Entry - residence - naturalization

Entry requirements for EU citizens to Germany

As an EU citizen, you benefit from the Freedom of Movement Act/EU (FreizüG/EU). This means that you can enter and stay in Germany and any other EU member state without a visa.

To enter Germany, you need an identity document (passport or identity card). You can stay in Germany for up to 3 months without any further requirements or conditions.

You can live in Germany for longer than 3 months if you:

  • are employed or self-employed,
  • are doing vocational training or studying,
  • are looking for work with reasonable prospects of success,
  • are not gainfully employed but have sufficient means of subsistence and health insurance cover (also applies to students) or
  • have already resided legally in Germany for at least 5 years.

Permanent right of residence

If you have been living and working permanently in Germany for 5 years in accordance with the provisions of EU freedom of movement law, you acquire the right to permanent residence (Daueraufenthaltsrecht).

To attain this, you must submit an application to the Foreigners' Registration Office. If you meet all the conditions, you will receive a permanent residence card.

The permanent residence card is not mandatory and differs from the registration certificate that some countries require.

The right of permanent residence also applies to family members and close relatives. Requirement: You must have legally resided in Germany with an EU citizen for five years. You will receive a permanent residence card within 6 months of applying, even if you are not an EU citizen yourself.

Tip: You can use the permanent residence card to deal with administrative or official matters without the authorities being allowed to ask you for proof of employment, sufficient funds, health insurance, etc.


As an EU citizen, you are entitled to acquire German citizenship through naturalization.

The naturalization process requires an application. You must provide suitable documents to demonstrate that you meet the conditions for obtaining German citizenship.

Tip: The "Naturalization Portal" of the State Government of Saxony-Anhalt provides detailed information about the naturalization process, requirements, and the prescribed naturalization test.

Note: Naturalization generally no longer requires you to renounce your current citizenship.
However, it is possible that you may lose your current citizenship if you naturalize in Germany. This depends on the laws of your country of origin.
The best points of contact for questions are the municipal naturalization authorities (via email or in person). However, it is advisable to plan several months in advance for appointments (approximately 4 months).

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