Can I apply for a settlement permit as a student?

Despite Bafög, students can already apply for a settlement permit if they have a positive employment forecast.

An unlimited right of residence such as a settlement permit is a big step for many people to stay in Germany in the long term. However, a number of prerequisites must be fulfilled for this. This blog is only about "securing your livelihood", as this requirement is especially important for students. The requirements for the granting of a settlement permit are largely defined in § 9 Abs. 2 Aufenthaltsgesetz. In particular, Germany requires foreigners who wish to live permanently in Germany to ensure that their livelihood is secure, § 9 Para. 2 Sentence 1 No. 2 Aufenthaltsgesetz.

Einem Ausländer ist die Niederlassungserlaubnis zu erteilen, wenn 


sein Lebensunterhalt gesichert ist,...]


What about students who receive Bafög? Is the purchase secured for them?

The answer is, that depends. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Basically, it should be noted that students can obtain a settlement permit during their studies even if they do not earn any money or even receive Bafög. This results first of all from § 9 Para. 3 Sentence 2 Aufenthaltsgesetz.

Von der Voraussetzung nach Absatz 2 Satz 1 Nr. 3 wird abgesehen, wenn sich der Ausländer in einer Ausbildung befindet, die zu einem anerkannten schulischen oder beruflichen Bildungsabschluss oder einem Hochschulabschluss führt.

However, the legal situation was substantiated by case law (see VG München, Urteil vom 22.03.2012 - M 12 K 12.298). In principle, the case-law assumes that for the granting of the settlement permit, living costs are currently covered even if the student finances his living costs through Bafög.


Future prognosis decisive

However, the legislator demands that a prognosis be made as to whether a person's livelihood will be secure in the future before a settlement permit can be issued. The requirements to this condition are strict, finally the legislator would like to prevent with the regulation that humans from abroad immigrate durably into the German social system. In the following we have listed some criteria which may be relevant for the prognosis decision. To put it simply, it is important to decide whether it is very likely that they will earn enough money in the future.

What criteria speak in favour of granting a settlement permit during the period of study?

  • Prognosis on completion of studies
  • school history
  • Labour market situation in the country (shortage of skilled workers in the respective sector)
  • Other qualifications
  • Current internships and, if applicable, job offers

What criteria speak against the granting of a settlement permit during the period of study?

  • several discontinued training courses or study programmes
  • bad grades
  • high unemployment among graduates with the same academic degree

The more likely it is that the current education will be successfully completed and an adequate job will be started soon after graduation, the greater the chance to obtain a settlement permit as a student.

Further information about settlement permits, especially as a refugee, can be found on this page and in the following video.


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