Business Immigration: Questions and Answers

What are the possibilities for non-EU citizens to obtain permanent residence permits in Germany?

The condition for obtaining a permanent residence permit is the existence of a residence permit with continuous validity for 5 years. There are various ways for obtaining a residence permit (work, research and development, self-employment, as well as study and family reunion).

An exception is the permanent residence permit for highly qualified specialists who have entered Germany under the EU Blue Card (§19a) or for business immigration (§21). They can obtain a permanent residence permit in Germany after 21 months with the Blue Card or after three years.

What is the EU Blue Card?

The EU Blue Card is the opportunity for people and entrepreneurs with higher education to obtain a residence permit in Germany within a shorter period of time and with a simplified procedure. The law came into force on 01.08.2012.

The actual changes to the German Aliens Act of 2012 have fundamentally changed German immigration policy. Now Germany has become one of the most open countries for immigrants in the world.

The EU Blue Card is issued to foreign nationals from non-EU countries if:

  • They have a higher education from a German higher education institution or from a foreign university, if their diploma is recognized in Germany (for this purpose, a special information database has been created in Germany containing data on all foreign universities whose diplomas of education are recognized in Germany) or at least five years of experience in the profession. The experience will have to be proved by presenting employment contracts.
  • The applicant must have an employment contract in Germany with an annual salary of at least 46,400 EUR (3,867 EUR per month). If a non-resident has qualifications that are currently in high demand (computer science, engineers, doctors, mathematicians, physicists...), his annual income may be lower, but not less than 36.190 Euro per year.

Blue Card has several advantages. For example, neither the recipient nor the spouse need to prove their knowledge of German. The spouses is also entitled to work in Germany as soon as they enter Germany;

As mentioned above, the holder of the Blue Card can obtain a permanent residence permit in Germany after 21 months (with knowledge of German), or after 33 months (without knowledge of German). There are also other advantages to the Blue Card.

Is it possible to obtain a permanent residence permit in Germany without hiring employees?

Yes. Before the amendments to the Law on the Status of Foreigners dd. 01.08.2012, the law mentioned the creation of 5 jobs as a necessary condition. After amendments, this indicator no longer exists. However, the creation or maintenance of jobs is still considered one of the most important criteria in the issuance of residence permits. Economic interest for Germany arises only if the activities of the foreign enterprise are expected to have a positive impact on the economy. Since job creation is important in Germany, in practice it is very difficult to imagine a company without employees. In order to present the advantages for Germany convincingly, you need to develop a business plan for your business including a company profile, company concept and an investment plan.

Is it possible to obtain a permanent residence permit without making an investment of EUR 250,000?

Yes. After the amendments to the Law on the Status of Foreigners dd. 01.08.2012, the amount is no longer decisive. The so-called "special regional needs" of Germany are now a primary concern.

What is considered a "superior economic interest or special regional needs"?

This applies primarily to investments in an already existing enterprise or to the modernization and continuation of an insolvent enterprise. Regional interest is present if, for example, the foreign enterprise uses the services of regional suppliers and thus strengthens the regional infrastructure. The opposite situation is also possible with the attraction of necessary suppliers to the region.

The economic interest may also be in the person of the foreign investor if he or she can prove good economic contacts in the home country and contribute to the strengthening of trade relations or the exchange of know-how between Germany and the country concerned.

Which business ideas are accepted in practice by the District Administrative Council and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and which are rejected?

This is a complex question with no simple answer. However, there is no doubt that an interesting field of activity is the energy conversion market. The resulting shortage of doctors and medical personnel in Germany also presents certain opportunities for experienced foreign medical professionals.

What is the average cost for providing advice and preparing all the documents?

This depends on the scope of services required. General support and preparing a business plan will cost on average from 7 500 to 12 500 €.

When purchasing real estate in Germany, does the person acquire the right to a residence permit in Germany and German citizenship?

Buying property for personal purposes does not entitle you to a residence permit in Germany. But when applying for a residence permit, having your own apartment or house in Germany will be an additional advantage in your favor.

How often is it necessary to renew a residence permit before a permanent residence permit is granted?

According to the regulations, a residence permit is first issued for one year. Then, under certain conditions, it is extended for up to 3 years. Accordingly, the residency permit should be extended twice.

How does buying property in Germany affect obtaining a Schengen visa?

Having bought real estate in Germany, you receive the right to the so-called Schengen multivisa. According to which the maximum period of stay is 90 days in the period of six months, that is 180 days a year. When applying for the residence permit in Germany through business immigration purchase of real estate will play a positive role.