Residence Permit Germany

If you are hoping to reside in Germany to work, study or join family, you may need to apply for a residence permit after receiving your National visa. It is important to understand the different types of resident permits as well as the eligibility requirements and how to successfully navigate the application process.

For further assistance and guidance with immigrating to Germany from the UK, including advice for which visa or residence permit to apply for and services to assist you with your applications, contact Total Law online or by phone at +44 (0)333 305 9375.

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    Overview of Residency in Germany

    If you are seeking to move from the UK to Germany, you should understand the immigration law regarding what is required for a British national to stay long-term. Following the Brexit withdrawal agreement, British citizens may enter Germany visa-free for up to 90 days.

    Though you may perform some activities while you stay in Germany, you will not be entitled to stay any longer for purposes of work, family reunion, or studying. A German residence permit will be required in order to stay and gain employment in Germany.

    There are two types of residence permit—temporary and permanent—and each will have their own eligibility requirements and process when it comes to acquiring one; you should thoroughly understand which should be considered and applied for in regards to your own personal circumstances, and which issues you may encounter while applying.

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    Temporary Residence Permit

    The first type of German residence permit to be aware of is the temporary residence permit, which is available to be applied for upon entering Germany. In order to gain a temporary residence permit for the particular activity you wish to undertake, you may first of all need to be granted a D-type National visa while still in the UK.

    For instance, if you are a foreign national seeking to work in Germany long-term, you may seek to apply for a Germany Work visa or Job Seeker visa. Upon arriving in Germany, after registering your residence at the local registration office within 14 days, you may apply for a temporary residence permit which allows for the particular activity to be conducted according to what type of visa has been applied for. This may mean only exclusively being able to do that particular activity, so you may be able to study, but not work full-time, for example.

    Temporary residence permits tend to be valid for 12 months at a time, with the possibility of an extension at the end of this period. This provides a pathway to potentially being able to permanently settle in Germany in the future.

    There will be certain additional provisions and exceptions depending on the specific reason you have applied for a temporary residence permit, for example students may conduct some amount of work while studying on a Student visa after receiving their residence permit, usually 20 hours per week if they are from an EU/EEA country or 120 full days per year (or 240 half days) if coming from outside the EU.

    Students will also be entitled to extend their temporary residence permit for a further 18 months upon expiry in order to search for a job upon graduating. At this stage a graduate may be eligible to apply for a work permit such as the EU Blue Card.

    To extend your residence permit, you must visit your local immigration office in person. They should automatically arrange an appointment for you approximately 2 months before the expiry of your current permit. You should be told in advance which documents you need to bring with you. Expect to present your existing residence permit, your passport, and any other supporting documents you needed to present for your initial application.

    Permanent Residence Permit

    Following 5 years of legal residence in Germany, it becomes possible to apply for permanent residence permit, also known as a settlement permit. Though the 5 year timeframe is typically an essential component of the eligibility criteria, it is still possible to apply and be accepted for a permanent residence permit if you meet certain special requirements, such as having a German spouse, being a qualified skilled worker, or having completed a degree course at a German university.

    Additional requirements that you may be expected to meet include being able to speak the German language at the B1 level, being able to financially support yourself and any dependant family members with sufficient living space, not having a criminal record for any major offences, having a competent level of knowledge of German culture and society, and you have paid contributions to statutory pension insurance for at least 60 months.

    The main benefit of the permanent residence permit is that it will allow you to reside in Germany indefinitely without the need of any further extensions or immigration conditions that the temporary residence permit may have been subject to. You may have more freedom regarding career, living, and working in Germany, and may have further access to state benefits.

    You may apply for the permanent residence permit at your local immigration office and expect to receive a response within a few weeks.
    It is important to note you may not necessarily be able to qualify for the permanent residence permit if your temporary residence permit was tied to education or certain humanitarian purposes.

    This emphasises the importance of seeking professional legal advice for which residence permit or visa may be the ideal one for your individual situation and future plans. Contact Total Law today online or phone at +44 (0)333 305 9375.

    For tailored assistance with obtaining a residence permit for Germany, speak with our immigration lawyers today. Contact Us

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      Residence Permit Application

      Before applying you must make sure your address has been registered with the German authorities within 90 days of arriving in Germany. You may do this at your local registration office.

      You must make sure you have arranged your health insurance as this is a requirement for permanent settlement in Germany. Though private health insurance is available, the majority of German residents pay the statutory insurer a monthly fee equal to 14.6% of your gross annual salary, half of which is paid by your employer. There is a total cap for the cost of this which is €360.

      Setting up a German bank account is also recommended to ensure you are adequately able to prove you are financially capable of sustaining yourself and any family members.

      You can apply at your local immigration office in Germany for a residence permit, you will simply have to fill out an application form and you may be asked to book an appointment for an interview at a later date.

      Depending on the circumstances you are applying for a residence permit for, you may need to present your:

      • Valid passport with any existing or previous residence permit
      • Proof of completion of vocational training or studies (certifications)
      • Bank statements showing proof of regular income including employment contract and earnings from the last 6 months
      • Marriage certificate
      • Professional qualifications for the job you are being offered
      • Letter of acceptance for any academic education
      • Proof of home ownership
      • Health insurance documentation
      • Certificate of knowledge of German language

      Following these steps, you must then attend your appointed interview along with any supporting documentation you have been required to present. You must ensure that you receive your unique tax ID number which will be essential before starting the work you have come to Germany to undertake.

      Such issues that are common for prolonging the application process or resulting in an outright failure include incomplete assembly and incorrect translations of corroborating supporting documents, emphasising the importance of consulting expert assistance in your application for a German residence permit.

      EU Blue Card

      An EU Blue Card is a D-type visa for foreign nationals residing outside the EU who are highly qualified professionals that have received a job offer meeting the minimum annual salary of €43,800, or a reduced amount of €39,682.80 for those in such high demand professions as IT, healthcare, or education.

      The specific eligibility requirements for receiving an EU Blue Card include having a degree from a German university or foreign equivalent and a job offer of at least 6 months from a company in Germany that meets the minimum salary threshold.

      You may still be able to receive an EU Blue Card if you are an IT professional even if you do not hold a valid qualification, in which case you need to have worked in this field for at least 3 of the last 7 years at the university level.

      The EU Blue Card will be valid for the full length of the term of your employment, with an additional 3 months, up to a maximum total of 4 years. You may change jobs while holding an EU Blue Card as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements, though if you were to do this in your first year of employment you will be obliged to inform the local Foreigners’ Authority of your change in circumstances.

      You may potentially extend the EU Blue Card when it is due to expire, though after 33 months of holding one you may become eligible for a permanent residence permit.

      German ICT Card

      The German Intra-Corporate Transfer Card is another type of residence permit which is non-permanent, though it provides a specific avenue for working individuals involved in intra-corporate transfers within a company based in multiple nations.

      The card is designated for employees of such companies who are being transferred from a branch in a country outside the EU to the relevant branch or subsidiary in Germany.

      Though it does not grant permanent residence, the card may allow for a limited amount of mobility in other EU countries, typically up to 90 days at a time in a 180 day timeframe.
      The duration of the residence permit will usually be issued according to the terms of the intra-corporate transfer and is tied directly with a specific employer to ensure the card is being used as intended.

      The process of gaining a German ICT will usually be initiated by the employer or company planning your transfer to Germany. You may still need to present supporting documents for your application including proof of qualifications for your respective job role, details of your assignment at the company’s branch in Germany, and the employment contract.

      The ‘Mobile ICT Card’ is additionally available for those who have already received an ICT Card to enable them to work for the same company in another EU country for a period exceeding 90 days.

      Our specialist lawyers have the expertise to align your visa application with the best possible chance of success. Contact Us

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        German Citizenship by Naturalisation

        You may apply for German citizenship by naturalisation if you have been in Germany for 8 years or more on a residence permit. This time frame may be reduced in such circumstances as if you have completed an integration course proving your knowledge of the German language and culture, in which case you will only need to have legally lived in Germany for 7 years.

        Additional special circumstances include being the spouse of a German nation for at least 2 years, which can reduce the amount of time lived in Germany to at least 3 years, and being an EU Blue Card holder, which may reduce the time to as low as 33 months.

        German citizens are granted the privileges of freedom of movement within the EU and EEA, unhindered job opportunities, eligibility for civil service roles, and the right to participate in German elections. Alongside these rights, you will also bear the responsibilities inherent to German citizenship, involving compliance with legal directives, tax obligations including filing returns, and a commitment to upholding the cultural standards of the nation while living in Germany.

        You may apply at your local naturalisation authority office where they will tell you which forms to fill out and inform you of further steps you must take including the citizenship test.

        It is important to also note that Germany does not typically allow dual citizenship, and UK citizens will be required to renounce their British national status if applying to be a citizen of Germany. There are exceptions to this, including having one parent be a German citizen, and the other of a different nation.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        All the regulations and complexities of acquiring a residence permit in Germany can be extremely difficult without professional legal assistance. The steps required and which documents in particular will need to be presented will vary depending on the circumstances of each individual case, and such help will only serve to bolster your chances of being successful in being able to reside long-term in Germany, be it for work, studying, family, or any other reason.

        Total Law has an experienced team of immigration lawyers and advisors that will help you decide the best route to gain a permanent residence visa in Germany. They will check through all of your applications and make sure you meet all the eligibility criteria of that which you apply for to maximise your chances of receiving a successful response as quickly as possible. Other services such as professional translation services are available.

        Our highly qualified team at Total Law can be contacted online or by phone at +44 (0)333 305 9375.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  A D-type National visa is required for long-term stay and work in Germany for non-EU citizens, including UK citizens. This visa is divided into categories that accommodate for the various reasons one may choose to move to Germany, be it for work, studying, or family.

                  Such National visas for workers include the Job Seeker visa and the EU Blue Card. Students may choose to apply for the Student or Student Applicant visa and the Family Reunion visa is available for families.

                  The D-type visa is usually valid for 12 months and usually requires a further application for a temporary residence permit upon arriving in Germany. After 5 years of residency you may apply for a permanent residence permit to stay indefinitely.

                  The fees to apply for these long-term D-type visas are €75 per adult and €38 per child.

                  Those moving to Germany on a temporary residence permit for purposes such as work may be able to bring their family with them on a Family Reunion visa. In the context of family reunification, children below the age of 18 whose parents have been accepted for a temporary residence permit are also entitled to obtain their own temporary residence permit. This provision ensures that families can stay together during the period covered by the primary residence permit.

                  Renting is the most common choice of acquiring accommodation in Germany, though the renting market is typically considered more affordable than in the UK due to tighter regulations.

                  Before you may rent, you must register yourself at the local registration office within 14 days of entering Germany. You may be asked to present your passport, references from previous landlords, credit reports, or details from guarantors before you may settle at your new residence.