Getting a PR in Germany is one of the biggest achievements of my life so far.
I am hereby going to share my personal experience so that you don’t have to make the same mistakes that I made.
I will also try to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about PR in Germany.
It all started in 2021 when I had completed 2 years on a Blue card in Augsburg, Germany.
I wanted to apply for the PR as soon as possible because I had read somewhere that once you become a PR holder in Germany, banks and other financial institutions start paying you more attention and you can also get loans easily.
Another reason was the fact that a PR holder in Germany is secured very well against job loss as the government pays unemployment benefits up to 70% of the average annual salary of the person for up to 1 year.
Also, as a PR holder, you can continue to stay in Germany as long as you wish without having to work (Provided you have enough money to pay for your rent and other expenses).
These reasons were enough motivations for me to apply for a PR in Germany.
Disclaimer: All the information shared in this post is for someone who is on a Blue card visa and is planning to apply for a PR in Germany. If you are not a Blue card holder, the process might be different. Please do your own research in this case.
Below were the steps that I followed when I was in Augsburg and later in this post, I will also share how I re-applied for a PR in Berlin. So, keep reading…
The PR application process in Augsburg, Germany
I started the process by figuring out the email id of the Ausländerbehörde of Augsburg. This is the foreigner’s office.
The foreigner’s office is responsible for all matters related to visas and PR.
I sent them an email asking for an appointment to apply for a PR.
I also informed them in the email that I wanted to apply the PR for me, my wife, and my daughter.
As a response to my email, I got the forms and a list of documents that they wanted from my side.
Note: This was during the COVID19 lockdown in Germany and maybe that was the reason why they asked me to send all the documents via email. When you read this blog post, the situation might be different.
Below is a list of the documents that they asked me to send (Translated screenshot of the email I received):
You can request your pension insurance history here.
Apart from the above documents, they also sent me two blank forms that I had to fill in and send back along with the rest of the documents.
I requested my landlord to help me fill out the housing declaration form.
The HR of my company helped me a lot with the translations and also verifying the form that I filled out.
I just wanted to make sure that I do it the right way and don’t mess things up.
Once I had all the documents ready with me, I attached those to an email reply on the same thread and requested the officials to process my application
Now comes the surprise…
I got a reply back from them telling me that the dependents are not eligible to apply for a PR as they need to complete 5 years of stay in Germany as dependents.
Also, I was told that I will be eligible only in the month of October (2021) and I should ask for an appointment only in the month of August (2021). I was sending them emails in March (2021) 😛
Long story short – I was unable to get a PR while I was in Augsburg as I was not yet eligible for the same.
I would be eligible if I had the German B1 level certificate. I just had A2 which makes you eligible to apply for a PR in Germany only after you complete 33 months on a Blue card.
After 2-3 months of this incident, I moved to Berlin as I got a job offer from the capital city of Germany.
This time, I waited to complete the 33 months of eligibility for the PR application and then applied.
Below are the details of how I applied for a PR in Berlin.
The PR application process in Berlin, Germany
The initial process was somewhat similar to what I did back in Augsburg.
I started by finding the email id of the responsible office in Berlin that deals with the PR applications for Indian nationals in Germany.
Note: There are separate offices and corresponding email ids for each nationals who wish to apply for a PR in Germany. Make sure to send the email to the correct email id based on your nationality.
You can find the email id responsible for your nationality here.
I wrote an email to the email id responsible for handling the cases for Indian nationals with the following subject line:
“[NAME] Antrag auf Erteilung einer Niederlassungserlaubnis ”
In the email, I sent soft copies of all the documents that are listed on the official website.
Here is a screenshot of the email that I sent:
Just to be on the safer side, I also took printouts of these documents and sent them as hard copies to the mailing address provided on the website. You don’t need to do this. Only a soft copy is enough.
I received an email reply from the office stating that they have received the documents that I sent and they will inform me as soon as my turn comes for the PR application processing.
I waited for around 4 weeks and out of curiosity, I sent them a follow-up email asking about the status and if they could give me an appointment to appear for the PR interview.
They replied the same day saying that I will have to wait for my turn and they don’t know by when that will happen.
The very next day, I received another email from them saying that I have an appointment with them in 2 days and I should appear in person with some additional documents.
Below are the additional documents that they asked me to bring for the PR appointment
- Original Passport
- Employment contract and confirmation from the employer that the employment relationship has not been terminated (not older than 14 days)
- Proof of net earnings (Salary slips for the last 6 months)
- Original of the rental contract stating the size of the apartment in square meters and current proof of the monthly costs of rent or home ownership
- A current biometric passport photo (35mm x 45mm, frontal shot with neutral facial expression and closed mouth looking straight into the camera, light background)
- Fee 113.00 EUR
I replied to that email confirming that I will be available on the specified date and time with the requested documents and the fee.
PR application interview in Berlin
I appeared for the interview on the specified date and time with the requested documents.
I had to wait in the waiting hall until my token number is displayed on the screen.
Note: Make sure that you do not miss your token number. If you miss your turn, you will have to do the whole process of getting an appointment again. So, be careful.
Now comes the exciting part – My number got displayed on the screen along with the room number where I need to go.
I walked into the room and greeted the official (lady) in German – “Guten tag”.
She greeted me back and asked me to take a seat.
She then asked me to give her the passport and the other documents that were requested in the previous email.
I gave her all those documents and waited for about 5 minutes.
She asked me in German – “What is your eye color”? I replied in German – “dunkelbraun” which means dark brown.
She asked me another question in German – “What is your height”? I replied in German – “einhundertdreiundsiebzig” – meaning 173 cm.
After that, she asked me to verify my details on a screen and then sign on the screen with a digital pen.
After a few more minutes, she printed a letter (in German) that basically stated that I have applied for a PR in Germany on this date and I am allowed to stay in Germany and my new PR card will arrive in 6-8 weeks.
She also gave me a credit card-sized card and asked me in German to top up this card with 113 euros using the machine that was near the waiting hall.
Then, she told me that I don’t have to bring back this card as the machine will kind of swallow this 🙂
Finally, she handed over all the documents that I submitted along with the passport and wished me a good day.
I also wished her a good day (In German) and went to the machine and inserted the card she gave and paid the amount using my bank debit card.
That was it. I was done with the interview and the application process for the PR in Germany.
Now, I was supposed to wait for 6-8 weeks to receive the physical card delivered to my address by post.
How long did I wait for getting the PR in Germany?
For the initial application, I had to wait for 33 months on a Blue card as that’s the eligibility criteria when you have only the A1 level of German knowledge.
Note: You can apply for a PR in Germany after 21 months on a Blue card if you have B1 level of German knowledge and a certificate to prove the same.
After sending the first email to request an appointment for the PR, I had to wait for about 5 weeks before I was called for an actual appointment.
Finally, the actual PR card was delivered to my address in Berlin within 8 weeks of my appointment.
That was my personal experience of applying for a PR in Augsburg and Berlin.
I hope my experience helps you in understanding the overall process and the steps involved.
Below are some of the frequently asked questions around PR which might help you as well.
How to get a PR in Germany for Indians?
As I described earlier, the process of applying for a PR in Germany is the same for all nationalities.
The only difference would be the email id where you will be sending the documents and requesting an appointment.
Please make sure that you send the documents to the correct email id based on your nationality.
Please refer here for more information.
How to get a PR in Germany for dependents?
Getting a PR for your dependents is not as fast and easy as it is for you.
My dependents are not yet eligible for the PR application as they are required to complete 5 years of stay in Germany as dependents.
So, once they complete 5 years in Germany, I will initiate the PR application process for them and will update the steps here.
Can I get a PR in Germany from India?
The simple answer is No.
As far as I know and understand, the person must be employed for at least 21 months in Germany and contribute actively to social security to be eligible for the PR.
This is just one of the requirements. There are other requirements as well. e.g: German knowledge, Employment and rental contract, etc.
Is it easy to get a PR in Germany?
Once you satisfy the eligibility criteria mentioned earlier in this post, the process is pretty straightforward and easy.
The only time-consuming step is getting an appointment for the PR application (especially in Berlin).
If you meet the eligibility criteria, manage to prepare all the required documents, and have adequate German knowledge, you can definitely get a PR in Germany within 8-10 weeks.
How many years to get a PR in Germany?
I was a Blue card holder before I applied for a PR. So, I can share the knowledge I have regarding the eligibility for a Blue card holder:
- You must have worked and paid the pension contribution for 21 months and have a B1 level of German knowledge.
- Or you must have worked and paid the pension contribution for 33 months and have an A1 level of German knowledge.
So, you will be eligible for a PR only if you work for at least 21 months actively in Germany on a Blue card.
How to get a PR in Germany after a Blue card?
The entire process I mentioned in this blog post is for someone who is on a Blue card and is planning to apply for a PR in Germany.
Usually, your Blue card has an expiry date of 4 years starting from the date when you applied.
So, there is enough time for you to apply for a PR before your Blue card expires.
If you wish to renew your Blue card first, you can read my other post to know how to renew your Blue card before applying for a PR.
I hope you enjoyed reading the post and I wish you good luck with your PR application in Germany.
Don’t forget to share your experience or ask your questions/doubts in the comment section below.