Settlement permit

Foreigners who wish to work in the Federal Republic of Germany require a settlement permit.

The settlement permit is a permanent residence permit. It entitles the holder to engage in any gainful activity. The settlement permit is issued to foreigners who remain permanently in Germany and have their economic and family center of life here.

A settlement permit is usually issued as an electronic residence permit (eAT) in credit card format. Among other things, biometric features (1 photograph, 2 fingerprints) are stored on the eAT. In addition, the eAT can optionally also be used as electronic proof of identity (eID) in the course of e-government and e-business as well as for electronic signatures.

The requirements for issuing a settlement permit differ depending on the respective previous residence. Therefore, the conditions cannot be specified as a general rule.

The required documents depend on the previous stays (see above). However, the presentation of a valid passport and a current biometric photo is always required. The competent authority shall provide specific information in individual cases.


Further information on the eAT can be found on the website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

  • The electronic residence permit (eAT)

Related Links

  • § 9 Act on the Residence, Employment and Integration of Foreigners in The Federal Territory (Residence Act - AufenthG)
  • § 26 Abs. 4 AufenthG
  • AufenthV

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