Settlement permit in Germany for EU Blue Card holders - official Manual

How to obtain a Settlement Permit for Germany if you have a Blue Card (Example: Berlin)

Being a Blue Card allows you to get the permanent residence permit not after usual 4 years (48 months), but after 33 months. Moreover, if your German skills sufficient command* of the German language, the period will be shortened to a minimum of 21 months of employment.


  • Application in writing
    Please file an application with the Berlin Immigration Office**.
    You will either receive an invitation for a personal interview or a notification of charges. Please enclose with your application a copy of the documents specified in the section “Documents required”.

  • Possession of an EU Blue Card:

    - 21 months of employment and sufficient command of the German language (B1-level);
    - 33 months of employment and basic knowledge of the German language (B1-level);

  • Old-age provision
    You must have paid contributions to the statutory Pension Fund for the duration of your employment (33 or 21 months). Acceptable are as well contributions paid for entitlement to comparable benefits by another insurance or pension institution..

  • Secured means of subsistance including health insurance
    Secured means of support include an adequate health insurance for you and the members of your family:
    - if you have a statutory health insurance, you are adequately insured.
    - if you have a private health insurance, please make sure that type and
    - scope of your health insurance are adequate.

    For more information, please read the leaflet Information on adequate health insurance.
  • No criminal record
    Even fines may prevent the granting of a permanent settlement permit.

  • Main residence in Berlin***
    Your main residence is in Berlin. If you have your main residence in other German city, you have to apply for the Blue Card there.

    Documents required

  • Valid passport, together with your EU Blue Card;

  • 1 current photo (biometric, 35mm x 45mm);
    Not older than 6 months foto - frontal shot with neutral facial expression and closed mouth, looking straight into the camera, light background;

  • Form Antrag auf Erteilung einer Niederlassungserlaubnis;

  • Proof of income
    - contract of employment,
    - current certificate issued by the employer (not older than 14 days) and,
    - salary statements for the last 6 months;

  • Lease or proof of home ownership
    Proofs of living space and of monthly rent or cost of housing of own property (house or apartment) have to be supplied;

  • Old-age provision
    Pension information notice issued by the German Pension Fund,
    proof of entitlement to comparable benefits by another insurance or pension institution.

  • Health insurance
    Please submit either the insurance card issued by your statutory health insurance OR the insurance policy issued by a private health insurance company;

  • Proof of main residence in Berlin
    Certificate of registration at the main residence,
    lease and written confirmation of occupancy from the landlord;


    For the issue of the permanent settlement permit: 113.00 euros.
    If the application must be rejected: 56.50 euros.
    For Turkish citizens: a maximum of 28.80 euros.

    How To Proceed

    Step 1: learn the Prerequisites;
    Step 2: go through the list of required documents. Make your own list of missing documents;
    Step 3: make an appointment for the language test (if applicable);
    Step 4: make an appointment with the local Immigration authority;
    Step 5: download the application form Antrag auf Erteilung einer Niederlassungserlaubnis. Fill it out and sign it;
    Step 6: appear personally at the Ausländerbehörde on the booked date and time;
    Step 7: submit the application and the other documents for the permanent residence permit (settlement permit, Niederlassungserlaubnis) and pay the fee. Done!

    Processing time: immediately (if sticker in passport) or 4-6 weeks (if settlement permit is issued in the form of plastic card).

    Average time to process request

    Since the EU Blue Card is generally issued as an electronic residence permit, it is recommended that the interview takes place 8 weeks before your previous residence title expires.

    Responsible authorities

    You can only make use of this service at the location Friedrich-Krause-Ufer of the Berlin Immigration Office.

    * - that means, if you have B1 certificate you are on the safe side. And what if you do not have a B1 certificate? My own experience shows that officials are often very loyal. You just show an German A2 certificate or B1 course attendance confirmation (not a B1-level certificate itself). And that is quite enough, it works! You cannot expect to get a settlement permit with basic knowledge under B1 level but you can / should try, because it works quite often;
    ** - Berlin Immigration Office is also known as LEA which stays for Landesamt für Einwanderung. More terms and abbreviations see in GLOSSARY.
    *** - remember this fees are for Berlin as example. In other federal states the fee can vary.
    Tax refund - how to get a (significant) part of paid taxes back

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    25.04.20 ©️ Jaroslav Plotnikov ( All articles )
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