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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Apply for a settlement permit for self-employed persons


As a holder of a residence permit for the purpose of self-employment (entrepreneurial) activity, you can be granted a settlement permit after only three years if

  • you have successfully realized your business idea and
  • the livelihood of you and your family members is secured.

The group of family members to be taken into account is defined by the characteristic of the family community and the maintenance obligation.

Other authorities may be involved in assessing whether your business activity has been successfully carried out.

The settlement permit is an independent right of residence independent of the original purpose of residence. It entitles the holder to pursue gainful employment and is unlimited in time and space.

  • You have been in possession of a residence permit for self-employment (not freelance) for three years.
  • Your residence permit was issued in accordance with Section 21 (1) or (2a) of the Residence Act for self-employed, entrepreneurial activity.
  • You are able to use the income from your business activity to secure your livelihood (including health insurance) for yourself (and your family) independently, i.e. without the use of public benefits (income from your family members or profits from capital assets cannot be taken into account).
  • You can prove that you have sufficient retirement provision.
  • There are no reasons of public security and order to prevent your stay in Germany (you are exempt from punishment).
  • Recognized and valid identity document (e.g. passport or passport substitute)
  • Up-to-date biometric photo in the passport (45 x 35 mm)
  • Residence permit according to § 21 paragraph 1 or paragraph 2a Residence Act
  • Proof of the successful realization of the original business idea (documents that allow a comprehensible assessment of the previous business result)
  • Proof of livelihood (e.g. proof of income, equity, blocked account, declaration of commitment, rental agreement)
  • Proof of health insurance coverage (e.g. confirmation of health insurance coverage or insurance policy)
  • Proof of retirement provision

The documents and information must always be submitted in German. In individual cases, the Foreigners' Registration Office may require less or more evidence.

Cost amount (fee): 124.00


Additional fees may be charged for the issuance of the settlement permit in the form of the electronic residence permit, which can also be used as electronic proof of identity.

The timing and form of fee collection and payment vary depending on the authority.

Lower fees may apply for Turkish nationals.

Duration (at span): 6 to 8

Note (for more information on the deadline):

The application should be received by the Foreigners' Registration Office at least six to eight weeks before the expiry of your visa or current residence permit.

The settlement permit is issued for an indefinite period. Only the electronic residence permit (eAT card) is issued for a limited period of time and must be renewed after the end of its validity.

Duration (at span): approx. 6 to 8

Note for further information on processing time:

The processing time may vary depending on the workload of the Foreigners' Registration Office.

It takes about 4 weeks to 6 weeks for Bundesdruckerei to produce the electronic residence permit.

  • Appeal against the decision of the Foreigners' Registration Office within one month of notification.
  • Bringing an action before the court named in the notice of opposition if the objection is not upheld

Foreigners' Registration Office

Forms available: No

Written form required: No

Informal application possible: Yes

Personal appearance required: Yes

  • The settlement permit must be applied for before the validity of your current residence permit expires.
  • Find out whether your Foreigners' Registration Office allows you to apply online or has a special application form.
  • If the application is only possible in person, make an appointment at the Foreigners' Registration Office. In the case of an online application, the Foreigners' Registration Office will contact you after receipt of your application to make an appointment.
  • During the appointment, your identity and documents will be checked (please bring your documents, if possible in the original, with you to the appointment).
  • If your application is granted, your fingerprints will be taken in the form of the electronic residence permit (eATKarte) for the production of the settlement permit.
  • The Foreigners' Registration Office commissions the production of the eAT card from Bundesdruckerei. After completion, you will receive information and can pick up the eAT card from the responsible office. The eAT card must always be picked up in person.
  • If your application is rejected, you will receive a rejection notice.
  • If you work as a freelancer with a residence permit in accordance with Section 21 (5) of the Residence Act, you can only be granted a settlement permit after 5 years. Other requirements then also apply.
  • The procedure is usually carried out in German.
  • A settlement permit can expire if you stay outside Germany for more than six months if this stay abroad has not been previously agreed with the Foreigners' Registration Office.
  • All information provided to the Foreigners' Registration Office should be correct and complete to the best of our knowledge and belief so that the request can be processed without major delays.
  • Incorrect or incomplete information can slow down the procedure and be detrimental to the persons concerned. In the event of an emergency, incorrect or incomplete information that is not completed or corrected in time vis-à-vis the Foreigners' Registration Office may result in the revocation of residence rights already granted, a fine, imprisonment of up to three years or expulsion from the federal territory.
  • Due to the complexity of the right of residence, this description is for information purposes only and is not legally binding.

Ministry of the Interior and Municipal Affairs of the State of Brandenburg

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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