With the fifth-largest economy in the world Germany has emerged as a popular option for migrants to seek permanent residency. The presence of a strong manufacturing sector, engineering industries, R&D activities make the country an attractive target for immigrants.

On its part, Germany (Germany PR) is facing a skills shortage and needs skilled migrants to meet the labor demand in its industries. Migrants are encouraged to come here for work or study and are offered the option of a long-term residence permit or permanent residence after a few years of staying in Germany. But is it easy to get a PR in Germany in 2020?  To answer this question let us look at the eligibility requirements, conditions for application, and changes in German immigration laws that determine the outcome of your PR visa application.

Factors for Permanent Residency Application

1.Duration of stay

You can apply for a permanent residence permit if you have been in Germany for five years or more. If you are working or studying in Germany with a legal residence permit, you can apply for your German PR visa.

As a graduate from a German university, you are eligible for a PR visa provided you have worked in Germany for two years on a residence permit post the completion of your studies.

If you have an EU Blue Card, you can apply for a PR visa after working in the country for 21-33 months.

If you are a self-employed person with a temporary residence permit, you can apply for a PR after three years. But you must prove that you can financially support yourself for the long-term.

  1. Income and Professional Qualification

If you are a highly qualified worker with an annual income of over 84,000 Euros, you can apply for a Germany PR immediately.

If you have the special technical knowledge or are involved in academic teaching or research, then you can get your PR immediately. For this you should have:

  • Proof of your job offer
  • Financial means to support yourself
  • Ability to adapt to the local culture
  1. Knowledge of German Language

Knowledge of the German language is necessary to obtain PR.  B1 level of German is required which will be quite easy if you have lived in the country for more than two years. Apart from this, you need to have some knowledge of German society such as its legal, social, and political system.

  1. Contribution to pension insurance

For making a PR application, you should have contributed to the statutory pension insurance of Germany. The duration of the contribution varies with the criteria you belong to. If you belong to the general category you should have contributed to the fund for at least 60 months.

If you have an EU Blue Card, you should have contributed to the fund for 33 months and if you are a graduate your contribution should be for 24 months.

  1. Other means to secure permanent residency

Marriage: If you are married to a German citizen for more than two years and have lived in the country for more than three years, you are eligible to apply for Germany PR.

Birth:  Children born in Germany to foreign citizens can apply for permanent residency.

Eligibility conditions to apply for permanent residency

You must have a valid passport

You should be able to meet your maintenance costs without taking the help of public funds. These costs will include:

  1. Enough income to support you and your family
  2. Cost for accommodation and health insurance

You must have no valid reason for your deportation

You must have health insurance

You must be able to integrate with the living conditions in the country

Required documents

When applying for permanent residency, you must submit the following documents:

  • Passport and visa
  • Your job offer letter with mention of income to prove you can support yourself and your family
  • Proof of educational and professional qualifications
  • Proof of accommodation

Permanent EU residence permit

Another option to obtain a permanent residence in Germany is the EU (European Union) residence permit. This is also a permanent residency status with which you can live and work in Germany on a permanent basis. It has the same privileges as the German PR.  But it also offers certain additional privileges:

  • You can migrate to almost every country in the EU
  • Get a residence permit to other EU countries on certain conditions
  • Full access to work opportunities and social security schemes in the EU

The eligibility requirements for the EU residence permit is almost the same as that for German PR.

  • Lived in Germany for at least five years
  • Ability to support yourself and your family
  • Basic knowledge of German language and culture
  • Have the required living space for you and your family
  • Paid to the pension fund for at least 60 months


The legal requirements, eligibility criteria, and supporting documents to apply for a PR in Germany are not complicated. If you understand the rules and requirements and follow the application process diligently, then it will be easy to get your permanent residency. The German government has also introduced new immigration laws to help migrants.

Changes in German immigration law

The new immigration laws will come into effect from March 2020. The new laws are designed to attract skilled labor from non-EU nations to get a job here. The new laws make it easy for skilled migrants from non-EU countries with adequate education and qualification to move to Germany by having fewer restrictions.

Under the new law, any non-EU citizen who has the required degree or vocational training and an employment contract can work in Germany.

German companies belonging to any sector can now recruit foreign workers unlike earlier where only certain sectors could recruit foreign workers.

Skilled workers selected under this new law will get an employment offer which will be valid for four months. They can apply for a permanent residence permit after four years provided, they have contributed to the German pension fund for at least 48 months, have the financial means to support themselves, and the stipulated knowledge of German language.

The population of foreigners in Germany has increased significantly over the past few years. The growing economy and an aging population have made the German government relax the rules for foreigners to come and work here and later settle down as permanent residents. In fact, it is estimated that in the next 20 years, around 35 percent of the German population will have a migrant background or be original migrants.

This is an indication that more migrants will opt for permanent residence in Germany and the government will make the process easier for them. Getting a PR for Germany in 2020 may not be a challenge.