permanent settlement permit entitles you to stay in Germany permanently and work with no restrictions.

You can generally apply for your own permanent settlement permit at your local immigration office (Auslanderbehorde) after living legally in Germany for five years – unless exempt as for example an entrepreneur, highly skilled individual or the family member of a German citizen. There is also a possibility to apply for a independent but not permanent residence permit after three years.

Documents Required

When applying you need to submit the following in original and copy:

  • Valid passport.
  • One recent passport photograph. The photograph must be current (taken within the last six months) measure 3.4 x 4.5 cm and your face must be completely visible without glasses or head covering (except religious such);
  • Proof of having sufficient means of subsistence, which also can include relevant documents from your spouse or partner:
    • Employees: employment contract, recent certificate from the employer (not older than 14 days), proof of income over the last 6 months and your pension insurance history.
    • Self-employed: an audit report from an accountant or tax agent together with the documents referred to therein (e.g. copy from the trade registry) and a recent tax declaration.
    • Freelancers: tax bills, bank statements, invoices and other documents showing a regular source of income;
  • Rental agreement or purchasing contract with an indication of how much living space your accommodation has Documents showing the monthly rent or cost of residential property.
  • Certificates proving you successfully participated in an integration course or the results of the final tests;
  • Evidence of a retirement pension, pension insurance or entitlement to comparable services of any other insurance or pension scheme. Evidence of a retirement pension can also be provided by your spouse or partner. It does not apply to holders of a residence permit on humanitarian grounds
  • Proof of adequate health insurance coverage (insurance card, insurance policy).