FrankfurtRheinMain (FRM) is a region of diversity, offering you both excellent career prospects as well as a very high quality of life. If you wish to stay for a longer period of time, you will need a residence permit – unless you are a national of the European Union and work in Germany, or you are seeking for a job and have good perspectives to find employment in the near future. If this is the case, you can stay as long as you want, enjoying the benefits of FRM while living and working here.
There are different types of residence titles that allow foreigners to work, study or complete traineeships in FRM. The most common of them is the so called "residence permit". A residence permit is always bound to a specific purpose for residency and is only valid for a specific period of time. As long as the purpose is valid you can apply to the immigration office for the extention of your residence permit.
With your residence permit you usually also can receive a work permit. This allows you to work in Germany. If you fullfil the legal requirements for employment in Germany it is not necessary to apply separately for the work permit.
While the United States have the Green Card, the European Union offers the EU Blue Card. This is a temporary residence permit for professionals with a university degree and is initially valid for up to four years.
For the EU Blue Card, you have to meet the following requirements:
The EU Blue Card offers many advantages. As a holder, you can travel to nearly all EU member states without a visa. If your German language skills are at the level B1 you can apply for a settlement permit in Germany already after working for 21 months. Have you practiced a highly qualified profession for 33 months, you have generally the right of the settlement permit.
Family members of an EU Blue Card holder receive a residence permit without any proof of German language skills and can begin working in Germany immediately. You are also permitted to reside outside of the EU for up to 12 consecutive months, without loosing your residence permit.
For further information on the EU Blue Card, go to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).
Have you lived in Germany with a residence permit for at least five years and don’t want to have to keep extending it? The permanent settlement permit (Niederlassungserlaubnis) is an unlimited residence permit that is no longer bound to a specific purpose for residency. With this permit, you can remain in Germany and FRM as long as you wish and have the free choice of the profession you wish to work in.
To qualify, you have to meet the following additional requirements:
For more information on permanent residency for third country nationals, go to the official website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).
The permanent EU residence permit is also an unlimited residence permit with very similar requirements to those of the settlement permit. However, the main difference is that the permanent EU residence permit also entitles the holder to mobility within the European Union. This means that you also have the right to a limited residence permit in other EU member states.
Generally, to receive an unlimited EU residence permit you must have lived in Germany for at least five years. However, the following categories can apply earlier for a permanent residence permit:
You can find more detailed information about residence permits and their requirements in the brochure "Studying and Working in Germany" issued by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).
Many people come to the FrankfurtRheinMain region to live and work, without bringing their families at the beginning. Later, if they enjoy living here, they often wish to bring their family members to FRM as well.
Family members that are nationals of an EU country enjoy facilitated conditions for entering, living and working in Germany.
Otherwise you must consider the following: To enter Germany your family member needs a so-called "visa for subsequent immigration of a family member". You can apply for this visa at your German Embassy or Consulate in the country of origin of your family member. There, you will also learn what documents are required.
Once your family member arrives in FRM, he or she must register at the local residents registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) and then apply at the local immigration office (Ausländeramt) for a "residence permit for subsequent immigration of family members". With this residence permit, your family member can also work in Germany. The residence permit is automatically valid for all of your single children under the age of 16.
To qualify for family reunification, you have to meet several criteria:
Should you have any other questions on this matter, contact the Association of Binational Families and Partnerships in Frankfurt am Main.