Certificate of permanent residence Issue for Union citizens entitled to freedom of movement Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

EU and EEA citizens who have resided lawfully in Germany for a period of five years can apply to the Foreigners' Registration Office for a certificate of permanent residence

Citizens of the European Union (EU) or a country of the European Economic Area (EEA: Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) do not need a residence permit to enter and stay in Germany.

If you are an EU and EEA citizen and have resided legally in Germany for a period of five years, you can obtain a permanent right of residence. You can apply to the Foreigners' Registration Office for a certificate of permanent residence.

The certificate of the right of permanent residence is issued by the Foreigners' Registration Office after it has checked whether you have reached the required periods of residence in Germany. This does not require that you have resided continuously in Germany for a period of five years. Temporary absences from federal territory are irrelevant for the acquisition of the right of permanent residence. Thus, even when leaving the Federal territory for a total of six months a year, to perform military service or alternative service and for good cause once for up to twelve consecutive months (e.B. due to a serious illness, a study, a vocational training) a permanent residence can be assumed.

If necessary, the Foreigners' Registration Office can also check the legality of your five-year stay, i.e. whether you have fulfilled the requirements of the right to freedom of movement during the entire period.

The certificate is issued indefinitely and only confirms that you have acquired the right of permanent residence. You are not obliged to obtain or carry the certificate with you.

Under certain conditions, you can obtain a permanent right of residence before the expiry of five years (e.B. if you have been permanently employed in the Federal territory for three years and are subsequently employed in another Member State of the European Union, but maintain your residence in the Federal territory and return there at least once a week). To clarify whether you meet this or another exception, please contact the immigration authority responsible for your place of residence.

With the acquisition of the right of permanent residence, you will receive an improved legal status regardless of your nationality. Thus, the right of permanent residence is independent of the continuity of the conditions for freedom of movement. In addition, your expulsion protection increases. An absence of more than two consecutive years may result in the loss of the right of permanent residence.

If you have not yet reached the age of 18, a person entitled to your personal care must agree to the planned stay.

  • Current biometric photo
  • Consent of the person entitled to custody for the planned stay if you have not yet reached the age of 18

The Foreigners' Registration Office may require the submission of the following documents:

  • Recognised or otherwise approved, valid passport or passport substitute
  • Proof that the right to freedom of movement has been exercised for the periods of residence completed (e.B. confirmation of registration, employment contract, trade license or proof of self-employment, sufficient resources and sufficient health insurance cover, certificate of enrolment)

In individual cases, the Foreigners' Registration Office may request further documents.

  • Online procedure possible in isolated cases
  • Written form required: yes
  • Personal appearance required: yes

Preconditions

  • You are an EU or EEA national
  • They have been in Germany for five years.
  • They have been legally resident in Germany for five years, i.e. They have fulfilled the conditions of the right of free movement for the entire period.

If necessary, you can provide the evidence and documents mentioned under "Required documents"

Hints

Note for Swiss nationals :

Because Switzerland is not a member of the EU or the EEA, a different regulation applies to the Swiss. The right of permanent residence for Swiss nationals is governed by the Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Swiss Confederation, of the other part, on the free movement of persons.

Note for British citizens (Brexit) :

On 1 February 2020, the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union was completed. For British citizens and their family members entitled to freedom of movement, the right to freedom of movement will initially continue to apply until 31 December 2020.

The competent immigration authority provides information on which regulations will apply in individual cases from 1 January 2021 (grandfathering or application of the general right of residence, in particular the Residence Act).

§ 5 sec. 5 sentence 2 FreizügG/EU

Related Links

  • § 2 FreizügG/EU
  • § 4a FreizügG/EU
  • § 12 FreizügG/EU (EEA states)
  • § 47 AufenthV (fees)

After five years of permanent legal residence in Germany, you can apply for a certificate of permanent residence.

The certificate must be applied for at the immigration authority responsible for your place of residence.

The procedure is as follows:

  • Depending on the Immigration Office, it may be possible to apply via the Internet. Find out whether your immigration office offers the electronic application.

In the event of an electronic application, the Foreigners' Registration Office will contact you after receipt of your application in order to request documents if necessary and to arrange an appointment with you at the Foreigners' Registration Office. During the appointment, your documents will be checked (bring them to the appointment in the original if you are asked to do so).

  • If the application is only possible in person, make an appointment with the Foreigners' Registration Office. During the appointment, your details will be received and your proofs will be checked (bring them to the appointment in the original if you are asked to do so).
  • After completion of the examination, you will immediately be issued a certificate of permanent residence or a rejection notice. In principle, the collection must be made in person. You must sign at the Foreigners' Registration Office.
  • The certificate of permanent residence shall be issued for an indefinite period.

Fees apply for issuing the certificate of permanent residence. The timing and form of payment vary depending on the authority.

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Last update or date of publication
24.11.2020