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Applying for a settlement permit for family members of Germans


If you are a foreign family member of a German citizen and have held a residence permit for the purpose of family reunification in Germany for three years, you can, under certain conditions, apply for a permanent residence permit (the so-called settlement permit).

The group of beneficiary family members includes spouses, registered partners, children and parents of Germans.

Process flow

  • The settlement permit must be applied for before the validity of your current residence permit expires.
  • If you have not yet reached the age of 18, you may not submit the application yourself, but need a representative (usually the application is made by the parents with custody).
  • Find out whether your immigration authority allows you to submit your application online or has a special application form.
  • If the application is only possible in person, make an appointment at the Foreigners' Registration Office. In the case of an online application, the Foreigners' Registration Office will contact you upon receipt of your application to make an appointment.
  • If you have not yet reached the age of 18, you must be accompanied by at least one legal representative (usually one parent) during the personal interview. In the case of joint custody, the parents must appear together at the authority and jointly submit the application for you.
    If one parent is unable to appear in person, the other parent with custody must be issued with a written power of attorney for the application.
  • During the appointment, your identity and documents will be checked (please bring your documents, preferably original, to the appointment).
  • If your request is granted, your fingerprints will be taken for the production of a new electronic residence title (eAT card).
  • The Foreigners' Registration Office commissions Bundesdruckerei to produce the eAT card. After completion, you will receive information and can pick up the settlement permit from the responsible office. The eAT card must always be picked up in person.
  • If your application is rejected, you will receive a rejection notice.

Requirements

  • You are a foreign family member of a German citizen (spouse or partner, child or parent).
  • You have held a residence permit for three years to live together in Germany.
  • The family relationship with the German national continues to exist.
  • You can secure your livelihood without using public services.
  • You have sufficient health insurance.
  • You have sufficient knowledge of German (level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).
    Please note: If you suffer from an illness or disability that prevents you from acquiring language skills, you do not have to meet this requirement.
  • You have no criminal record.
  • There is no interest in expulsion against you and you have not yet received a deportation order.

Which documents are required?

  • Recognized and valid identity document (for example, passport or passport substitute)
  • Current biometric photo in passport format (45 x 35 mm)
  • Proof of subsistence (for example, proof of income, pension notice, proof of receipt of benefits such as parents or child benefit, alimony payments).
    Please note: Proof of subsistence can also be provided by third parties (e.g. spouses, registered partners, parents).
  • Proof of health insurance coverage (for example, confirmation of health insurance coverage or insurance policy)
  • Proof of knowledge of the German language at least at level B1 (e.g. language certificate, German school, training or university certificates, certificate of successful participation in the integration course)
    Please note: If there is an illness or disability that prevents the acquisition of language skills, this must be proven in an appropriate form (for example, specialist opinion, proof of residential care).
  • In the case of a third-country national parent of a German child: birth certificate of the child, proof of personal custody
  • For spouses or registered partners: marriage certificate / civil partnership certificate

The documents and information must always be submitted in German. In individual cases, the Foreigners' Registration Office may require less or further proof.

What are the fees?

Cost amount (fixed):

  • EUR 56.50 for underage applicants
  • 113,00 for adult applicants

Remark:

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

Lower fees may apply for Turkish nationals.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

Application deadline:

6 to 8 weeks

Remark (for more information on the deadline):

At the latest 6 to 8 weeks before the expiry of the current residence permit, the application should be received by the Foreigners' Registration Office.

Duration:

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

Processing duration

Duration: approx. 6 to 8 weeks

Note for further information on processing time:

The processing time may vary depending on the workload of the Foreigners' Registration Office.

The production of the electronic residence title by Bundesdruckerei takes about 4 to 6 weeks.

Applications / forms

Forms available: No

Written form required: No

Informal application possible: Yes

Personal appearance required: Yes

Appeal

  • An action may be brought before the competent administrative court against a negative decision of the immigration authority.
  • A preliminary procedure (opposition) does not take place in Lower Saxony.
  • Detailed information can be found in the rejection decision.

What else should I know?

  • Children who have not yet reached the age of 18 may not submit the application themselves, but must be represented by a legally competent person (for example, by a parent with custody).
  • The procedure is usually carried out in German.
  • Make sure that your information is correct and complete to the best of your knowledge and belief. This is the only way the Foreigners' Registration Office can process your request without major delays.
  • Inaccurate or incomplete information may slow down the process and be detrimental to you. In an emergency, incorrect or incomplete information that is not completed or corrected in time vis-à-vis the immigration authority may result in the withdrawal of residence rights already granted, a fine, imprisonment of up to three years or expulsion from the federal territory.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sport

Author

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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