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German Law/qualifying for permanent residency


Hi! I really like your blog and I am grateful that you answer questions here for free.

I worked as a teaching assistant in Germany back in 1992-93 through the Paedagogischer Austauschdienst and I had an Aufenthaltserlaubnis for that ten month period. If I were able to come back to Germany could I use the time from my previous stay in Germany as part of the 5 years needed to qualify for a Niederlassungserlaubnis?

I have a separate question which is really just an opinion -- do you think Germany will ever lift the ban on dual citizenship as Belgium did?



Hello Martin,

9 II no. 1 AufenthG requires that you have had an "Aufenthaltserlaubnis" for the past 5 years, which would disqualify any previous time from being counted.
I checked the administrative guidelines on how to interpret this, and no. VV-AufenthG explicitly mentions that any times spent in Germany before 2005 cannot be considered.

There is one possible exception for stays for academic or professional training being counted with half the actual time spent ( 9b I no. 4 AufenthG), which may also be applied for times spent in Germany before 2005 (no., 9.4.3, 9b.1.4 VV-AufenthG).

So you may get 5 months from your previous stay recognized, but in my experience trying to convince the immigration authorities of this will probably take just as much time.

Regarding your second question on dual citizenship:

The new coalition government has just agreed that children born to foreign parents in Germany, who thus far received German citizenship but then had to decide between their two (or three) citizenships by the age of 23, no longer have to make that decision. They will henceforth be allowed to keep the German and thus dual or triple citizenship.
As this was the maximum compromise that could be achieved in the coalition negotiations, I would say the chances for the dual citizenship ban in the cases of naturalization (like in your case) being lifted are zero for the next 4 years. Unfortunately.

Andreas Moser

German Law

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Andreas Moser


Extensive experience in international family law, especially international child abductions and child custody cases. All other areas of German law as well: constitutional law, criminal law, business and contract law, immigration law, inheritance law, and so on.


Lawyer in Germany from 2002 to 2009. Lawyer for US Army JAG Corps before. Bar-certified specialisation in family law and in administrative law. Articles and lectures about international and domestic family law.


2000 Law Degree from University of Regensburg, Germany 2002 admitted to the bar (until 2009) 2013 MA Philosophy at the Open University, UK

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