How to apply for a permanent residence permit in Germany (“Niederlassungserlaubnis”)
If you have had a temporary residence title (residence permit or EU Blue Card) for several years, you may be able to obtain a permanent residence title.
The following are permanent residence titles:
• Settlement permit = Niederlassungserlaubnis
• EU long-term residence permit = Erlaubnis zum Daueraufenthalt-EU
There are different types of settlement permits (Niederlassungserlaubnisse). It depends on which temporary residence title you currently have.
• Settlement permit – general
• Settlement permit for relatives of Germans
• Settlement permit for EU Blue Card holders
• Settlement permit for children aged 16 years or older
• Settlement permit for self-employed persons
• Settlement permit for persons recognized as entitled to asylum and recognized refugees
• Settlement permit for foreign graduates of German higher education institutions
Berlin: Quick Link
Look for the Letter N, "Niederlassungserlaubnis für..."
Apply for a permanent/settlement permit: EU Blue Card Holders
If you are an EU Blue Card holder, you can apply for permanent residence after 33 months, with basic German language knowledge (A1 level). If you have German language proficiency at B1 level, then you can apply earlier at 21 months.
For your spouse, she/he will be eligible to apply after being in Germany for 5 years.
In Berlin, there are three service places handling permanent residence permit applications and it depends on which type of permits you are applying. For Blue Card Holders, there are two service places:
- Business Immigration Service (BIS)
The BIS is a service for companies which are registered as clients at the foreigners’ office. If your company has registered as a client, then applying for the permanent permit through your company HR is the fastest way. From some of our friends’ experiences, it took them only 1~2 months of processing time to get the permanent permits. For us, we applied on our own through the Keplerstraße service location and it took around 4 months, which included a 3-month paper review time. Although the process was long, people providing service there are very very friendly.
- (BIS) der Ausländerbehörde Berlin
Fasanenstr. 85, 10623 Berlin
Note: The service is only available to registered customers and appointment only. (no walk-in service)
- This is where we got our permanent residence permit.
- Immigration Office Berlin (location Keplerstraße)
Keplerstraße 2, 10589 Berlin (map)
Also no walk-in service. Need to submit the copy of all required documents either by email (scanned pdf file) or by post (send to another location. see the following post in details), and wait for an appointment to be arranged.
- Business Immigration Service (BIS)
Once you prepare all these following documents, (A) scan all of them into one single pdf file and email, OR (B) make copies and send by post.
(A) Email to: [email protected]
(B) The postal address differs from the address of the service location. Mail your application (don’t staple your documents) to the main Ausländerbehörde (immigration office) at: Friedrich-Krause-Ufer 24, 13353 Berlin.
List of all Required Documents:
Fill out the Application Form ("Antrag auf Erteilung einer Niederlassungserlaubnis")
Copy of passport & Blue card
German A1 Level certificate or completion letter (or B1 Level if you want to apply at 21 months)
Pension record /letter (“Altersvorsorge, Rentenversicherung”)
You can request online and they will send you the letter in few weeks. You can also call them or go to their office directly.
Online self-service: https://www.eservice-drv.de/SelfServiceWeb/
Select the option of "Versicherungsverlauf",
then input your Sozialversicherung number, your first name, and last name.
Letter from Health Insurance company ("Krankenversicherung"): Contact your insurance company to request a letter of the proof stating that you are insured by them.
Copy of your Health Insurance card, both side ("Krankenversicherung")
Employment Certificate (This can be prepared later since it has to be within 14 days.)
Salary slips: Last 6 months
Wohnung Anmeldung confirmation letter
Copy of apartment rental contract
No criminal record, "Keine Straftaten": This you don't need to do anything. They will be able to check their system record directly.
*Not sure if the employment contract has to be "unlimited period", will update the answer here later.
Other information regarding documents preparation:
Apartment rental contract stated the size of the apartment: usually need to show sufficient living space for each person. Your rental contract should have stated the total size of the apartment.
Generally speaking, at least 9 square meters (sqm) for each person, and 6 sqm for each child up to the age of 6 years. In some other cities, the requirement is at least 10,12, or 13 sqm per person.
The Rentenversicherung letter (Versicherungsverlauf) you receive may not cover your total insurance period because the report runs on a yearly basis. This is ok since your salary slips also show that you are paying pension contributions.
After you submit your application, be patient and wait, and wait…
Here is the copy of the email we got from the Ausländerbehörde. Most of the information I have mentioned in the previous post of documents preparation, including submitting your application via email or post, no online appointment, and please wait for 3 months. Actually, this service location is new, so maybe in the future online appointment will be available.
From: [email protected]
Date: xx xx, 2017 xx:xx AM
Subject: AW: Appointment for EU Blue card to Permanent Residency
Sehr geehrter Herr xxx,
es können bewusst keine Termine für die Niederlassungserlaubnis gebucht werden.
Die Anträge sind schriftlich zu stellen. Das geht per Post (bitte ungeklammerte Kopien) oder als E-Mail im pdf-Format.
Sie werden in der Reihenfolge des Eingangs bearbeitet, was z.Zt. ca. 3 Monate dauert.
Aus Gründen der Arbeitseffektivität bitten wir, von Zwischenfragen Abstand zu nehmen, danke.
Mit freundlichem Gruß
Around 3 months later, you will receive a confirmation of your appointment. If not, please contact them to check the status.
You may be requested to submit updated salary slips (recent 3 months) and a new employment certificate, showing that you are currently employed.
Things to bring with you to your appointment:
- Gültiger Pass und die Blaue Karte (Your passport and Blue card)
- ein aktuelles biometrisches Passfoto (one current 35mm*45mm photo)
- Application Fee
Die Niederlassungserlaubnis wird als Etikett in den Pass geklebt. Die Kosten der Erteilung betragen xx€ und können vor Ort Bar oder mit EC- Karte bezahlt werden.