Residence-permits and work visa in Germany

Residence Permit in Germany

Residence Permit in Germany


Germany is such an attractive and well rounded country, no wonder you'd like to spend some time here. If you are however, planning a stay that is longer than the three months permitted without a visa, then you will have to look into getting a residence permit. There are many ways in which this can be options. The basics, however, lie on going to the Ausländerbehörde once you are in Germany. The  Ausländerbehörde is where you will apply for your residence permit.


There are quite a few ways in which one may be able to receive a residence permit to stay in Germany for a longer period of time. What needs to be noted, however, is that residence permits are not permanent and thus they will come with an expiry date. Often there is a criteria that the person who has been issued a permit will need to fulfill in order to be able to renew their residence permit.


Ways in which one may obtain a residence permit:


Through marriage- If you are married to a German citizen you may be able to apply for a residence permit. However, upon receiving this permit you will be required to attend German courses as well as an integrations course before your permit expires. Provided you have followed all the requirements you may be able to extend the length of your permit. After a certain period of time in Germany and sufficient proof that you have managed to integrate well into the society, you may be eligible to receive permanent residence.



Through Study- If you would like to attend a University in Germany, you may also be eligible to receive a residence permit. You will have to present certain documentation from your old school, proving that you have the qualifications necessary to attend university. The first permit you may be issued, will allow you to stay in Germany in order to view and apply to the universities of your choice. Once this period ends, or once you have found a school you would like to attend, then you'll need to move forward with documentation.


Through employment- If you have accepted a job in Germany, you will need the correct documents from your employer in order to go through with getting your residence permit. One may also obtain a residence permit through self employment. This route is not always an easy one as you will be required to meet certain criteria, and prove that your company will benefit the German society in a positive manner. There may also be a monetary amount that you will have to show, proving that you can indeed go forward with your plans to set up a business in Germany.



What you may need:


-        Proof of health insurance

-        Passport

-        Biometric Passport Sized Photographs

-        Birth Certificate

-        Marriage Certificate

-        Proof of Address

-        Proof that you will be able to support yourself


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Dual Citizenship- Germany/United States of America

German citizenship, American citizenship or both?

There are a few circumstances under which one may obtain both American and German citizenship.

These Include:

  • Being born to an American parent and a German parent

  • Being born in the United States and having a German parent

  • Being born in Germany and having an American parent

  • Being German, living legally in the United States for a long period of time.

Acquiring American Citizenship:

For Germans living and working in the United States for an extended period of time, there may be certain benefits that come with applying for and obtaining American citizenship. In some cases, this may result in the loss of German citizenship. In order to prevent this repercussion, a Beibehaltungsgenehmigung needs to be received prior to applying for neutralization. The Beibehaltungsgenehmigung serves as a right of retention and is a special permit that prevents the individual from losing their German citizenship and thus being able to have dual citizenship.

In previous years, the naturalization process was one of the main reasons German lost their citizenship. Germany does not particularly favor dual citizenship, but they do, however, make exceptions where they see fit and thus the importance of the Beibehaltungsgenehmigung  comes into play. Upon consideration of an American citizenship, an application needs to be filed with the appropriate parties of the German Consulate. Once this procedure is carried out, the documents will be processed in Germany at the Bundesverwaltungsamt  and a decision will be made as to whether the claim for dual citizenship is viable or not. Once the go ahead is given and the Beibehaltungsgenehmigung is received, the process of acquiring American citizenship may continue. Provided one goes ahead with the process prior to receiving the permit, they may have put their chances of getting dual citizenship at risk.

Germany's leniency towards dual citizenship comes with the understanding that there are certain conditions in which an individual working in the United States may face restrictions due to their nationality and thus, in order to fully benefit from living and working in the United States, American citizenship is essential. The ability to retain German citizenship is essential for those who still have essential ties to their native country, such as family and property. This understanding may be analyzed during the process where a decision needs to be made on whether or not the applicant meets the right criteria for a Beibehaltungsgenehmigung.

Those born in Germany to non German parents, may have to make a decision as to which citizenship they wish to hold on to. The general rule is that by the time a child reaches 23 years of age, they have to discard their American citizenship in order to keep their German citizenship.



For more information on dual German and American citizenship, refer the following websites:



You can also contact the American or German consulate and speak with a representative on how to proceed with your aims to acquire dual citizenship. [...]

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German residency permit renewal

If you are the holder of an Aufenhaltserlaubnis (residence permit), then at some point or another you may need to get your permit renewed. An Aufenhaltserlaubnis is a document that is given to those who are offered a limited stay in Germany. This card is typically given to students, those who are permitted to Germany due to familial ties, training, asylum, a German spouse, mother/father of a German child.


Your Aufenhaltserlaubnis is typically granted for one year and can be extended at the Ausländerbehörde (Aliens Department) provided you have a valid reason to stay in Germany for a longer than initially planned. Some holders of the Aufenhaltserlaubnis are allowed to work. This information is visible on the bottom section of the card.


Provided an extension needs to be made to your residence permit, report to the Aliens Department. You don't typically need an appointment but are allowed to schedule one if you so please. Upon arriving you take a number and wait until you are called by an agent who is responsible for dealing with your residence permit. Agents usually work with permit holders based on an alphabetical grouping of their last names. The permit can be renewed four weeks before the expiration date shown on your residence permit.

Ensure that you have all the necessary documents together and recent copies of everything needed. This may include:

  1. Photographs (Biometric)

  2. Proof of insurance

  3. Passport

  4. Proof that you have completed a German integration course (if required)

  5. Confirmation of address

What to expect:

 ·         For those who have received a residence permit through marriage to a German, you may be required to take a B German course that includes an integration course (where you learn about German culture, politics, etc). This is typically one of the requirements for being able to renew your residence permit. You may also be required to have your German spouse accompany you to the interview.

 ·         Processing of the documents may take up to two weeks, in some cases longer. Once the residence permit is ready you will receive a letter in the post. For those married to a German national, your spouse will be required to accompany you to the Ausländerbehörde in order to sign a document confirming that you are still married and have no intentions of ending the marriage.

 ·         In the case that your residence permit expires before the new permit is issued, you'll receive a Fiktionbescheinigung from the Ausländerbehörde. The Fiktionbescheinigung is a temporary certificate that serves to prove that you are still indeed legal, regardless of your residence permit being expired.

 ·         Processing fees can range anywhere from as low as 5 euros to as high as 60 euros. This fee is paid at the Aliens Department upon applying for the extension of your residence permit and is non refundable.


Ensure that you follow all necessary protocols in order to allow the process to run smoothly. If you are uncertain about what documents you may or may not need, contact the Ausländerbehörde before your visit to clarify. In the case that your documents aren't up to date or required information is missing, you may have to either send these documents via mail, or you may be asked to come in for another interview. [...]

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How to get an Unrestricted Work Permit in Germany and Gain Permanent Residency

After you have moved to Germany and worked there for a couple of years and settled down, you may have considered permanent residence. It is common to fall in love with a new place and decide to stay. Luckily, there are ways for you to stay in Germany permanently as a resident.

Unrestricted Work Permit

Work permits issued in Germany are typically only valid for a set number of years, after which you either renew the work permit or head back home. For those who decide they want to stay indefinitely, there is the Unrestricted Work Permit. In order to qualify for the Unrestricted Work Permit, you must have worked for at least two years in Germany on a valid work permit. You also must have been contributing to Germany’s social programs and taxes, as is required of German citizens. If you do qualify, you should take the appropriate documentation to the local Registry Office, known as the Einwohnemeldeamt, Auslanderamt, or Kreisverwaltungsreferat, depending on where you are in Germany. The paperwork you will need when you go to the Registry Office includes the following: proof that you have been working in Germany for the past two years on a verified visa, most likely in the form of a signed statement from your employer; your past two or three most recent pay statements; proof of health insurance; proof of residency; and it is wise to bring your passport and visa as well. Should you qualify, you would then be able to receive the Unrestricted Work Permit.

Unrestricted Residence Permit

The Unrestricted Residence Permit is a little bit different from the Unrestricted Work Permit. In order to qualify for the Unrestricted Residence Permit, you must have been a resident in Germany for at least five years – or three years if you are married to a German citizen. You must also be able to communicate well in German. The Unrestricted Residence Permit does not have the same restrictions as the regular residence permit you apply for upon arrival.


Gaining citizenship in another country can be a long and difficult process. In order to qualify for citizenship in Germany you must:

·         Have been a resident in Germany for at least three to eight years.

·         Have good German language skills

·         Pass the integration course and exam

·         Give up your previous citizenship – though there are several exceptions to this

·         Not be dependent on welfare – though there are some exceptions to this

·         Have no criminal record

Your best option would be to contact a lawyer to help you with the process.

All of the paperwork and legality of changing residence, obtaining permanent residence, and obtaining citizenship in another country can be difficult and confusing. Here are links to some government websites in Germany that may help you. The websites are offered in English.

·         Federal Employment Agency in Germany

·         Federal Foreign Office in Germany


Getting an Unrestricted Work Permit should not be too difficult a task. The Unrestricted Residence Permit takes longer, but should also not be too difficult. Citizenship, of course, will be a bit more difficult, but that is to be expected. Do not let the confusion and difficulty of all of the paperwork, legality, and dealing with government offices and officials stress you out. Things will run a lot more smoothly if you keep a cool head and remember that once it is over, you can take a deep breath and relax.[...]

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Non-EU Residents: Applying for an EU Blue Card to work in Germany

Moving to a new country is big change, and there is a lot to deal with when making that transition. One of the downfalls of such a move is the amount of paperwork that goes with it. Here is a breakdown of the EU Blue Card for foreigners looking to live and work in Germany.

What is the EU Blue Card?

The EU Blue Card is similar to the green card in the United States. It offers proof for a citizen of a non-European Union country to stay in a European Union country to work. The EU Blue Card is only available to skilled workers with university degrees who find a jobs in their field in a country that is a member of the European Union.

How to Apply for the EU Blue Card?

First off, in order to apply for the EU Blue Card, you must have a degree from an accredited university. Secondly, you must have a job in Germany, in your field, and you must make an annual gross salary of at least €46,400. However, if you happen to be a scientist, mathematician, engineer, doctor, or an IT skilled worker, then you are eligible if your annual gross salary is at least €36,92. This is because those skills are more in demand than other skills.

Typically, you will apply for your EU Blue Card after you sign your employment contract, but before you move to Germany. However, if you have the degree but not yet the job, you can apply for a special visa and stay in Germany for six months while you search for employment. Once you have found a job in your field, you can apply for the EU Blue Card or a residence permit.

Citizens from certain countries —the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Republic of Korea, or Israel —are allowed to enter Germany and apply for a residence permit without a visa. Those from these countries are allowed to apply for their EU Blue Card when they already live in Germany.

You are also allowed to apply for the EU Blue Card while already residing in Germany if you have a visa allowing you to reside in the country at the time.

The following documents are necessary to apply for the EU Blue Card:




·         One new biometric photo: it needs to be 35mm x 45mm and show the person facing forwards, looking directly at the camera. The applicant needs to have a neutral facial expression and a closed mouth. The background must be bright.

·         University degree, translated into German

·         Employment contract

·         The application for granting a stay title. A residence permit may be given only on explicit application.

·         The application for permission of an employment. This is only necessary if the approval of the federal agency for labor is needed.

·         The Work Place description form. This is only necessary if the approval of the federal agency for labor is needed.

These documents, or copies of these documents, need to be sent to the appropriate foreign department to apply for your EU Blue Card.


Finding a good paying job right after college is no easy task. If you are one of the lucky few who manage to find a job right away, recognize your luck. Finding a good-paying job in another country is an amazing opportunity, one you should never pass up. Once you have dealt with the tedious details involving your move to Germany, starting your new life in another country should be a wonderful and enlightening experience.[...]

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Aufenhaltstitel electronic residence permit

The electronic residence permit or „elektronischer Aufenthaltstitel“ (eAT) is a document for all people living in Germany who are not EU-citizens. It is the size of a credit card with visual data stored on it as well as data on a chip embedded in the card. Some of the data included on the chip are biometrical pictures of the owner as well as finger prints. On the stof September 20 the eAT replaced the stickers that were previously glued into the passports of the people holding residence permits.


The front side of the eAT consists of the following information:

  • A biometric photograph
  • The 9 digit document number
  • First and last names of the holder
  • The expiration date if it is not unconditional
  • Place of issue
  • The date of the first day of validity
  • Whether it is a "Niederlassungserlaubnis” or an “Aufenthaltserlaubnis”
  • The number of the corresponding passport
  • Expiration date of the corresponding passport
  • Whether or not the holder is permitted to work in Germany
  • The signature of the card holder


The back side of the eAT consists of the following information:

  • The place the card holder was born
  • The date the card holder was born
  • The sex of the card holder
  • The nationality of the card holder
  • The height in cm of the card holder
  • The eye color of the card holder
  • The residence of the card holder
  • The authority that issued the ID


How much does the new electronic residence permit cost?

In previous years, the cost of the electronic residence permit was a mere  50 - 60 Euros in comparison to the new prices which lie between 00 and 0 Euros. The change of the address on the permit, however, is still free of charge.


What advantages does the electronic residence permit provide?



It can serve as a form of identification for immigrants. Non EU-citizens living in Germany can now bring this easy to store ID card and therefore do not have to carry their passport wherever. Another advantage of the electronic residence permit is the online identification feature. When the holder of the card decides to use the service prior to the issuing of the card, he or she is provided with a pin. This pin in combination with the ID card can be used for online identification for services which require the verification of personal data such as address and other data. This feature can come in handy, especially for those who do a lot of online business. [...]

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