You can live and work in Germany with a temporary or permanent residence permit. German citizenship can be obtained by birth or with the marriage.
German citizenship given by birth
As of January 1, 2000, the "soil law" principle operates in Germany. It means that a child obtains German citizenship regardless of the parents’ citizenship, under the following conditions:
● if he/she was born in Germany;
● if at least one of the parents permanently and legally resides in Germany for more than 8 years or based on a residence permit acquired under a treaty on freedom of movement between the EU and Switzerland.
It should be emphasized that a qualified child is simultaneously a citizen of Germany and the country of the parents’ citizenship. After reaching the age of majority (18 years), he/she must only one citizenship.
Citizenship of Germany on application (naturalization)
Upon application for citizenship, aliens who have met the following reqirements may apply:
● legally stay in Germany for at least 8 years;
● presence of permanent residence permit;
● accommodation in the owned or rented apartment;
● income level sufficient for residence in the country;
● sufficient knowledge of the German language;
● sufficient level of knowledge of the legal and social structure of the country and its history;
● recognition of the democratic and constitutional foundations of Germany;
● abandonment of the previous citizenship;
● no previous convictions;
● absence of reasons for forced eviction from the country.
German Citizenship by Marriage
This way of obtaining citizenship is simpler than naturalization. A person must be married with a German citizen more than 2 years.
Ethnic Germans, Jews, foreigners who have been granted refugee status or have come for employment, students, businessmen are also eligible for German citizenship.
There are several types of residence in Germany:
● residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) - limited to duration and purpose of stay
● the blue EU card (Blaue Karte EU) - the European residence permit for highly qualified specialists from "third countries";
● permanent residence permit (Niederlassungserlaubnis) and long-term residence permit-EU (Erlaubnis zum Daueraufenthalt-EG)
The main reasons for obtaining a permanent residence permit in Germany are marriage with a citizen or a foreigner who already has a permanent residence permit.
Temporary residence permit received due to labor activity can only be obtained by highly qualified foreign specialists or entrepreneurs having higher education and special merits.
Students and foreign students have the right to obtain temporary residence permit for the period of study, as well as after the termination of the educational institution for employment during the period set by the law. Unemployed students can not apply for a temporary residence permit in Germany.
The most accessible way of obtaining a temporary residence permit in Germany today is business immigration. A foreigner can apply for a temporary residence permit with a possibility of obtaining a permanent residence permit if he/she is having registered company in Germany and investing in the economy of the country some sufficient amount (the minimum amount of investment is not yet defined).
Possession of real estate in Germany does not give the right to permanent residence in the country. Foreign owners who are not EU citizens and do not have a residence permit in Germany have the right to apply for a semi-annual Schengen tourist visa for them and their family members. This type of visa allows the person and his/her family members to be in Germany for maximum of 90 days each 6 months.
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