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How You Can Get Permanent Residency or Citizenship of Germany

Though it is not an English country but as you start studying there, you easily get complete hold of German language in the years of education. Germany has a beautiful and unique culture. Every year many traditional events are celebrated that makes Germany more attractive and best for tourism. Many students choose Germany for education so they can enjoy its uniqueness and with that also learn a new language. Learning a new language opens many doors to you.

Students are pleasantly invited to put their expert knowledge and skills to good use in Germany. You can apply for an 18 month residence permit to look for a job that corresponds to your qualifications after you have completed your studies. When you get a job offer which corresponds to your qualifications then you can apply for a German residence permit. You will be guided about exact procedure by your local Foreign Nationals’ Registration office in Germany.

What to Apply For?

Whether you have the opportunity of settling permanently in a country or not, is one of the most important questions asked when deciding a studying abroad destination. Even if someone like me doesn’t want to leave family and settle permanently abroad but still it is good to have the nationality. So, this question is kind of a MUST for a study abroad destination. In order to permanently live in Germany,  you can apply for three types of permits.

1.  Permanent EC Residence

2.  Settlement Permit

3.  German Citizenship


All these three have their requirements and properties only thing common is that you can live forever in Germany. Following I have discussed all three one by one, so you can read and decide for yourself what you want.

Permanent EC Residence:

This type of residency also allows you to live and work in Germany for as long as you want. In Permanent EC Residence, you are also given the liberty to live and work anywhere in whole Europe in addition to Germany. As more perks there are, this one is also not very easy to obtain and require more efforts and conditions to be fulfilled. One thing is always a subject that you must be continuously living in Germany for at least past five years. The conditions to for Permanent EC Residence are as follows:

1.     You must have a secure career ahead of you with a proper retirement plan.

2.    You must have a health insurance.

3.    A proper house to live where there must be at least 13 square meter for each person.

4.    Have proper knowledge of German social system, laws and lifestyle.

5.    Must possess adequate communication skills in German language.

6.    There should not be any sort of criminal record of you.

Settlement Permit:

Settlement Permit is also known as German permanent residence. This, just like Permanent EC Residence, allows you to make a living and work in Germany indefinitely. However, only difference is that you are only bound to Germany instead of whole Europe. You have a permit to live and work in Germany but not in whole Europe. This permit is easier to get compared to Permanent EC Residence. So, there are chances that you can get it sooner than five years by fulfilling certain conditions. Some of the instances that can get earlier residence permit come under the following conditions:

1.     If you are a highly skilled worker in some field you might get an immediate Settlement Permit.

2.    If you have studied and graduated in Germany, there are chances of getting Settlement Permit after two years.

3.    Holders of EU Blue Card can apply for this after working for 21 to 33 months. However, this just for Europeans.

4.    If you have a good stable business of your own in Germany which promises a safe future living, you may get Settlement Permit after three years.

5.    In all above mentioned conditions, some basic necessities are that

i.        You must be independent

ii.        Have adequate German language skills

iii.        Have a health insurance

iv.        Must not have any criminal record

German Citizenship:

Of all permanent living, getting Citizenship is most difficult of all. It has the most rights and most difficult conditions in order to be eligible to apply for it. To get German citizenship, you must first get Permanent residency and live at least 8 years in the country. German citizenship means you are accepted the society, you are more fully integrated to it, you have the same legal status and all rights as any German born has which German permanent residents don’t have.

With German Citizenship, you can freely mover around whole Europe as all Germans can. You can cast a vote and even stand in election. You are given consular protection and you can also get government jobs if you are eligible for it.

There are more than one ways to become eligible for German Citizenship, that are:

1.     German Citizenship via Naturalization

2.    German Citizenship by Marriage (Marrying a German)

3.    German Citizenship by Descent (If your parent(s) is/are German)

4.    German Citizenship by Birth (Born in Germany)


Of above, mentioned ways to becoming a German Citizen, 3rd and 4th point is not exactly in your hand. 2nd method is usually considered the easiest way, however, it is frowned upon and considered unethical. That leaves us with only 1st way of getting German Citizenship that is called Naturalization.

Naturalization Eligibility:

In order to be eligible for German Citizenship via Naturalization, you must fulfill below defined conditions.

1.     Must be living on permanent residency for 8 years.

2.    Must possess adequate communication skills in German language.

3.    There should not be any sort of criminal record of you.

4.    Must be loyal to the constitutional principles of freedom and democracy.


By Usama Ahmed Awan

The Editor of, Usama is a BZU studied Software Engineer, now  a Teacher, Article Writer, Educational Counselor and Journalist. He has been  writing to assist students selecting the right career path.


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