An alternative to the Niederlassungserlaubnis (permanent residence permit) is the Erlaubnis zum Daueraufenthalt-EU (permanent EC residence).
In cases where you would like to remain mobile within the EU, the permanent EC residence, is a great idea as it allows you to live anywhere within the EU without having to return to Germany every 3months.
This form of residence permit is regulated by the Aufenthaltsgesetz (AufG) §9a.
What is the Erlaubnis zum Daueraufenthalt-EU (permanent EC residence)?
The EC long-term residence permit is a permanent residence title and allows its holder to live freely within all EU countries.
Who may get an Erlaubnis zum Daueraufenthalt-EU (permanent EC residence)?
A foreigner shall be issued with an EC long-term residence permit pursuant to Article 2, letter b of directive 2003/109/EC provided that
1. he or she has been resident in the Federal territory with a residence title for five years,
2. his or her subsistence and the subsistence of his or her dependents who he or she is required to support is ensured by a fixed and regular income,
3. he or she has an adequate knowledge of the German language,
4. he or she possesses a basic knowledge of the legal and social system and the way of life in the Federal territory,
5. the granting of such a residence permit is not precluded by reasons of public safety or order, according due consideration to the severity or the nature of the breach of public safety or order or the danger emanating from the foreigner, with due regard to the duration of the foreigner’s stay to date and the existence of ties in the Federal territory and
6. he or she possesses sufficient living space for himself or herself and the members of his or her family forming part of his or her household. Section 9 (2), sentence 2 to 5 shall apply mutatis mutandis to sentence 1, nos. 3 and 4.
When won’t the Erlaubnis zum Daueraufenthalt-EU (permanent EC residence) be issued?
The permanent EC residence should not be issued if the foreigner:
1. holds a comparable legal status in another Member State of the European Union,
2. has filed an application in a Member State of the European Union for the granting of refugee status
3. possesses a legal status in another Member State of the European Union which was granted on humanitarian/political grounds
4. is resident in the Federal territory with a student/language/Ausbildung residence permit
5. or for another purpose of an inherently temporary nature, in particular
a) by virtue of a residence permit, where the time limit on the approval granted by the Federal Employment Agency is based on a maximum term of employment imposed,
b) if an extension to his or her residence permit has been excluded or
c) if his or her residence permit serves to enable the foreigner to live together or to continue to live together as a family with a foreigner who himself/herself is only resident in the Federal territory for a purpose of an inherently temporary nature, where no independent right of residence would arise upon the family unity ending.