How to Leave in Germany Without Losing Permanent Residency?

How to Leave in Germany Without Losing Permanent Residency?

Understanding the duration one can leave Germany without compromising their residency rights is crucial for individuals with a permanent residency card. In this article, we will explore the different scenarios and regulations to help you grasp the essential information.

The General Rule of Six Months

For holders of a permanent residency permit (also known as unbefristete Aufenthaltserlaubnis or unlimited residence permit), leaving Germany typically results in the permit expiring after six months. However, there are exceptions that allow individuals to stay abroad for longer without forfeiting their permanent status. These exceptions include caring for a sick family member abroad or participating in an exchange semester at a foreign university. Notably, this exception does not apply to completing an entire course of study for a degree at a university abroad.

Extending Stay Abroad

Individuals with permanent residency can request an extension of their stay abroad when it serves the interests of Germany. This could be applicable for those working for corporations headquartered in Germany.

Automatic Exemptions from the Six-Month Rule

Certain individuals are automatically exempt from the six-month rule. These exemptions include:

    • Spouses or registered partners of German citizens.
    • Individuals with children under the age of 18 residing in Germany.
    • Persons who have resided in Germany for a minimum of 15 years and can prove their secured livelihood upon their return. This exemption also applies to spouses with a permanent residency card.

EU Permanent Residency Holders

For individuals who have lived in Germany for at least five years, it is possible to obtain an EU permanent residency card (EU-Daueraufenthalt). Unlike the Niederlassungserlaubnis, this card grants holders the right to live and work throughout the EU. EU permanent residency cardholders can stay outside the EU for up to six months without losing their card, and up to 12 months if they previously held a Blue Card.

Blue Card Holders

EU Blue Card holders can apply for permanent residency after living in Germany for only three years. However, they risk losing their Blue Card status if they spend 12 months outside of Germany. Nevertheless, they can apply for longer stays abroad if it serves the interests of Germany, such as working for an international company headquartered in Frankfurt.

Brits with an Aufenthaltsdokument-GB

British citizens covered by the post-Brexit Withdrawal Agreement enjoy unlimited living and working rights in Germany, similar to EU citizens and permanent residency permit holders. Depending on the duration of their residence, they may have two different types of residence documents with varying rules for spending time outside of Germany.

This article provides valuable insights into the guidelines surrounding leaving Germany without losing permanent residency status. However, it is essential to consult legal services for specific concerns about obtaining, maintaining, or losing residency rights.

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