How to get your residence permit in Germany

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If you are from outside the EU and want to migrate to Germany, there is one crucial piece of documentation you must complete: the residency permit or Aufenthaltstitel. This is the document that allows you to stay in Germany for a more extended time than your temporary travel visa allows.

We’ve already provided tips on creating a bank account, registering your residence, and obtaining health insurance in Germany, as you’ll almost certainly need documentation for all three before proceeding. But, before we get there, let’s clear up any possible misunderstandings.

The difference between a visa and a residence permit

You can enter Germany and remain for up to 90 days with a journey, business, or student “visa.” You do not need to file a separate application to enter Germany if you are a citizen of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, or much of South America (complete list here).

You can enter and exit the nation freely via the standard procedure, in which a border official inspects your passport and stamps it with a date. You must apply for a second visa to enter Germany if you are a citizen of China, India, Russia, or most of Africa.

This is not the same as a “residence permit,” which permits you to stay in Germany for an extended time. This tutorial will explain how to apply for a residence visa and, eventually, permanent residency, whether you want to work as an employee, freelancer, artist, or student at a university or language school.

Applying for your residence permit as an employee

The first stage in obtaining a German residence visa is deciding what you will accomplish while in Germany. Suppose you want to work for a firm. In that case, you must establish that you are a highly qualified applicant. Your employer must demonstrate to the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) that you deserve a position more than a German or EU citizen due to the Priority Principle (Vorrangprinzip).

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

Valid passport—confirm that your access will not expire throughout your stay.

You may get one current 35mm x 45mm biometric photo at any Fotofix booth in any U-Bahn station around the country.

Your German bank statements will suffice as proof of income.

Your work contract will suffice as proof of employment.

Proof of health insurance—your insurance card will suffice

Your address registration (Meldebescheinigung) will suffice as proof of residency.

Completed application for a residence permit (also known as an Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels)

Completed employment authorization form (Antrag auf Erlaubnis einer Beschäftigung)

Job description form (also known as the Stellenbeschreibung) completed

Depending on the intricacy of your case, the application cost ranges from €50 to €110.

If you’ve previously completed the three primary steps—opening a bank account, registering your residence, and obtaining health insurance—you should be ready to apply. Your employer will create your application materials and send them to the Foreigners’ Office (Ausländerbehörde) for assessment.

If accepted, you will be given an appointment to come in and pick up your new residence permit in person. If this is your first visit, you will be given an Aufenthaltserlaubnis, restricted permission with an expiry date that you can renew before it expires.

This is the simplest method since your employer will handle all of the application forms, and you will share the duty of demonstrating that you are a highly qualified individual who deserves the position.

Applying for your residence permit as a freelancer, artist, or self-employed

The circumstances are somewhat different if you intend to be independent or work as a consultant or musician instead of functioning full-time for a company. You should be able to show that you have enough earnings to sustain your life and your job without ending up being a problem for the state.

This holds for labor in various careers, including the arts. If you are a self-employed musician, author, or artist, you have to have the ability to reveal a body of work in addition to simple tasks.

Your application for a residence visa in Germany as a freelancer or artist must contain the following:

The passport must be valid.

One current biometric picture (35mm x 45mm)

Evidence of health insurance

Evidence of residency

Completed application for a residence permit (also known as an Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels)

Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a current document that details your professional career, diploma, qualification certifications, and references or sponsors.

Financing plan—this document outlines your available money to finance your job, including liquid funds, physical assets, loans, and venture capital.

A revenue projection, often known as a profit/loss statement, covers your estimated costs for the next three years, including rent, insurance fees, and taxes.

Depending on the intricacy of your case, the application cost ranges from €50 to €110.

If you’re most likely to be freelance, you’ll require whatever is over, plus a couple of extra papers:

Company account–this record contains all pertinent details about your company, such as primary evidence of its presence, names of managing supervisors, total equity, yearly turnover, main service address in your city, and features.

Funding Demand Strategy: This paper details all the future expenses you might sustain or might call for financing to begin your firm, consisting of workplace improvements, licensing charges, automobile services, and also even more.

Service principle– this is an accurately created collection of summaries regarding your business consisting of the sector, the target consumers, advertising and marketing, sales techniques, market projections, and threats.

Service strategy—this is a recap of all the various other files, like your funding strategy and income, anticipate that discusses the high degree of your business.

This may appear to be a lot, but you can get layouts for the majority, if not all, of these files on your city’s primary online solution site. You’ll need to translate each line into German, although the layout is similar to analogous files in your language.

Suppose you’ve never completed these records before or are unsure about the specific quantities for your resource requirements or earnings. In that case, it’s advised to provide your best quotations, or even better, merely phone your area migration workplace to inquire.

Applying for your residence permit as a student

If you are interested in examining at a German college, you can look for a home authorization after efficiently registering throughout the 90 days remaining on your trainee visa.

You’ll likely be supplied a two-year home license, which you can quickly extend for the whole period of your research.
To obtain your home authorization in Germany as a college student, your application needs to consist of:

The passport must be valid.

One current biometric picture (35mm x 45mm)

Evidence of health insurance

Evidence of residency

Admission to your study program certificate

Completed application for a residence permit (also known as an Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels)

Proof of secure livelihood—this can be a German Sperrkonto bank account with at least €9,936, a notarized declaration from your parents guaranteeing to support your livelihood during your studies with proof of their income for the previous six months, a scholarship, or a commitment declaration (Verpflichtungserklärung) from another third party.

Depending on the intricacy of your case, the application cost ranges from €60 to €110.

The process is nearly comparable if you want to take an intensive language course, which generally means you’ll attend daily sessions for a minimum of 18 hours per week. These criteria are not met by night or weekend courses. The maximum period of stay for language course students is one year.

Your application for a residence visa in Germany as a language course student must include:

The passport must be valid.

One current biometric picture (35mm x 45mm)

Evidence of health insurance

Evidence of residency

Completed application for a residence permit (also known as an Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels)

Proof of secure livelihood—this can be a German Sperrkonto bank account with at least €10,932, a notarized declaration from your parents guaranteeing to support your livelihood during your studies with proof of their income from the previous six months, or a commitment declaration (Verpflichtungserklärung) from another third party.

Enrollment certificate from your intensive language school

Depending on the intricacy of your case, the application cost ranges from €60 to €110.

Becoming a permanent resident in Germany

Once you’ve obtained your short-lived home authorization as well as have stayed in Germany for some time, you may begin to consider ultimately ending up being an irreversible citizen.

For that to take place, you’ll intend to apply for long-term residency (Niederlassungserlaubnis), which will undoubtedly give you the right to completely reside in Germany without an expiration day on your house license. You’ll additionally be enabled to function without requiring authorization from the Federal Employment Agency each time you alter tasks.

To apply for permanent residency in Germany, you must meet the following requirements:

Five years of continuous residence in Germany with a residence permit

Five years of stable income, including health and social insurance (pension) contributions.

Living area sufficient for you and your family (at least 13 sqm per person)

German language proficiency is required (at least B1 level)

Understanding of the German legal and social systems

There is no criminal record.

Getting German citizenship by naturalization, a Blue Card, and various other methods to obtain your house authorization are outside the scope of this post, yet deserve looking into if your instance is distinct. The abovementioned procedures may appear challenging, but they’re much less complicated when you bear in mind that you must manage the documents yearly or every couple of years. And also, as numerous deportees will certainly inform you, the satisfaction of being authorized to stay in Germany for longer than simply a brief vacation ultimately makes it rewarding.

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