The German permanent residence allows you to live and work permanently in Germany without interruption. Generally, you can apply for this after living legally in Germany for five (5) years.
If you graduated from a German university, you can apply for the permanent residence two years (24 months) after being employed or 21 months if you satisfy certain conditions.
Here is a personal experience from Munich. It would most likely be the same in other cities in Germany.
Book your appointment early or be prepared to wait in the queue for many hours if you do a walk-in. I booked my appointment using the online booking system provided by KVR in Munich. They requested for the following documents:
- Valid passport
I sent in my valid Ghanaian passport
- Filled out and signed application form
Form available here.
- Digital passport photo
You can take this at the KVR or at any major train station
- Last three months salary slips
Printed out my last 3 months salary slips
- Letter from your employer stating your position, hours of work, annual salary and duration of employment
Document available here
- Proof of pension payments
Since i am almost always on the road, I ordered mine here. It is possible to book an appointment with them to collect it or have it printed at KVR. It only takes few minutes
- Document from your landlord stating the size of the appartment
I had my landlord fill this form when i moved into my apartment
- Proof of rent payments
I printed this online
- Language proficiency certificate (min. B1)
I had a B2 certificate at the time
- University certificate
I graduated from LMU in Munich. I sent in this certificate
I had all documents available and made no copies because, they make their own copies when you submit the documents.
Day of appointment
- The personnel requested for the documents listed on the Kreisverwaltungsreferat (KVR) website except the language certificate. When I asked whether it wasn’t necessary, she said it was not needed because I studied in Germany. We communicated in German.
PS: My study programme was in English
- She requested for my rent contract. I did not have this because it was not listed as a required document on the website. The personnel gave me her email address and asked me to send it in the following day. She emphasized the application would not be processed without the contract
- I filled out two forms (in German). One was to let them know whether I was getting financial assistance from the German government or outside of Germany. It is possible to have an interpreter with you if needed. The form did not contain lots of words. You should be able to read and understand even if you are not fully proficient in German
- Before leaving her office, i paid a service fee of €115,00. I also had to pay for a temporary residence permit because my current visa would have expired before receiving my permanent one. This cost €13,00
- I was given a document with a code. With this code, i could check whether the residence permit was available for collection
The following day
- I did not have to go to the KVR. I sent the service personnel a copy of my rent contract as requested
Thinking that was all, she replied and requested for my 24 months salary slip. Yes, 24 months!
I thought that was odd. I sent it nonetheless because they do mention on their website that they may request additional documents.
I would say it was a very simple process. Once you have all documents, you should be fine.
The document with the code stated processing will take 6-8 weeks!
4 weeks later
6 weeks later
The whole process on the day of my appointment took about 20 minutes and I received the card 6 weeks later.
- Act on the Residence, Economic Activity and Integration of Foreigners in the Federal Territory