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Apply for settlement permit for EU Blue Card holders

If you are the holder of a residence title "EU Blue Card", you can apply for a settlement permit after only 21 or 33 months.

Process flow

  • The permanent residence permit must be applied for before the validity of your current EU Blue Card expires.
  • Find out whether your Foreigners' Registration Office allows you to apply online or whether you have a special application form.
  • If the application is only possible in person, please make an appointment with the locally responsible Foreigners' Registration Office. In the case of an online application, the Foreigners' Registration Office will contact you after receiving your application to make an appointment.
  • During the appointment at the Foreigners' Registration Office, your identity and proof will be checked (please bring your documents, if possible in the original, to the appointment).
  • If your application is granted, the Foreigners' Registration Office will arrange for the settlement permit to be issued by the Federal Printing Office (in the form of an electronic residence permit, or eAT card for short). For this purpose, your fingerprints will be taken.
  • After completion, you will receive information and can pick up the eAT card from the responsible office. Since the eAT card is connected to an online ID function, you must always pick it up in person.
  • If your application is rejected, you will receive a rejection notice.


  • You possess a valid EU Blue Card (residence title).
  • Within the scope of the issued EU Blue Card, you have been employed in a job corresponding to your qualifications and have received a salary that corresponds to the applicable minimum annual gross salary (this amounts to 56,400.00 euros in 2022, for example; for so-called shortage occupations, the limit in 2022 is 43,992.00 euros).
  • You would like to continue your work in a job corresponding to your qualifications with the corresponding minimum salary.
  • You can secure a living for yourself and your family without claiming public benefits.
  • You have adequate health insurance coverage.
  • You have a permanent employment permit.
  • If you are working in a regulated profession, you must hold the required professional license (for example, approbation or professional permit).
  • If you wish to obtain a settlement permit after 21 months:
    • You have been in possession of the EU Blue Card for a period of 21 months and can provide evidence of employment subject to compulsory insurance for this period.
    • You have sufficient knowledge of the German language at level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
  • If you wish to obtain a settlement permit after 33 months:
    • You have been in possession of the EU Blue Card for a period of 33 months and can provide evidence of employment subject to compulsory insurance for this period.
    • You have a basic knowledge of the German language at level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
  • You have basic knowledge of the German legal and social system.
    Please note: Orientation courses offered by the BAMF provide this knowledge.
  • You have sufficient living space for yourself and your household members.
  • You have no previous criminal record.
  • There is no interest in deportation against you.

Which documents are required?

  • Recognised and valid identity document (e.g. passport or passport substitute)
  • Recent biometric photo in passport format (45 x 35 mm)
  • Employment contract or, in the event of a change of employer, a binding job offer
  • Proof of previous employment subject to compulsory insurance for a period of 21 or 33 months (including insurance contributions paid, e.g. by submitting pension information)
  • Proof of subsistence (e.g. proof of income, proof of receipt of benefits such as parents or child benefit, alimony payments)
  • Proof of health insurance coverage (for example, confirmation of health insurance coverage or insurance policy)
  • Proof of knowledge of the German language at level A1 (after 33 months) or B1 (after 21 months) of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (e.g. language certificate, German school, training or university certificates).
  • Licence to practise a regulated profession (e.g. licence to practise medicine or professional licence)
  • Proof of basic knowledge of German law and social order (e.g. certificate of successful participation in an orientation course and successful completion of an orientation test)
    Please note: This proof can be waived if there is an illness or disability that prevents the acquisition of knowledge. This must be proven in an appropriate form (e.g. by a medical specialist's opinion, proof of reasons that make it impossible or unreasonable to acquire the knowledge in the long term).
  • Proof of sufficient living space (rental or purchase agreement that provides information about the living space)

The documents and information must always be submitted in German.

In individual cases, the Foreigners' Registration Office may require fewer or more documents.

What are the fees?

Fee: 113,00 Euro


The time as well as the form of the fee collection as well as the payment vary depending on the authority.

For the issuance of the settlement permit in the form of the electronic residence permit (eAT card), which can also be used as electronic proof of identity, additional fees may apply.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

Application deadline:

6 to 8 weeks

Remark (for further information on the deadline):

At least 6 to 8 weeks before the expiration of the current EU Blue Card, the application should be received by the Aliens' Registration Office.

Duration of validity:

The settlement permit is issued for an unlimited period of time. Only the electronic residence permit (eAT card) is issued for a limited period of time and must be renewed at the end of its validity.

Processing duration

Duration: approx. 6 to 8 weeks

Note for more 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.

Applications / forms

Forms available: No

Written form required: No

Informal application possible: Yes

Personal appearance required: Yes


  • Appeal against the decision of the Foreigners' Registration Office
  • Bringing an action before the court specified in the notice of objection if the objection is not complied with
  • An appeal against a negative decision of the Foreigners' Registration Office can be brought before the competent administrative court.
  • A preliminary procedure (opposition) does not take place in Lower Saxony.
  • Detailed information can be found in the rejection notice.

What else should I know?

  • The minimum salary limits are announced annually at the end of the year for the following year in the Federal Gazette by the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Home Affairs and are also updated on the relevant websites.
  • If the requirements for the extension of the EU Blue Card are met, the settlement permit can also be issued in addition to the EU Blue Card. Simultaneous possession of a settlement permit and an EU Blue Card is possible.
  • The procedure is usually conducted in German.
  • Please make sure that your information is correct and complete to the best of your knowledge. This is the only way the Aliens Department can process your request without major delays.
  • Incorrect or incomplete information can slow down the procedure and be disadvantageous for you. In a serious case, incorrect or incomplete information that is not completed or corrected in time vis-à-vis the Aliens' Registration Office 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.

You can also get free advice on the topics of entry, residence and work from the "Hotline Working and Living in Germany" of the Federal Government's portal for skilled workers from abroad.
Phone: 030 1815-1111
Service hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sports


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)