Permanent residency for highly-qualified persons
Foreign citizens who are professionally or scientifically highly qualified may in special cases receive an unlimited permanent residency permit to follow on from their visa.
Note: Your husband, wife (or life partner) and your children under the age of 18 also have the right to reside in Germany as family members. They may also seek employment.
Who do I have to contact?
- Please contact the German overseas representation (embassy/ consulate) for the issue of a visa before travelling to Germany.
Tip: The Foreign Office has a list on its website of the representations of the Federal Republic of Germany abroad.
- after entering Germany: the foreigners’ registration office in the district in which you normally reside. The foreigners’ registration authorities in Hesse are the district administrators and mayors of independent towns and of municipal towns with more than 50,000 inhabitants.
- List of representations of the Federal Republic of Germany abroad.
Before entering Germany, you must apply for a national visa in your home country.
After entering Germany, you must apply for the permanent residency permit in writing to the foreigners’ registration office before your visa expires.
Requirements for the permanent residency permit are:
- that you fulfil the passport and via obligations.
For the passport obligation, it is sufficient if you possess ID documents in lieu of a passport.
- that you can provide for yourself without having to claim social means.
You are considered able to provide for yourself if your
- income is in an amount consistent with the simple social assistance rate (e.g. for single persons, €391) plus
- costs for accommodation and heating as well as
- any health insurance premiums.
- that there are no grounds for your deportation.
- that your residency poses no threat nor risk to the interests of the Federal republic of Germany.
- that you belong to the following groups of persons
- scientists with special knowledge
- teachers or scientific personnel of a higher level of function
- that your integration into the way of life of the Federal Republic of Germany is assured.
- of the fulfilment of passport and visa obligations
- of the assured means of subsistence and that your integration into the way of life in the Federal Republic of Germany is guaranteed (usually through presentation of an offer of employment)
- of your professional or scientific qualifications
- Section 5 Residence act (AufenthG) (General preconditions of issue)
- Section 19 Residence act (AufenthG) (Permanent residency permit for highly qualified persons)
- Section 44 Residence ordinance (AufenthV) (Fees for the permanent residency permit)
- Section 284 Volume III of the Social insurance code (SGB III) (EU work permit for citizens of the new EU member states)
You will receive your permanent residency permit in the form of a card with additional electronic functions. You will find more information under “Apply for electronic residency document (eAT)”.
Citizens of members states of the EU have access to the German labour market thanks to their right to freedom of movement. In the context of their right to permanent residency, they may be gainfully employed in Germany. The same applies to other citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA) as well as Swiss citizens.
For Croatian citizens, the transitional arrangements apply to freedom of movement for workers and freedom of services. They must obtain a working permit from the employment agency before taking up employment.
If you do not fulfil the scientific or professional conditions, you may be able to obtain the following residency documents after you enter Germany:
- Residency permit for the purposes of employment
- Residency permit for the purposes of self-employment
You can clarify your choice of residency permit during the visa process.
- Apply for electronic residency document (eAT)
- Apply for a residency permit for the purposes of employment
- Apply for a residency permit for the purposes of self-employment
4 – 6 weeks