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Germany – Residency

Foreign nationals moving to Germany may apply for one of several types of residency permits, including temporary and permanent permits. These permits allow non-EU citizens to reside in Germany legally for an extended period. Here are some of the most common types of residency permits available for foreign nationals moving to Germany:

Temporary Residence Permit

A temporary residence permit, or Aufenthaltserlaubnis, is a permit that allows foreign nationals to stay in Germany for a limited period. This type of permit is typically issued for the purpose of work or study, and it must be renewed periodically.

Permanent Residence Permit

A permanent residence permit, or Niederlassungserlaubnis, is a permit that allows foreign nationals to live and work in Germany indefinitely. This permit is typically granted after several years of living in Germany with a temporary residence permit.

Blue Card

A Blue Card is a special type of residence permit that is designed to attract highly skilled workers to Germany. This permit is only available to those who have a university degree or a comparable qualification, and it allows them to work and reside in Germany for up to four years. After this period, a Blue Card holder may apply for a permanent residence permit.

EU Blue Card

The EU Blue Card is a special type of permit that is designed to attract highly skilled workers from non-EU countries to the European Union. This permit is valid for up to four years and can be renewed for an additional three years. After holding an EU Blue Card for five years, a foreign national may be eligible for a permanent residence permit in Germany.

Job Seeker Visa

A job seeker visa is a type of permit that allows foreign nationals to stay in Germany for up to six months to search for employment. This permit is available to those who have a university degree or a comparable qualification and who can support themselves financially during their stay in Germany.


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Applying for Residency in Germany

The process for applying for residency in Germany can vary depending on the type of permit being sought. In general, the following steps must be taken:

  1. Obtain a visa: Before entering Germany, foreign nationals must obtain a visa from the German embassy or consulate in their home country. This visa will allow them to enter Germany and apply for a residency permit.

  2. Register with the local authorities: Within two weeks of arriving in Germany, foreign nationals must register with the local registration office, or Einwohnermeldeamt.

  3. Apply for a residency permit: After registering with the local authorities, foreign nationals must apply for a residency permit at the local Foreigners’ Registration Office. The application process will involve providing documentation to support the reason for the permit being sought.

  4. Attend an interview: In some cases, foreign nationals may be required to attend an interview before a residency permit is granted.

Documents Required for Residency Permit Applications

The documents required for a residency permit application in Germany will depend on the type of permit being sought. However, in general, the following documents will be required:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Proof of financial resources
  • Health insurance
  • Proof of accommodation in Germany
  • Police clearance certificate
  • Proof of employment or study (if applicable)
  • Biometric passport photo

Registration with Government Departments

All foreign nationals moving to Germany must register with the local city government (Einwohnermeldeamt) within 14 days of their arrival. This will allow you to receive a certificate of registration (AnmeldebestŠtigung), which is needed to apply for a residency permit.

Reliable, Up-to-Date Information on Residence in Germany

For reliable and up-to-date information on residency in Germany, foreign nationals can visit the following websites:

It is also advisable to consult with a lawyer or immigration specialist for guidance and assistance with the residency process in Germany.

foreign nationals can visit the following websites:

It is also advisable to consult with a lawyer or immigration specialist for guidance and assistance with the residency process in Germany.


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