Top 7 Germany Residence Permits – Eligibility and Application Steps

There are several types of Germany residence permits. However, the type of residence permit determines the duration of stay in the country.

Citizens from countries that do not belong to the European Union or the European Economic Area need a residence permit, if they want to enter or take residence in Germany.

Germany is a popular destination for foreigners due to its strong economy and high standard of living. If you are aspiring to move to Germany, obtaining a Germany residence permit is compulsory.

Foreign nationals find it difficult to process residence permit. They see it as a tedious process because they lack the simple information to obtain the German residence permit.

To learn more about what a Germany residence permit entails and how to apply for a residence permit.

What is a German residence permit?

A German residence permit, short form Aufenthaltserlaubnis, is a document that permits a person to stay in Germany for an extended period more than 90 days.

More so, the permit allows the holder to live and work in Germany, as well as access social services and cultural event.

In order to obtain a Germany residence permit, you must meet certain requirements, including having a valid passport and a visa that is valid for the duration of your stay in Germany.

In addition, the residence permit will also be subject to conditions, such as requiring you to register with the local police department.

Top 7 German residence permit

Generally speaking, there are different types of German residence permits available in Germany.

Your whole application process, including the required fees and document, depends majorly on the type of residence permit you are applying for.

Depending on your purpose and length of stay in Germany, it is very important you select the exact type of residence permit.

The types of Germany residence permits are as follows:

  1. Germany temporary residence permit
  2. Permanent residence settlement permit
  3. Germany ICT Card
  4. Mobile ICT Card
  5. Germany EU Blue Card
  6. EU long-term residence permit
  7. Germany Residence Permit

#1. Germany temporary residence permit

A German temporary residence permit allows foreigners to stay in Germany for a specific period.

More so, the permit is required if you are staying in Germany for an extended period, for example if you are studying or working in Germany.

The temporary permit can be issued either by the immigration office or by the local police department.

In addition, you must provide proof of your identity and your reasons for being in Germany.

The permit is renewable, so foreigners can stay in the country as long as they continue to meet the criteria for a temporary residence permit.

However, the Germany temporary permit can be divided into 4 types, they include:

  1. German Residence Permit for Humanitarian or Political Reasons
  2. Student Residence Permit.
  3. German Family Residence Permit
  4. Residence Permit for Temporary Employment.

#2. Permanent Residence Settlement Permit

The Permanent Residence Settlement Permit is a document, which establishes the permanent resident status of an individual in Germany.

In addition, the permit allows the individual live and work in the country without any restrictions.

It is issued to individuals who have been living in Germany for a certain period and have met all the necessary requirements.

The application process can take several months. However, applicants must provide proof of their identity, immigration status and permanent residence.

Once approved, a permanent residence settlement permit will be issued in the applicant’s name.

Eligibility requirements for the permanent residence permit

Prospective applicants who wants to apply for Germany residence permit must fulfil certain conditions:

  • The applicant must have held a temporary residence permit for 5 years.
  • Be financially stable and support yourself and your family without public funds.
  • You have contributed to a statutory pension scheme for at least 60 months or can provide evidence of a comparable old-age provision.
  • The applicant must have a living space that is large enough to accommodate you and your family members.
  • You do not have a criminal record.
  • Lastly, applicant must pass the “Life in Germany” test to prove that you have sufficient knowledge about German culture and legal and social order.

#3. Germany ICT Card

The ICT Card (Intra-Corporate Transfer) is a temporary residence permit for workers employed in companies outside of Germany, so that these employees can be transferred to subsidiaries within the EU.

In addition, you can only apply for a new German ICT Card after your previous transfer has ended for at least six months.

The main criteria set for prospective applicants under German Intra-Corporate Transfer Card includes:

  • The applicant works in a particular company for at least six months prior to the transfer.
  • Applicant must be Non-European citizen.
  • He or she must work in Germany as a manager, specialist or trainee.
  • Applicant must provide proof of professional qualifications, a valid employment contract and assignment letter.

#4. Mobile ICT Card

The Mobile ICT card is issued to employees from other EU countries who have already received an ICT card in another EU country and are to be sent to a German branch of their company for more than 3 months.

However, you can receive a Mobile ICT card if you are to work as a manager, specialist or trainee in a German branch of a foreign company.

The main criteria set for prospective applicants under Mobile ICT Card includes:

  • Applicant must work as a manager, specialist or trainee in Germany.
  • He or she must have a recognized and valid passport or passport replacement.
  • Applicant must hold a residence permit from another Member State valid for the duration of the application procedure for the purpose of intra-corporate transfer.
  • German Federal Employment Agency must approve the exercise of employment.

#5. Germany EU Blue Card

The German EU Blue Card allows qualified third-country nationals to move to Germany on a contract basis.

Furthermore, the blue card scheme allows to skilled workers to move to Germany as it provides an easier way to get a long-term residence permit for in-demand workers.

The alternative to a German EU Blue Card is a regular employment visa for qualified professionals or a visa for jobseekers if you have not found a job yet.

Hence, if you have a higher education degree and able to get a well-paying job in Germany, the EU Blue Card is the best option.

German EU Blue Card Requirements

The German EU Blue Card has some specific requirements that you need to fulfill before you can apply. They include:

  1. University or Masters Degree Certificate: Depending on the type of job, a minimum of a University degree certificate is required.

However, some jobs require a Master’s Degree in order to qualify for the German EU Blue         Card.

  1. Work Experience: You need at least 5 years of work experience.
  2. An employment contract: During your application, you need to submit a signed employment contract.

#6. EU long-term residence permit

The EU long-term residence permit is permanent permit, which enables you to live and work in any EU member country.

To be eligible, third-country citizens must have lived in the EU country where they apply for at least five years.

In addition, the best thing about an EU long-term residence permit is that it is permanent and automatically renewable after a specific period.

#7. Germany Residence Permit

German residence permits are issued to foreigners who have a permanent residence in Germany and meet certain requirements.

In addition, the permit allows the holder to live and work in Germany, as well as travel within the country.

The permit is typically issued after a qualifying period of residence has been met. Requirements for obtaining a German residence permit may vary depending on the type of permit sought.

Requirements for Germany Residence Permit

To get your residence permit to live and work in Germany, your application must include:

  • Valid passport.
  • Health insurance certificate (you can get an insurance certificate from DR-WALTER, MondialCare etc).
  • 2 current 35mm x 45mm passport photograph.
  • Proof of income i.e your German bank statements.
  • Completed permit application form.
  • Proof of employment contract.
  • Completed job description form.
  • Proof of residence your address registration.
  • A marriage certificate if you plan to join your spouse in Germany.

Guidelines on how to apply for a Germany Residence Permit

As it is known, every successful application process requires dedication and attention. Therefore, you need to pay optimum attention to the following steps to launch you into greatness.

Here are the steps to apply for a Germany Residence Permit.

Step 1: Register your address in Germany

You can visit Germany at any time after receiving your visa. Within two weeks after your arrival, you must register your address in Germany.

At the registration office that is most convenient for your house, register your address.

Step 2: Apply for a Germany Residence Permit

The next step is to submit an application for your German residence permit by submitting an application form.

You have 90 days to complete this task starting on the day you enter Germany. Application procedures are quick and easy.

Most importantly, you must schedule a meeting at the immigration office that is close to where you reside in Germany.

Step 3: Attend the interview

On the day of your appointment, you need to be punctual. There you will meet an immigration to whom you need to give the documents as required.

They might ask some personal questions about your whereabouts and other travel details.

Thus, make sure your answers are correct and that they comply with the information in the application form and the other documents. The interview may last around 10-15 minutes.

Step 4: Proceed to pay your residence permit application fees

Every applicant must be aware that the foreigner’s office will charge a fee to process a German residence permit application.

The cost is usually between €50 and €100 depending on location and the complexity of your case.

Your fees will not be refunded if your application is rejected. However, you need to be aware that not all offices in Germany accept credit or debit cards.

Step 5: Wait for an answer on your application

Once you submit necessary documents and you have paid, the foreigner’s office will assess your application.

Depending on the type of residence permit you are applying for, they may also have to contact the Federal Employment Agency.

The process usually takes two to four weeks but it can be longer during busy periods. During this time, a certificate stating that you are processing a residence permit will cover you.  

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get appointment for residence permit in Germany?

You can visit the nearest immigration office, or you can apply online. Then, you will receive an email notification regarding your appointment.

Can I work in France with German residence permit?

Yes, you must obtain a work permit before you can take up paid employment in France.

Can I move to Germany without a job?

Yes, you can move to Germany without a job if you intend to start your own business.

Can I travel to other Schengen countries with residence permit?

A residence permit issued by a Schengen State allows you to travel while respecting the maximum duration of a short stay of 90 days.

Can I travel to UK from Germany with German residence permit?

A Germany residence permit does not entitle you to travel to the UK without a visa.


In summary, the German residence permit is a great opportunity for individuals who wants to live, work and study in Germany.

The permit allows you to stay in Germany for a period of time and provide you with various benefits, including healthcare and unemployment insurance.

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