Settlement permit
- Hamburg -

Settlement permit in Hamburg

The settlement permit is an unlimited residence title. It allows you to permanently establish your residence in Hamburg and to work without restrictions. As a holder of a settlement permit, you have the opportunity to work both as an employee and as a self-employed person. Under certain conditions, you can even obtain a permanent right of residence, which facilitates your access to the European labor market (permanent residence-EU).

Requirements for a settlement permit in Munich

The requirements for obtaining a settlement permit in Hamburg depend heavily on your previous residence title. In principle, however, the following requirements must be met in order to obtain the permit:

  1. Legal residence in Germany for at least 5 years
  2. Secured livelihood
  3. Retirement provision
  4. No conflicting reasons of public safety or order
  5. Sufficient language skills and knowledge of the legal and social order
  6. Sufficient living space
  7. Residence in Hamburg

Legal residence for 5 years

To obtain a settlement permit in Hamburg, you must have lived legally in Germany for a certain period of time. This means that you must hold a (temporary) residence title. In principle, your legal residence in Germany must have been at least 5 years, whereby occasional trips abroad during this time are unobjectionable.

It should be noted, however, that special regulations exist in the Residence Act for certain groups of persons that may allow them to obtain a settlement permit in Hamburg even before the five years have expired.

Special provisions:

  • Skilled workers (without EU Blue Card): 4 years
  • EU Blue Card : 33 months plus 21 months with sufficient language skills (level B1)
  • Self-employed: 3 years
  • Persons entitled to asylum: The residence periods of the asylum procedure are credited 
  • Family members German: 3 years
  • Foreign spouse: years

Securing the livelihood

In order to obtain a settlement permit in Hamburg, you must be able to support yourself and your family members with your own means. It is important that you do not use public funds to cover your living expenses.

However, public funds do not include : child benefit, child supplement, child-raising allowance, parental allowance and unemployment benefit.

There are also specific rules for certain groups of people on the issue of secure livelihood.

Special rules for:

  • Students
  • Researchers
  • Dependent
  • persons listed in § 28 para. 1 AufenthG
  • Physically, mentally or emotionally ill people

Retirement provision

You must have made either sixty compulsory contributions or sixty voluntary contributions to the statutory pension insurance scheme. Alternatively, proof of old-age provision can be provided if you are entitled to comparable benefits from an insurance or pension institution or an insurance company. Periods of absence from work due to childcare or home care will be counted towards the sixty months. In the event that you wish to apply for a settlement permit together with your spouse, it is sufficient if one of you fulfills this requirement.

For proof of this, or to check for yourself whether you meet this requirement, you can apply to the German pension insurance for "waiting period information".

Sufficient language skills and knowledge of the legal and social order

There are also requirements for your integration in Germany. You must have sufficient knowledge of the German language, legal and social order, and living conditions in the Federal Republic.

These requirements are met if you have successfully passed a language exam at at least level B1 and have successfully completed an integration course. However, there are also other ways to prove these requirements: For example, if you have successfully completed school in Germany and can present a school-leaving certificate. Furthermore, the Foreigners' Registration Office can also obtain an overview of the foreigner's knowledge by means of a personal interview.

No conflicting reasons of public safety or order

The competent foreigners authority can refuse to issue a settlement permit in Hamburg if there are reasons of public safety or order against it.

In this case, the interests of the foreigner are weighed against the public interests. In particular, violations of criminal laws are especially relevant reasons that may speak against issuance.

Sufficient living space

Two factors play a role in determining whether your living space is sufficient: the condition and the occupancy, i.e. the size of the apartment in terms of the number of occupants. Sufficient living space is always available if there are 12 square meters of living space for each family member over the age of six and 10 square meters for each family member under the age of six, and if ancillary rooms (kitchen, bathroom, WC) can be shared to a reasonable extent. A shortfall of this apartment size by about 10% is harmless.

Advantages of a settlement permit

There are also certain requirements with regard to the housing situation. For example, in order for a settlement permit to be granted, you must have sufficient living space for yourself and your dependents.

Whether this is the case depends mainly on two factors. Firstly, the size of the apartment and secondly, the occupancy of the same. In principle, 12 square meters of living space must be available to each family member over the age of six, and 10 square meters to each under the age of six. In addition, the ancillary rooms such as kitchen, bathroom and toilet are also taken into account. When calculating the living space required to obtain a settlement permit in Hamburg, infants under 2 years of age are not considered. A shortfall of the calculated living space by approx. 10% is not problematic.  

Procedure in Hamburg

Pursuant to Section 81 (1) of the Residence Act, the settlement permit is only issued upon application. In Hamburg, the department for foreigners' affairs is responsible. It should be noted that there are a total of eight different departments, which are responsible for different districts. The individual departments are: Hamburg-Mitte, Billstedt, Altona, Hamburg-Nord, Eimsbüttel, Wandsbek, Bergedorf and Harburg.

The processing time for the issuance of the settlement permit should not exceed three months as a rule. However, all departments for foreigners' affairs in Hamburg are often overloaded, so that in practice processing can take much longer. In such cases, the possibility of filing an action for failure to act pursuant to Section 75 VwGO should be considered .

Which concrete specific requirements you have to fulfill in your case depends on the circumstances of your individual case and can therefore not be answered in general in the last consequence. If you are aiming to apply for a settlement permit in Hamburg, it is advisable to seek legal advice in order to avoid mistakes and delays.

If you have any questions or uncertainties, we will be happy to advise and support you throughout the application process.

Feel free to contact us here!