Applying for a settlement permit for EU Blue Card holders
If you hold an EU Blue Card residence permit, you can apply for a settlement permit after just 21 or 33 months.
- The settlement permit must be applied for before the validity of your current EU Blue Card expires.
- 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, please arrange an appointment with the locally responsible immigration authority. In the case of an online application, the Foreigners' Registration Office will contact you upon receipt of 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 establishment permit to be issued by Bundesdruckerei (in the form of an electronic residence permit, or eAT card for short). For this, 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 linked 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 have a valid EU Blue Card (residence permit).
- Within the framework of the EU Blue Card issued, you have exercised employment corresponding to your qualifications and received a salary that corresponds to the applicable annual minimum gross salary (for example, this amounts to 56,400.00 euros in 2022; 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 livelihood for yourself and your family without recourse to public services.
- You have sufficient health insurance coverage.
- You have a permanent employment permit.
- If you work in a regulated profession, you must be in possession of the required professional license (for example, license to practice medicine or professional license).
- If you want 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 prove that you are in 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 want 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 prove that you are in 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 German law and society.
Please note: Orientation courses offered by the BAMF impart this knowledge.
- You have sufficient living space for yourself and your family members.
- You have no criminal record.
- There is no interest in expulsion against you
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)
- Employment contract or binding job offer in the event of a change of employer
- Proof of past 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).
- Admission to the profession if a regulated profession is practised (e.g. licence to practise medicine or a licence to practise a profession)
- 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 (for example, by a specialist opinion, proof of reasons that make the acquisition of knowledge impossible or unreasonable in the long term).
- Proof of sufficient living space (rental or purchase contract 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 additional documents.
What are the fees?
Fee: 113,00 Euro
The timing and form of charging and payment vary depending on the authority.
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.
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
6 to 8 weeks
Remark (for more information on the deadline):
At the latest 6 to 8 weeks before the expiry of the current EU Blue Card, the application should be received by the Foreigners' Registration Office.
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.
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 against the decision of the Foreigners' Registration Office
- Action before the court named in the notice of opposition if the objection is not complied with
- 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?
- 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 for Home Affairs and also updated on the corresponding websites.
- If the conditions for the extension of the EU Blue Card are met, the settlement permit can also be issued in addition to the EU Blue Card. It is possible to hold a settlement permit and an EU Blue Card at the same time.
- 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
The text was automatically translated based on the German content.