Ministry of Labour, Social, Family Affairs and Integration

Residence Permanent EC Resident

The permanent EC resident is an unlimited residence permit and gives you greater mobility options inside and outside the EU.

Permanent EC Resident - Hamburg Welcome Portal

The permanent EC resident is an unlimited residence permit that entitles you to work. It is equivalent to the settlement permit and grants you greater mobility options inside and outside the EU (except Great Britain, Ireland and Denmark):

  • If you want to stay outside the EU, you can leave Germany for up to twelve months (if you have a EU Blue Card, the period is extended to 24 months)
  • If you want to move to another EU Member State (except Great Britain, Ireland and Denmark), you can stay there for up to 6 years. You do not need to apply for a visa and can apply for a residence permit there, as long as you can secure your livelihood yourself

If your purpose of residence in Germany is temporary (for example, education/studies, seasonal employment, au pair or international staff exchange) you cannot be granted the permanent EC resident. This also applies to holders and applicants for residence permits for humanitarian reasons.


  • you have held a residence permit for at least five years (previous periods of study and training will be credited in half)
  • you can finance the cost of living independently and
  • continuous adequate health insurance coverage
  • proof of adequate retirement provision: At least 60 months compulsory contributions to the statutory pension insurance or similar benefits
  • no criminal record
  • if you are employed, you have the necessary permit
  • sufficient knowledge of German (B1)
  • basic knowledge of the legal and social order in Germany
  • sufficient living space for yourself and family members

You can apply for the permanent EC resident at your relevant immigration authority or the Hamburg Welcome Center.