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Real Estate Immigration Germany

As the number of people acquiring citizenship by investing in real estate increases, questions concerning such possibilities in Germany arises.

Malta’s “Malta Citizenship by Investment” Programme provides an example, and many other EU States are following suit. The principle is straightforward: by contributing to the state funds of the EU country the investor is awarded with citizenship of that state. The investments are normally classified as follows: investment in real estate or the creation of several hundred jobs significantly contributes to the public purse of EU States in need of financial help. In return, you can acquire the “Golden visa”. It is seen as a profitable deal for both parties.

With this simple business model, European Union Member States like Malta, Portugal, Greece, Romania and Cyprus earn enormous amounts of money annually through foreign investors. The rules are clearly defined and seems straightforward. However, as simple as this model may seem, it has been a cause of concern for the European Commission and citizenship awarded for real estate investment has attracted some degree of criticism.


The Situation in Germany

However, the question is what the legal position in Germany looks like. What options does Germany offer for individuals seeking to avail of citizenship through similar schemes? We will explain the legal position in Germany regarding Real Estate Immigration, as well as the arising opportunities and possibilities.

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The Legal Basis for Real Estate Immigration

The legal basis allowing well-off non-workers to receive residency by investing in Real Estate in Germany can be found in §7(1) of the German Residency Act. This subsection enables residency permits to be granted for purposes that are not explicitly stated in the Residence Act. For instance, it covers those with sufficient resources and financial support who may wish to settle in Germany in order to live off their own assets here. Many potential investors had not previously considered this a viable option, but the recent judgment of the Administrative Court Freiburg from 18 July 2018, 1 K 1083/17 clarifies the situation to some extent.

That case involved an individual of means who wished to settle in Germany to live off his own funds. These were said to include a large plot of land located in a residential area, which was rented out to a hotel with a restaurant for 3,500 Euros per month. The question was whether this income, which consisted of rent rather than interest, could be classified as assets capable of securing the livelihood of the family in the long term.

According to the judgment, the assets required include any such income as serves to secure the relevant person’s livelihood in the long term without needing additional assistance from the State. However, generally this will only include assets that are expected to generate a regular interest income.


The Value of the Assets in Real Estate Immigration

In a judgment by the Administrative Court Stuttgart from 2010 – 2 K 1260/10, in a case concerning the grant of a residency permit to an American pensioner with a monthly pension of $1,107, it was said that at least according to that court, there cannot be a rule stipulating a particular minimum value, so long as the relevant person’s livelihood is secured under the general conditions in section 5(1) of the German Residence Act.

Nor do legal commentators offer any concrete statements. With regard to the discretion left to the public authority under section 7(1) of the Residence Act, the assumption is that there is an existing capital stock, or a recurring income, which would result in a reduction in discretion so as to allow only one possible lawful decision.

Practice Group for Immigration Law

Aykut Elseven - Lawyer

Aykut Elseven
Lawyer

Dr. Tim Schlun Lawyer

Dr. Tim Schlun
Lawyer

Abschira Kontny - Lawyer

Dr. Corinna Ujkasevic
Lawyer

Jens Schmidt Lawyer

Jens Schmidt
Lawyer

Contact our Practice Group concerning Real Estate Immigration

Samir Muratovic Lawyer

Samir Muratovic
Lawyer

Sandra Zimmerling Lawyer

Sandra Zimmerling
Lawyer

Daniel Schewior

Daniel Schewior
Lawyer

Schlun & Elseven – Your Real Estate Immigration experts in Germany.

If you require more information concerning the possibilities involved with real estate immigration the lawyers at Schlun & Elseven are the representatives you need. At Schlun & Elseven we specialise in the field of immigration law, we are available throughout Germany. Simply call us at +49 221 93295960 or send us an e-mail addressed to info@se-legal.de, or use our online form.

Availing of legal representation in issues concerning immigration is of vital importance. Even in issues where everything seems straightforward, legal barriers can appear to disrupt events. Furthermore, our lawyers advise  in English as well as German. Our lawyers are looking forward to working with you.

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