Ministry of Labour, Social, Family Affairs and Integration

Residence EU Freedom of Movement

Citizens of the EU/EEA and Switzerland enjoy freedom of movement and have the right to enter and stay in Germany.

EU Freedom of Movement - Hamburg Welcome Portal

EU Citizens

Nationals of the European Union (EU) have the right to free movement. They need neither a visa for entry into Germany nor a residence permit for the stay here. Moreover, EU citizens have unrestricted access to the labour market.

For a period of three months, EU citizens can stay in Germany without conditions. All you need is a valid ID document (identity card or passport).

The following groups have the right to stay for more than 3 months in Germany:

  • Employed or self-employed persons,
  • Jobseekers (usually for up to 6 months),
  • Non-employed persons, as well as students and trainees who have secured livelihood and health insurance,
  • Permanent residents,
  • Family members of the persons mentioned above.

Citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway

Citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have the same right as EU citizens. They have the right to free movement.

Swiss Citizens

Swiss citizens also enjoy freedom of movement. They only need to apply a special declaratory residence permit Switzerland (“Aufenthaltserlaubnis Schweiz”) at their relevant immigration authority. Which immigration authority is relevant for you, depends on your registered address.

Family Members

Family members who are not nationals of the EU/EEA or Switzerland need a visa for entry into Germany and a residence permit for a permanent stay.

More Information

At the website of the European Comission you will find more information about free movement.