Ministry of Labour, Social, Family Affairs and Integration

Residence Settlement Permit

The settlement permit entitles the holder to unlimited residence as well as to any employment in Germany.

Settlement Permit- Hamburg Welcome Portal

Settlement permits are granted according to different conditions and legal basis. Whether you can obtain a settlement permit depends on which residence permit you currently have. During a stay for study or for other training purposes, you cannot apply for a settlement permit.

General Requirements:

  • 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 yourself 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 settlement permit at your relevant immigration authority or the Hamburg Welcome Center.

Holders of an EU Blue Card

If you hold an EU Blue Card and have a basic knowledge of German (A1), you can apply for the settlement permit after 33 months of qualified employment. If you have sufficient knowledge of German (B1), you can apply for the settlement permit after 21 months of qualified employment.

The proof of compulsory contributions to the statutory pension insurance or similar benefits is reduced to the respective period.

Graduates of German universities

If you have successfully completed your studies in Germany and have been working for at least two years, you can apply for a settlement permit. Your employment must be appropriate to the acquired university degree. Compulsory contributions to the statutory pension insurance are reduced to 24 months. Please also note the other general requirements.

Self-employed persons

You can apply for a settlement permit after three years. The prerequisite for this is that your company has successfully established itself on the market and that you finance  the livelihood for yourself and your family members. Moreover you also need to provide a proof of adequate retirement provision. 

If you are a freelancer, you cannot benefit from this reduced period.

Family members of a German national

If you live together with a German spouse, child or parent for three years and the familial partnership with the German continues in Germany, you can apply for the settlement permit. You do not have to provide proof of adequate retirement provision. Please also note the other general requirements.

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