Suppose you are considering retiring to Germany, then the first step to consider is how to do it. Those with European Union passports can move to Germany without the need for a residence permit or visa. European freedom of movement allows people to move to and live in other EU countries. However, even with an EU passport, the retiree should have the finances to support themselves in Germany. For non-EU citizens, there are many ways to go about getting the required residence permit. Some of these methods are based on your country of origin or what citizenship you have. For citizens from the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries it is possible to come to Germany for a short-term visit without needing a Schengen Visa and to stay in Germany for up to 90 days.
It is possible to apply for a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) to remain in Germany during this time. Once again, our legal professionals can work with you to gain this residence permit. It is possible to use that 90 days in Germany to evaluate whether retiring to Germany is in your best interests and something you want to pursue. Alternatively, it is also possible to apply for a German residence permit from your home country through the German embassy or consulate there. Through email and phone, our lawyers can work with you to ensure that all requirements are in order.
When applying for a residence permit, you will need to show that you can financially support yourself while in Germany and demonstrate proof of adequate healthcare provision. Applications can take up to three months to be processed, which is why it is important to apply in advance of your planned move. Upon moving over, you will most likely be granted the right to live in Germany for one year, which can be renewed. Following living in Germany for five years, it will be possible to seek permanent residence in Germany. Being able to demonstrate the required level of German language skills will also play a role in gaining permanent settlement status.
If you have plans for retiring to Germany, make sure that:
- Passport: your passport is in date,
- Healthcare: you have evidence of your healthcare provisions,
- Financial support: you need to show you can support yourself financially.
As a full-service law firm with offices in Cologne, Aachen, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Berlin, Stuttgart and Frankfurt we pride ourselves on how our legal professionals provide comprehensive assistance to our business and private clients. Once engaged, our immigration team will examine your particular case and advise you on how to proceed.
Our lawyers have assisted clients worldwide with retiring to Germany, and know the exact requirements to make sure that your retirement residence permit application will be a success. We are particularly experienced with helping US citizens retire to Germany. Our full-service approach means that our German expat lawyers can advise you regarding income requirements to retire in Germany, the best places to retire to in Germany, acquiring German citizenship by descent or naturalisation, and more. Having an English-speaking legal advisor available with in-depth knowledge of the German legal system will ensure that you have the solution to any arising legal difficulties.