Obtain Residency in Germany

The legal requirements for obtaining residency in Germany vary based on the nationality of the foreigner moving here for various purposes. Thus, the German legislation distinguishes between foreigners who are citizens of the European Union (EU) and non-EU citizens. The residency criteria can also vary depending on the person’s legal status, but also on the duration of their stay in this country.

The German migration law for EU persons is given by the Act on General Freedom of Movement for EU Citizens (known as Freedom of Movement Act/EU), which grants such persons the right to free movement in this country. In this sense, EU citizens will not need to apply for a residence permit, but they will have to register with the local authorities in order to prove they have a residential address in a German region.

Information regarding the procedures applicable to the EU citizens interested in relocation in Germany is available at the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration Office for the Equal Treatment of EU Workers, which implements the regulations of the above-mentioned law.

However, in the case of non-EU citizens, more complex procedures are applicable and our immigration lawyer in Germany can assist with in-depth advice and legal representation on the procedures that have to be completed prior to arriving in this country or after a foreigner arrived here, depending on the persons’ specific situation.

If you have any questions on how to obtain a residence permit in Germany, we can answer them.

We can also help you apply for German citizenship.

When is the residency permit required in Germany?

Obtaining residency in Germany is done through the residence permit, a document which can be granted for a determined period of time, or for undetermined duration (permanent residence permit). The first type of permit is required in the case of foreigners outside the EU that plan to relocate to Germany for a period longer than three months. The temporary residence permit (also referred to as a limited residence permit) is issued for stays of up to one year.

Upon the expiration of the document, the foreigner is allowed for an extension, but only if the reasons for which the first permit was issued are still available. For instance, a person who has obtained a temporary residence permit for study purposes in Germany can prolong the document for the same purpose.

The document can be issued for the following purposes: studying, working or getting married to a German citizen or a person who has a permanent residence permit. It can also be issued for family reunification purposes, as long as the applicant is a family member of a person living in Germany, who is a citizen of a country outside the EU.

Another document that can be required by foreigners is the EU Blue Card, a permit that is similar to the temporary residence permit, but which is available only for highly skilled persons moving to Germany and who arrive here for employment purposes. Our immigration lawyer in Germany can present extensive information on the immigration law referring to the employment of foreigners.

The document can be obtained by non-EU persons who have a higher education degree and who will be employed in Germany in the field in which they have obtained their degree. There is also a financial criterion that must be met, in the sense that the EU Blue Card can be issued for those earning at least EUR 50,800 per year and who have proficiency in the German language.

Foreigners are also entitled to permanent residence permit when moving to Germany. The document is also known as the settlement permit. It can only be granted if the person has been living in Germany for a period of 5 years at the moment when the application was made, and it may be obtained by the holders of temporary residence permits or EU Blue Cards.

We can also guide you on German citizenship.

What is the demand for EU Blue Cards in Germany?

As we presented earlier, one of the ways for moving to Germany is by applying for a EU Blue Card, which grants the opportunity to a non-EU citizen to work in any of the EU countries, Germany included, as long as the person meets specific requirements related to his or her skills and education. It must be noted that Germany has the highest demand for this type of document, through which one is entitled to German residence, the following data being available:

• in 2017, from the total EU Blue Cards issued at a European level, 84,5% were issued by Germany;
• overall, Germany issued a total of 104,000 EU Blue Cards since the introduction of the program;
• in 2018, the country issued 27,241 EU Blue Cards, marking an increase of 25,4% compared to 2017;
• Indians represent the nationality with the highest share of EU Blue Cards issued in 2018, of 27,7%;
• China accounts for 8% of the EU Blue Cards and the Russian Federation for 5,9%.

We invite foreigners to address our immigration lawyer in Germany for extensive information on the documents one must prepare for the process of obtaining German residency. We can assist with advice on all the formalities involved in this process and we remain at your disposal for other legal matters related to Germany immigration. Please feel free to ask us anything about the residence permit in Germany.