Right of residence
Before reaching Germany, usually a visa has to be applied at the German consulate at your home-country. With the application for such a visa, the reasons for your stay in Germany have to be explained, requirements of the German Foreign office and qualifications have to be proved.
Different types of resident permits can be applied. There are various occasions to be given limited permit of stay (employment, research, freelance work, but also studies, family unification). Most important is the visa for the purpose of employment.
Since August 2012 Germany introduced a new titel for permanent residence. The so called Blue Card (Blaue Karte) gives highly skilled foreign immigrants the possibility to live and work in Germany. The Blue Card also offers better chance for the employment of foreign students after their degree at a German university.
For the application of the Blue Card the applicant must have either a German university degree or a recognized foreign university degree or a equivalent foreign degree and an employment-contract with an annual salary of at least € 44.800 (€ 3.733 € /month) or an occupations as scientist, mathematician, engineer, medical doctor or IT- /communication-professionals with an annual salary of at least € 34.944 (€ 2.912 € / month).
The Blue Card will be issued for a maximum of four years. The validity of the Blue Card can also be limited by the responsible authorities for less than four years, in case that the presented employment-contract is valid for a period of less than four years. After first issue of the Blue Card, there is the possibility for a renew of the blue card or in certain cases for the application for a permanent residence, without limitation of duration. In the best case a permanent residence will already granted after a time of 21 month of Blue Card possessorship.