Hamburg Welcome Center - Entry & Residence

Hamburg Welcome Portal Permanent EC Residence

Symbolic image: Permanent EC Residence, Hamburg, Germany

Permanent EC Residence - Hamburg Welcome Portal

Similar to the settlement permit, the permanent EC residence title grants foreign nationals unlimited residence and the right to work in Germany. In addition, permanent EC residents enjoy freedom of mobility within and outside the European Union and may reside and work in most EU countries (except Great Britain, Ireland and Denmark).

  • Permanent EC residents can leave Germany and stay outside of the EU for up to 12 months (for EU Blue Card holders this is extended to 24 months) while retaining their status.
  • Permanent EC residents can move to other EU member states (except Great Britain, Ireland and Denmark) and stay there for up to 6 years. They do not need to apply for a visa and can apply for a residence permit there, as long as they can secure their own livelihood.

Permanent EC residence cannot be granted to foreign nationals whose purpose of residence in Germany is temporary (for example, education/studies, seasonal employment, au pair or international staff exchange). This also applies to applicants and holders of residence permits granted on humanitarian grounds.


  • 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 your cost of living independently
  • You have held continuous adequate health insurance coverage
  • You have 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 permanent EC residence at your relevant location at Hamburg Service vor Ort - Ausländerangelegenheiten ('Foreigners' Affairs') or the Hamburg Welcome Center.

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

Permanen EC Residence

Permanent EC Residence