Special residency rights

For foreigners who lawfully maintained their regular place of residence in Germany as a child or pensioner for eight years who then left the country, as well as for former German citizens who lost their citizenship, special residency rights apply.

A foreigner who had his or her lawful place of residence in Germany as a child can obtain a residency permit if

  • he or she had been lawfully present in Germany for eight years following his or her departure and attended a school in Germany for six years or acquired recognised academic qualifications,
  • his or her maintenance is guaranteed by his or her own employment or a maintenance obligation which a third party has assumed for a period of five years and
  • the application for the issuing of the residency permit is submitted between the ages of 15 and 21, as well as prior to the expiry of five years following the departure from Germany.

Note: The residency permit provides an entitlement to take up paid employment.

Victims of forced marriage can also be exempted from the requirements, provided that they submit the application within three months of the end of the forced marriage, however at the latest prior to the expiry of five years following the departure from Germany and it appears likely due to their previous education and life circumstances that they can contribute to and integrate into life in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Should foreign pensioners have been lawfully resident in Germany for eight years, they are generally entitled to the issue of a new residency permit on their return, should they receive a pension from a German pension provider and should their maintenance be guaranteed as a result.

A former German citizen will be issued with a

  • settlement permit if he or she had his or her normal place of residence in Germany for five years as a German citizen and lost his or her German citizenship
  • or will be issued with a residency permit if he or she had his or her normal place of residence in Germany for at least one year as a German citizen and lost his or her German citizenship.

You must apply for the residency title within six months of becoming aware of the loss of German citizenship.

Note: A former German citizen who had his or her usual place of residence in Germany can be issued with a residency permit if he or she has sufficient knowledge of the German language. The residency permit provides an entitlement to take up paid employment.

There are no assigned services available.

There are no assigned electronic applications available.

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Innenministerium released it on 22.08.2017. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.