Settlement Permit

As of 1 January 2005, the settlement permit is the only residence document with no time limit.
A requirement for this is, among others, very good integration into social and economic life.
A settlement permit may be obtained by someone who
• has had a residence permit for five years,
• can guarantee means of subsistence,
• has paid contributions to the German legal pension insurance for at least 60 months (*1),
• has not been sentenced during the previous three years for crimes (over 6 months of imprisonment a fine that amounts to more than 180 daily rates of income,
• has a permit for employment as an employee,
• is in possession of any other permit that is required for long-term engagement in his/her employment,
• has sufficient knowledge of the German language,
• has basic knowledge of the legal and social order and living circumstances in Federal Territory (*1),
• has sufficient living space.
(*1) this requirement need not be fulfilled if you had a residence permit or residence authorisation before 1 January 2005.

Different conditions apply among others for,:
• the wife, husband and life partner of Germans
• people with the right to asylum and similar people
• children and young people grown up in Germany
• the seriously ill and disabled
• highly qualified migrants
• the self-employed.
If you have received your residence permit under international law or for political or humanitarian reasons, there are limitations. Please obtain information at the Foreigners Authority.
If you still have an unlimited residence permit or residence authorisation from the time before 1 January 2005, then you need not do anything. They will be automatically transferred to a settlement permit when your new passport is issued.