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Apply for settlement permit for highly qualified professionals
Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Schleswig-Holstein (Linie6PLus)
If you have an academic degree and are or want to be employed in Germany as a highly qualified specialist, you may be granted a settlement permit in special individual cases - even immediately after your entry.
You are considered to be highly qualified, for example, if you work as a scientist with special expertise or have been able to gain at least two years of professional experience as a teacher in a prominent position.
The settlement permit represents an independent right of residence, independent of the original purpose of residence. It entitles the holder to pursue gainful employment and is unlimited in time and space.
Please note the exceptional nature of the immediate issuance of a settlement permit. The high qualification as such is not sufficient to assume a special individual case. Rather, it depends on the overall consideration of all the facts.
- The settlement permit must be applied for before the validity of your current residence permit expires.
- Find out whether your Aliens' Registration Office allows you to apply online or has a special application form.
- If the application can only be submitted in person, make an appointment at the Aliens' Registration Office. In the case of online application, the Aliens' Registration Office will contact you after receiving your application to schedule an appointment.
- During the appointment, your identity and documents will be checked (please bring your documents, if possible in original, to the appointment).
- Depending on the federal state, it is possible that the approval of another authority is required for the issuance of the settlement permit.
- If your application is approved, your fingerprints will be taken for the production of the settlement permit in the form of the electronic residence title (eAT card).
- The Foreigners' Registration Office will order the production of the eAT card from the Bundesdruckerei. After completion, you will receive information and can pick up the eAT card at the responsible office. The eAT card must always be collected in person.
- If your application is rejected, you will receive a rejection notice.
The foreigners authority responsible for the applicant's place of residence is responsible for processing the application.
- You have an academic degree, which means you possess
- a German university degree,
- a recognized foreign university degree or
- a foreign university degree that is comparable to a German university degree.
If you wish to work in a regulated profession (for example, in academic health professions), recognition of your foreign university degree by the competent body is mandatory.
- You belong to the group of highly qualified professionals, which means that you are for example
- A scientist with special technical knowledge,
- a lecturer in a prominent position
- scientific employee in a prominent function.
The list is not exhaustive.
Special technical knowledge exists if you have a special qualification or knowledge of above-average importance in a special field. This is regularly the case if a research area can be identified in which you have acquired special expertise (for example, through successful projects, research projects or publications). The subject area of your activity is not important.
The prominent function in the case of teaching staff is given in the case of chair holders as well as institute directors.
Scientific employees are considered to have an outstanding function if, in addition to their usual duties, they develop and carry out projects independently, or if they lead or are expected to lead scientific departments, project groups or working groups. The amount of the salary is not important in this case.
- They have an employment contract or a concrete job offer.
- You can provide evidence of at least two years of professional experience.
- Furthermore, a positive prognosis by the foreigners authority is required that your integration into the (legal and social) living conditions of Germany is to be expected (for example, existing knowledge of German, previous stays in Germany or international experience).
- You are able to provide for yourself (and your family) independently (including health insurance), i.e. without recourse to public benefits.
- There are no reasons of public safety and order that prevent you from staying in Germany.
Which documents are required?
- Recognized and valid identity document (for example, passport or passport substitute).
- Visa, if it was required for entry into the country
- Current biometric photo in passport format (45 x 35 mm)
- Proof of livelihood (for example, proof of income, employment contract, equity, pension statement, proof of receipt of benefits such as parental or child support, alimony)
- Proof of health insurance coverage (for example, confirmation of health insurance coverage or insurance policy).
- Proof of special qualifications or work experience (for example, training certificates, certificates of employment)
- Employment contract or binding job offer
- in case of exercising a regulated profession:
- Professional license (for example, approbation, professional permit)
- Recognition of the foreign university degree by the competent authority
The documents and information must generally be submitted in German. In individual cases, the Aliens' Registration Office may require less or further proof.
What are the fees?
Cost amount (fixed): 147,00 Euro
Note: For the issuance of the settlement permit in the form of the electronic residence permit, which can also be used as an electronic proof of identity, additional fees may be charged.
The timing as well as the form of the fee collection as well as the payment vary depending on the authority.
Lower fees may apply for Turkish nationals.
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
Duration (for span): 6 to 8.
Note (for more information on the deadline):
At least six to eight weeks before the expiration of your visa or current residence permit, the application should be received by the Foreigners' Registration Office.
Remark (for more information on the deadline):
The settlement permit is issued for an unlimited period of time. Only the electronic residence title (eAT card) is issued for a limited period of time and must be renewed at the end of its validity.
Duration (with span): approx. 6 to 8
Note for further information on processing time:
The processing time may vary depending on the workload of the Foreigners' Registration Office.
It takes about 4 to 6 weeks for the Bundesdruckerei to produce the electronic residence permit.
- Appeal against the decision of the Aliens Department within one month of notification.
- Action before the court named in the notice of appeal if the appeal is not granted.
Applications / forms
Forms available: No
Written form required: No
Informal application possible: Yes
Personal appearance required: Yes
What else should I know?
- For employment in a non-regulated profession, you can find more information about how your foreign university degree is evaluated in Germany at https://anabin.kmk.org/anabin.html. In addition, there is the possibility of an individual certificate evaluation by the Central Office for Foreign Education to be found at https://www.kmk.org/zab/zentralstellefuer-auslaendisches-bildungswesen.html to prove comparability with a German university degree.
- Knowledge of the German language does not have to be proven in order to obtain a settlement permit.
- The granting of a settlement permit is at the discretion of the competent foreigners authority. Applicants are therefore only entitled to a decision free of discretionary errors.
- The procedure is usually conducted in German.
- A settlement permit may expire in the event of a stay outside Germany of more than six months if this stay abroad was not previously agreed with the foreigners authority.
- All information provided to the Foreigners' Registration Office should be correct and complete to the best of your knowledge and belief, so that the request can be processed without major delays.
- Incorrect or incomplete information can slow down the process and be detrimental to the person concerned. In a serious case, incorrect or incomplete information that is not completed or corrected in time vis-à-vis the Aliens Department may result in the revocation of residence rights already granted, a fine, a prison sentence of up to three years, or expulsion from the Federal territory.
- Due to the complexity of the right of residence, this description is for information purposes only and is not legally binding.
The text was automatically translated based on the German content.
Technically approved by
Ministry of the Interior and for Municipal Affairs of the State of Brandenburg
Professionally released on