If you happened to like living in Germany permanently and you are a foreign national from a third world country, you can apply for a permanent visa (or the so-called permanent EC status) so that you can live in Germany for the rest of your life without needing to give up your citizenship.
Take note: If you have obtained a permanent residence permit in Germany or other EU countries, you can live in Germany or other EU countries permanently.
Before applying, you need to check if you have the following conditions as they are needed for you to be approved:
1. You have lived in Germany for at least 5 straight years. You can submit your application 1 month before your 5th year of living in Germany is up.
[In case you are married to a German citizen, the number of years may be different. You will be informed about it as soon as you inform them that you just arrived]
2. You have a job or other means to support yourself. You have health and care insurance, you fulfill your tax obligations, and you pay for your pension (Sozialversicherung).
3. You have adequate knowledge of the German language. You are needed to submit the B1 certificate. You can attend a German class to prepare for the B1 test or you can self-study. The best way to learn the language is to practice them with anyone.
4. You have passed the 33-question integration test as you are required to submit the Leben in Deutschland certificate. You can attend an integration course before taking the test to get a basic knowledge of the legal and social systems and living conditions in Germany).
5. You have no criminal records or not planning to have one or to join any extremist or terrorist groups
6. You have an adequate living space
One month before your last year is up, you need to go to the Ausländeramt to apply. Below are the things they may ask you to submit:
- 1 recent passport ID
- 135 Euros
- 3 months payslips
- A copy of the Leben in Deutschland certificate
If you just renewed your passport, you have to inform them about it so that they can update their system with your new passport number. It is important as the passport number will be included in the permanent visa card.
My advice is: visit the Ausländeramt to check if you have all the papers they need and how much you need to pay. The cost is between 135 and 250€:
- 250€ for highly qualified professionals
- 200€ for self-employed
- 135€ for all others