need to become a temporary resident.
The first step – Enter Germany
Germany is part of the Schengen Area, which is a group of 62 European countries. Residents of this group move within the area freely. If you don’t have a Schengen visa, apply with the proper access. You can’t get a residency permit with a tourist, medical, business or cultural visa. You may use an employment visa, a student visa and a family union visa. Talk to immigration services to know about which forms to apply.
Employment permit: For this kind of permit, you have to find a job online or go to Germany on a German Job Seeker Visa. Once you find employment, you will need approval from the Federal Employment Agency and qualifications in the proficient use of the German language to apply for the permit.
Academic or vocational permit: Students will receive a residence permit for the amount of time they plan to study in Germany. However, there are some restrictions to working though students can extend their stay and search for employment after graduation.
Family Union Permit: You may apply for this permit if you have family in Germany.
Once in Germany, scout for housing, open a bank account and get German health insurance for the amount of time you plan to stay. Your bank account will prove your financial stability or lack thereof. Register your address to the authorities in the city you’ve chosen. Depending on the town, the application method will be different (different number of forms applicants need to fill, online meeting/ face to face). You can find out what your city’s process is online. Be ready with certified documentation about your location, employment, insurance and finances during the meeting. Afterwards, you’ll have officially received your temporary residency permit and ID card. You’ll have to renew the latter and make sure to continue the passport too to avoid complications.
A permanent residency card will allow you to work, study and live as you will for an unlimited period in Germany. It will also allow you to travel on a visa waiver within the Schengen Area, and there’ll even be fewer impositions when applying for countries elsewhere.
Applicants for permanent residency need to:
- have lived in Germany for at least five years without gaining criminal records
- be financially capable
- be aware of German law and society, •have advanced knowledge of the language
- contributed to the statutory pension scheme for at least five years and have housing
When eligible, collect documentation and make an appointment with the German Foreigner’s Registration Office. Pay the fee and attend an interview to receive your settlement permit. Your permit will expire if you leave the country for longer than six months.
EU Blue Card Holders
Especially talented employees may receive a permit for four years of temporary residency. They are the only ones which may apply for a permanent residence card after only 33 months, maybe even 21 months, if they can adapt the language.