Permanent Residency – two words that might sound like magic to many third country nationals in Germany. One day, once you have dedicated many years of your life to living in Germany, paid lots of tax, paid lots of visits to the Ausländerbehörde, and donated a good chunk of money into the German state pension system, permanent residency will be within your grasp.
Here are the prerequisites for Permanent EC Residence:
- You have lived in Germany legally for at least five years (60 months) uninterrupted
- You can support yourself
- You have sufficient health insurance
- You pay your taxes
- You have paid into the German pension system for 60 months
- You have an adequate knowledge of the German language, the German social and political systems, German law, and general living conditions
- You have sufficient living space
- You don’t pose a threat to public security (terrorism, crime, extremist activity)
If you’re lucky enough to be granted permanent EC residence, you can also live permanently in another EU country.
A settlement permit for Germany only may be possible sooner than five years into your German residency if you are highly qualified, you hold an EU blue card, or you have graduated from a higher education institute in Germany.
If you’ve been in Germany for eight interrupted years, you might choose to be naturalized and become a German citizen if you fulfill the criteria, but in many cases, you would have to renounce your former citizenship.
A small and strange tip: if you’re gunning for permanent residency and you think you have your ducks in a row, take your TV/Radio Tax membership statement with you. We have heard a story of someone being rejected because they couldn’t prove that they paid GEZ/Rundfunkgebühren, even though they could highlight it on their bank statements!
If you’re angling at permanent residency in Berlin, you probably have been in Germany long enough to grasp the German language, however, if you’d like an interpreter to come to your appointment all the same, have a chat to Red Tape Translation.
Red Tape Translation is now in its third year of business, helping English speaking expats with the linguistic aspects of life in Germany: appointments at public offices, telephone help, translations, work permit preparation, etc. Talk to Red Tape Translation for help with calling your landlord, getting a tax number for freelance work, getting your birth certificate translated, or transferring your driver’s license to a German one.