If your only goal is to visit Germany for touristic purposes, you don’t have to fret about a residence permit. A tourist visa allows you to stay in Germany for about 90 days and explore the country and all it has to offer. Staying beyond the permitted 90 days is not possible though without a residence permit.

Get German residence permit allows you to stay in Germany for a more extended period than only 90 days. During that time, you can study, work, or engage in other activities in the country.

But how do you know whether you need a residence permit? Except for people from EU countries, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Lichtenstein, all other foreign nationals need a residence permit to stay in Germany for more than 90 days.

Many foreign nationals will have to apply for the residence permit for Germany from their home countries or get a Schengen visa to enter Germany for 90 days. For some countries, though, it is possible to enter Germany without a visa during those first 90 days and apply for a residence permit from inside the country.

Visit the Do I need a Visa for Short Stays in Germany to determine whether you can go into the country without a Schengen Visa.

It should be noted that although each German residence permit involves different requirements, the expert immigration lawyers at Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte provide comprehensive legal advice on all residence permit matters. Visit their German Immigration to Germany Information Center to find out more about the services they offer and contact them now if you want expert legal oversight when preparing your residence permit application.

Types of Residence Permit

Depending on your length of stay and the requirements you fulfil, there are various types of German residence permits. In general, three residence permits allow you to stay in Germany for different periods.

Temporary Residence Permit

As its name suggests, the Temporary Residence Permit or Limited Residence Permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) is for shorter stays in Germany. When you get this type of residence permit, you can stay in Germany for one year only. However, it has the possibility of extension provided that your situation does not change and that you fulfil the requirements.

The Temporary Residence Permit is granted to foreign nationals if they have a specific reason for staying in Germany. When you apply for this type of permit, you state why you want to stay, and the card released to you specifies it. Afterwards, you cannot engage in an activity that your residence permit doesn’t allow. For example, if you apply for a temporary residence permit for studying, it will state that you can only study and not work. The other way around applies as well.

The temporary residence permit is the first type of permit that most foreign nationals get. It creates a basis for a more permanent stay in Germany. One of the requirements, then for the permanent permit is to have held the temporary permit for a specified period of time. Only those with exceptional cases can surpass this requirement.

There are many reasons that a person would want to have a temporary residence permit for Germany. Here we will outline the three most common ones. 

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