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Justizia Waage und Bücher

Information on
Immigration Law

If you have questions regarding residence permits, work permits, naturalization etc., please visit the Immigration and Naturalization Department at the City Hall in LörrachIm Folgenden finden Sie Antworten auf immer wiederkehrende ausländerrechtliche Fragen. Für spezifische Fragen wie Visumsfragen, Aufenthaltstitel, Arbeitserlaubnis etc. ist die Ausländerbehörde im Rathaus der Stadt Lörrach zuständig.

Immigration and Naturalization Department (Ausländerbehörde)

Stadt Lörrach
Rathaus, 3rd Floor | Luisenstraße 16 | 79539 Lörrach
Tuesday-Friday: 8 a.m. until 12 p.m., Thursday: 3 until 8 p.m.

Appointment is necessary.
Room 3.09 is responsible for all refugees with asylum process and for all people living in the community housing:

You can find detailed information on „Immigration Law“ on the Internet, e.g. at:

www.loerrach.de - Ausländerbehörde

Entry and Residence

Each foreign citizen who is not a citizen of the EU (European Union), the EEA (European Economic Area), Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Switzerland and the USA requires an entry visa if he/she wants to stay longer than 90 days in the Federal Republic of Germany.

The same applies to nationals of Andorra, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino, who do not want to engage in any gainful employment other than that provided for in Sect. 17 para. 2 of the German Residence Ordinance. EU member countries are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the UK and Cyprus. In addition to the EU countries, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein also belong to the European Economic Area (EEA). At the moment, some restrictions on free movement still apply to Croatian citizens. This means in particular that Croatian citizens in principle need an EU work permit, initially from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2015, to take up employment in Germany, which they must apply for at Central International Placement Services (ZAV) before taking up employment.

Information on work for foreigners available on the homepage of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

The German consular services abroad are responsible for issuing the visas in your homeland. The Reasons for entering the Federal Republic of Germany are examined by the German consular services. You cannot enter the Federal Republic of Germany until this preliminary examination has been completed and a visa has been issued. More detailed information is available on the Internet at www.auswaertiges-amt.de .

What are the advantages of the Schengen Agreement for third-country nationals?
Since 26 March 1995, so-called third-country nationals (nationals from countries outside the European Union) who reside in a Schengen country (Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, the Czech Republic and Hungary) and have a valid residence permit and passport are free to enter other Schengen countries without a visa as tourists and stay there for up to 90 days within six months. Holders of a Schengen visa who have legally entered the territory of one of the Schengen countries can freely move within the territory of all Schengen countries during the time the visa is valid. Until now, the EU member states Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia apply the Schengen acquis only partially. Until the time the Schengen acquis is fully applied, which these three countries aim for, controls at their internal borders are still in effect for the time being.

Residence permit

What is my residence status?

Citizens of all countries outside of the European Union need a residence permit for an extended stay in Germany and/or to work here.
To legally stay in Germany, you will need one of the following permits:
  • Visa
  • Residence permit
  • Settlement permit
  • Permission for extended stay -European Union
  • Blue Card -European Union
A visa for a longer stay as well as the pure visitor visa is generally applied for at a German embassy or consulate in the home country of the foreign national. This does not apply to citizens of the European Union, Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the United States of America, since these can make a corresponding application within the territory of the Federal Republic.

A temporary residence permit is issued for a purpose specified in the Residence Act. After entering with a national visa, a temporary residence permit for a particular statutory purpose of the stay is granted on request. If a temporary residence permit is granted initially, a permanent residence permit (settlement permit) is usually granted after a certain period of time.

To receive a temporary residence permit, it is necessary to fill out the application form (in German).
A settlement permit is issued, for example, when a foreign national has had a residence permit for five years and has met other conditions (e.g. securement of subsistence, no criminal record, adequate knowledge of the German language, no grounds for deportation). The settlement permit is unrestricted with respect to time and place and entitles the holder to take up gainful employment (as an employee or self-employed person). It particularly provides a measure of protection against deportation.
The absence of a valid passport does not automatically invalidate the residence permit. However, foreign nationals will still be required to possess a valid passport of their home country or a German passport replacement document in the future. The extension of the passport / identity card must be requested at the responsible consulate. Owners of a German passport replacement document should contact the immigration authorities.
The electronic residence permit (eAT) is a stand-alone document in a handy credit card format, which all nationals from countries outside the European Union (third country nationals) will receive starting September 1, 2011. The introduction of the eAT replaces the previous residence permit (sticker), the residence and permanent residence card and the passport substitute paper document. The contactless chip not only stores personal data, but also a digital photograph and two fingerprints. Like the new identity of German citizens, the eAT will also allow foreign citizens to communicate with authorities and administrations online. The eAT contains an online ID function which allows for quick and easy transactions, for example in the Internet or at vending machines.

The eAT is equipped for the use of qualified electronic signatures to be able to sign legally binding digital documents. All EU Member States have undertaken to introduce the eAT. This is based on the EU Directives 1030/2002 and 380/2008. The aim is to standardize the residence permits of the European Union and to use biometric data in order to enhance the link between the document holder and document and to provide protection against misuse.

  • All current residence permits in passports and passport substitute documents will remain valid until not later than 08.31.2021. For more information, please contact the Immigration Office.
  • The eAT does not replace a passport. Crossing the borders will require a passport and an eAt.

Documents to be furnished when applying for a residence permit:

  • Identity card/passport from your home country
  • Up-to-date photo (biometric)
  • Pay slips of the last three months
  • Proof of adequate health insurance
  • Rental or purchase agreement / copy of land register title in case of home ownership
  • Proof of five years of pension contributions (in case of settlement permit)
  • In case of a family reunification, you must appear in person with your spouse who will be required to take a German language test (A1).

Citizenship and Naturalization

Responsible Authority:
Landratsamt Lörrach – Haus 2
Palmstraße 3 | 79539 Lörrach | Oliver Kugel, Raum 0.15 | 07621.410 23 53
Does my child automatically obtain German citizenship if it is born in Germany?
By being born in Germany, a child of foreign parents acquires German citizenship
if one parent
  • has legally resided in Germany for eight years and
  • has a permanent resident permit (e.g. settlement permit, right of EU citizens to move freely), or
  • is a Swiss citizen or family member of a Swiss citizen and has a residence permit on the basis of the Agreement on Freedom of Movement of 21.06.1999 between the European Community and the Swiss Confederation
The acquisition of German citizenship is determined by the Registry Office. Up to age 18, the child may retain simultaneously German citizenship and the foreign citizenship of his parents until he/she reaches the age of 18. Then the child must decide if he/she wants to keep the German or the foreign citizenship (need to choose).

Should the child opt for German citizenship, he/she must give up the foreign citizenship by no later than upon completion of his/her 23d year of life. After reaching adulthood, the child will be notified in writing by the authorities that it has to choose a nationality and will be informed about the procedure.

In future, the need to choose one citizenship will be waved for children who have grown up in Germany. A change of the law is expected soon.

Is it possible to keep both nationalities beyond the age of 23?
This is possible in exceptional cases, if it is impossible or very difficult to give up one’s foreign citizenship or if the child is a citizen of the European Union or a Swiss citizen. In these cases, a corresponding request must be submitted to the Citizenship Office before the age of 21. (see above re need to choose)

Can children, who have not acquired German citizenship by birth, be naturalized?
Yes, if they meet the general requirements for naturalization (see below). Children may submit a request for naturalization from the age of 16. Before that, they can usually be naturalized together with their parents. Whether it is possible to be naturalized even without the parents depends on various factors and needs to be determined in each case by the Naturalization Authorities.

Which conditions must be met?
A right to naturalization exists, if the following conditions are met:
  • Possession of a permanent right of residence (e.g. settlement permit, right of EU citizens to move freely) or a residence permit. However, a residence permit under the provisions of Sections 16, 17, 20, 22, 23 para. 1, 23a, 24 and 25 para. 3 to 5 of the Residence Act as well as a certificate of extension of a residence permit is not sufficient.
  • 8 years of legal habitual residence in Germany (7 years in case of successful completion of an integration course). Times of unsuccessful asylum procedures or temporary suspension of deportation, for example, do not count.
  • no criminal record (except for minor offenses)
  • no benefits pursuant to German Social Code Vol. II (SGB II) or SGB XII, e.g. combined unemployment and welfare benefits, social security benefits (except if non-payment of such benefits is unreasonable, e.g. in case of disability, seniors, single parents or young people still at school, in training or studying at a university)
  • adequate health insurance and provisions for retirement (usually 60 months of compulsory contributions to the pension plan)
  • adequate knowledge of the German language (at least level B1)
  • passing the citizenship test with proof of school leaving qualification achieved in Germany
  • knowledge of the legal and social order and living conditions in Germany
  • commitment to the free democratic basic order of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • no anti-constitutional aspirations
  • renouncement of previous citizenship (this does not apply where it is impossible or very difficult to give up one’s foreign citizenship, and for most citizens of the European Union and Switzerland).
There are also special provisions for spouses of German citizens, asylum seekers and some other groups of people who still have not resided in Germany for 8 years.
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