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Applying for a settlement permit for holders of a residence permit for international law, humanitarian or political reasons
Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Schleswig-Holstein (Linie6PLus)
As the holder of a residence permit for international law, humanitarian or political reasons, you can obtain a permanent residence permit (so-called settlement permit) after five years under certain conditions.
If you arrived in Germany before the age of 18, please also find out about the settlement permit for underage children and young adults, which is subject to less stringent requirements (see "Issuing a settlement permit for underage children").
If you are in possession of a residence permit as a person entitled to asylum, a recognized refugee under the Geneva Refugee Convention or a resettlement refugee, you can obtain a settlement permit under simplified conditions (see service "Issuing a settlement permit for holders of a residence permit as recognized persons entitled to asylum and refugees").
- You must apply for a settlement permit before the validity of your current residence permit expires.
- Find out whether your foreigners authority allows you to apply online or has a special application form.
- If you can only apply in person, make an appointment at the immigration office. If you apply online, the Foreigners' Registration Office will contact you after receiving your application to arrange an appointment.
- During the appointment, your identity and documents will be checked (please bring your documents to the appointment, in the original if possible).
- If your application is approved, your fingerprints will be taken to produce a new electronic residence permit (eAT card).
- The Foreigners' Registration Office will commission the Bundesdruckerei to produce the eAT card. After completion, you will receive information and can collect the eAT card from the responsible office. The eAT card must always be collected in person.
- If your application is rejected, you will receive a notice of rejection.
The foreigners authority responsible for the applicant's place of residence is responsible for processing the application.
- You are in possession of a valid residence permit for reasons of international law, humanitarian or political reasons (see Section 5 of the Residence Act)
- You have been in possession of the residence permit for at least five years (periods of asylum proceedings are taken into account).
- You and your spouse or registered partner are able to support yourselves and the members of your household (including health insurance) without claiming public benefits.
Please note: The means of subsistence can also be provided by third parties (e.g. spouses, registered partners, parents).
An independent means of subsistence is not required if you have an illness or disability that prevents you from supporting yourself.
- You have paid at least 60 months of compulsory or voluntary contributions to the statutory pension insurance or expenses for an entitlement to comparable benefits from an insurance company.
Please note: In a marriage or registered civil partnership, it is sufficient if the partner fulfills this requirement.
The requirement does not have to be met if an illness or disability prevents this.
- You have a permanent work permit and, if you work in a regulated profession, the required professional license (e.g. license to practice medicine or professional permit).
Please note: In a marriage or registered civil partnership, it is sufficient if the partner has the permits.
- You have sufficient knowledge of German (level B1). If you were not entitled to participate in an integration course or were not obliged to participate, simple knowledge of the German language at level A1 is sufficient.
Please note: You do not need to have sufficient language skills if you have an illness, disability or other reasons that make learning the language impossible or unreasonable in the long term.
- You have a basic knowledge of German law and social order.
Please note: You do not have to provide proof of this knowledge if you have an illness, disability or other reasons that make it permanently impossible or unreasonable to expect you to learn the language.
- You have sufficient living space (for yourself and your family).
- You are not in possession of a humanitarian residence permit according to
- § Section 24 (residence permit for temporary protection),
- § Section 25 (4) sentence 1 (residence permit for urgent personal or humanitarian reasons),
- § Section 25 (4a) sentence 1 or Section 25 (4b) sentence 1 (residence permit for certain victims of crime) or
- § Section 104a (1) sentence 1 (probationary residence permit)
of the Residence Act ( no settlement permit can be issued for these).
- You have no criminal record.
- There is no interest in deporting you
Which documents are required?
- Recognized and valid identity document (e.g. passport or passport substitute)
- Current biometric photo in passport format (45 x 35 mm)
- Proof of means of subsistence (e.g. proof of income, employment contract, pension certificate, proof of receipt of benefits such as parental or child benefit, maintenance payments) or proof of an illness or disability that prevents independent means of subsistence (e.g. by means of a specialist medical opinion, proof of residential care).
- Proof of health insurance cover (e.g. confirmation of health insurance cover or insurance policy)
- Proof of pension contributions made (e.g. pension information from the German Pension Insurance or proof of entitlement to comparable benefits from another insurance or pension institution) or proof of an illness or disability that prevents independent pension provision (e.g. through a specialist medical opinion, proof of institutionalization).
- Professional license (e.g. license to practice medicine, professional permit) if practicing a regulated profession
- Proof of knowledge of the German language at level A1 or B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (e.g. language certificate, German school, training or university certificates or proof of successful participation in an integration course) or proof of illness, disability or other reasons that make learning the language impossible or unreasonable in the long term (e.g. by means of a specialist medical opinion, proof of residential care).Proof of basic knowledge of the legal and social order in Germany (e.g. certificate or certificate of successful participation in an integration course) or proof of illness, disability or other reasons that make learning the language impossible or unreasonable in the long term (e.g. through a specialist medical opinion, proof of residential care).
- Proof of basic knowledge of the legal and social order in Germany (e.g. certificate or certificate of successful participation in an integration course) or proof of illness, disability or other reasons that make learning the language impossible or unreasonable in the long term (e.g. by means of a specialist medical opinion, proof of residential care).
- Proof of sufficient living space (rental or purchase contract that provides information about the living space)
- If you were obliged to attend an integration course: Certificate of successful participation in the integration course
The documents and information must always be submitted in German. In individual cases, the Immigration Office may require less or further proof.
What are the fees?
Free of charge
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
6 weeks to 8 weeks
The application should be received by the Aliens' Registration Office at least six to eight weeks before the current residence permit expires.
Period of validity:
The settlement permit is issued for an unlimited period. Only the electronic residence permit (eAT card) is issued for a limited period and must be renewed at the end of its validity.
Duration: approx. 6 weeks to 8 weeks
The processing time may vary depending on how busy the immigration office is.
The production of the electronic residence permit by the Bundesdruckerei takes about 4 to 6 weeks.
- Appeal against the decision of the immigration authority
- Legal action before the court named in the notice of objection if the objection is not upheld
Applications / forms
Forms available: No
Written form required: No
Informal application possible: Yes
Personal appearance necessary: Yes
What else should I know?
- The granting of a settlement permit is at the discretion of the responsible immigration authority. Applicants are therefore only entitled to a discretionary decision.
- Minors and young adults who received a residence permit as a person entitled to asylum or recognized refugee before reaching the age of 18 are requested to obtain information about the "Settlement permit for underage children" service. This settlement permit is issued on a different legal basis under simplified conditions from the age of 16 (§ 35 of the Residence Act).
Please note: It is not sufficient if you entered the country as a minor and were in an ongoing asylum procedure when you came of age.
- The procedure is usually conducted in German.
- A settlement permit can expire if you stay outside Germany for more than six months if this stay abroad was not previously agreed with the foreigners authority.
- Holders of a residence permit as a person entitled to asylum or recognized refugee (including resettlement refugees) can in principle also obtain a settlement permit in accordance with this provision, but a settlement permit in accordance with Section 26 (3) of the Residence Act will generally be more favourable for them. Those affected should inform themselves about the service "Issuing a settlement permit for holders of a residence permit as recognized persons entitled to asylum and refugees".
- All information provided to the Foreigners' Registration Office should be correct and complete to the best of your knowledge and belief so that your application can be processed without major delays.
- Incorrect or incomplete information can slow down the procedure and be detrimental to the person concerned. In serious cases, incorrect or incomplete information that is not completed or corrected in good time vis-à-vis the immigration authority can result in the revocation of residence rights that have already been granted, a fine, a prison sentence of up to three years or expulsion from the federal territory.
- Due to the complexity of residence law, 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 Municipal Affairs of the State of Brandenburg
Professionally released on