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Entry requirements

Residence permits are issued in two steps both for free-lance/self-employed individuals and also those with salaried employment.

A residence permit for foreign employees who are not citizens of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland can be issued in the following forms:

  • Residence permit for the purpose of employment
  • Permanent residence permit

The application for a residence permit must be filed at the immigration office of the regional capital of Dresden no later than the expiry date of the entry visa. Here you must go to the Central Passport and Registration Office, Theaterstraße 11, 01067 Dresden.

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

  • valid passport
  • entry with required visa
  • proof of identity and possibly citizenship
  • reliable means of support
  • no reason for extradition

Residence permit for the purpose of employment

Residence for the purpose of employment includes:


This term applies to salaried employment in particular when there is an employment contract. The term ‘employment' also covers professional training and further training.


Self-employed/free-lance activities

Individuals who would like to be independently employed in Germany can also obtain a residence permit with a three-year limit. If the individual or company can prove that business has gone well during this period, a permanent residence permit can be issued.

Permanent residence permit

A permanent residence permit is issued to consolidate the residence of a foreigner on German territory and is for an unlimited period. Furthermore, it authorises him or her to perform both regular employment and self-employment or free-lance activities. The basic requirements for the issue of a permanent residence permit are five year possession of a residence permit, reliable means of support, proof of payment of the required contributions to the statutory pension insurance for at least 60 months, lack of a criminal record, work permit, possession of the required knowledge for employment, sufficient knowledge of the German language, basic knowledge of legal and social regulations and of living conditions in Germany, sufficient living space.

Besides the basic regulations of the residence law for issuing a permanent residence permit, there are also several special regulations which also (under extenuating circumstances) govern the issue of permanent residence permits:

Important contacts

City of Dresden

Department of State and Foreign Affairs
(Abteilung Staatsangehörigkeits- u. Ausländerangelegenheiten)

Internet address 

Passport and Registration Office
(Abteilung Pass- und Meldewesen)

Internet address 

Foreign Residents Affairs Officer

Internet address 

Foreign Residents Committee

Internet address 

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