Settlement Permit

Settlement Permit

Settlement Permit

A settlement permit entitles the holder to unlimited residence and employment in Germany. It can only be issued if certain conditions are met.

Settlement Permit - Hamburg Welcome Portal

Settlement permits are granted according to different conditions and legal bases. Whether you can obtain a settlement permit depends on which residence permit you currently have. If you're currently residing in Germany for your studies or other training activities, you cannot apply for a settlement permit.

General requirements

  • You have held a residence permit for at least five years (previous periods of study and training will be credited in half).
  • You can finance the cost of living yourself
  • Continuous adequate health insurance coverage
  • Proof of adequate retirement provision: At least 60 months compulsory contributions to the statutory pension insurance or similar benefits
  • No criminal record
  • If you are employed, you have the necessary permit
  • Sufficient knowledge of German (B1)
  • Basic knowledge of the legal and social order in Germany
  • Sufficient living space for yourself and family members

You can apply for the settlement permit at your relevant immigration authority or the Hamburg Welcome Center.

Holders of an EU Blue Card

If you hold an EU Blue Card and have basic knowledge of German (A1), you can apply for the settlement permit after 33 months of qualified employment. If your language skills are more advanced (B1), you can apply for the settlement permit after 21 months of qualified employment. Compulsory contributions to the statutory pension insurance are reduced to these respective periods.

Detailed informations on the required documents for an application can be found in the Forms section.

Graduates of German universities

If you have successfully completed your studies in Germany and have been working for at least two years, you can apply for a settlement permit. Your employment must be appropriate to the acquired university degree. Compulsory contributions to the statutory pension insurance are reduced to 24 months. Please also note the other general requirements.

Self-employed persons

Self-employed people who carry out commercial activities can apply for a settlement permit after three years. The prerequisite is that your company has successfully established itself on the market and that you're able to finance the livelihood of yourself and your dependants. You also need to provide proof of adequate retirement provision. Note: the German legal and tax system distinguishes between freelance and commercial activities (more information here). Freelancers do not benefit from the aforementioned reduced period.

Detailed informations on the required documents for an application can be found in the Forms section.

Family members of a German national

You can apply for a settlement permit if you've been living together with a German spouse, child or parent for three years and if this familial partnership continues in Germany. You do not have to provide proof of adequate retirement provision. Please note the other general requirements.

Detailed informations on the required documents for an application can be found in the Forms section.

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Settlement Permit