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Germany’s Residency Programs Are The EU’s Hidden Gem

SRG Real Estate Solutions

Germany has long been an immigration magnet for people from all over the globe looking to improve their lives. The country’s remarkable living standard, massive economy, magnificent healthcare, and high safety levels make it an optimal destination. Recent reforms to the nation’s immigration act have made relocation to Germany simpler and more attractive, making it one of the best destinations in the world.

The country leads the EU in terms of economic and political power and ranks 4th worldwide in terms of GDP. It is an ideal location for international investments.

It is also a prime immigration destination. Germany ranks 9th worldwide on the UN’s Human Development Index, a complex ranking considering various metrics to determine the country’s overall quality of life.

Germany is the optimal place for investor migrants. Yet, its supposed lack of a conventional investment migration program means that investors may miss out on a first-class opportunity when researching EU residency by investment options. That is a notable omission, however, as Germany’s immigration framework gives investors more room to function.

Flexible Immigration Law

Germany has a structured residency by investment program that differs from others, such as the Portuguese Golden Visa. Instead of a formulaic set of investment options at defined minimum investments, Germany’s system relies on a set of immigration laws that are more flexible and welcoming and provide more accurate targeting for whom it wants to bring in, such as successful entrepreneurs. 

This attractive and simplified immigration framework lends itself well to favorable structuring. This means that investment migrants have more options throughout an open German market instead of being limited to a single location. It also translates to investment amounts that align with the reality of the market instead of inflated assets that provide little to no return. 

Germany’s central European location gives entrepreneurs proximity to the continent’s biggest economic hubs, opening more opportunities to engage in economic activities throughout the EU with ease. 

Articles 21 and 18G of the immigration law perfectly emphasize the country’s favorable immigration routes. These two articles are the basis for the Germany Entrepreneurial Residency Option (GERP) and the EU Blue Card.

Germany’s Entrepreneurial Residency Option

The GERP route is a simplified active investment migration route that grants investors greater flexibility and the potential for impressive returns in one of the world’s most dynamic markets.

The GERP’s requirements are straightforward. Applicants must:

  • Engage in entrepreneurial activities that have local or regional importance;
  • Maintain a residential address in Germany (in the city of the business);
  • Have a clean criminal record;
  • Hold health insurance for the principal applicant and accompanying family members; and
  • Travel to Germany at least twice a year.

It is important to note that the GERP does not have a language requirement, not even for permanent residency, making it one of the simplest routes to a German residency permit.

SRG offers investors comprehensive solutions, including company formation, residency application assistance, and more. The process through SRG is streamlined and simplified, making the GERP one of the simplest immigration options in the EU.

After three years of residing in Germany, investors can apply for a permanent residency permit. At this point, their residency permits are no longer bound to their business, and they can close or sell their businesses without losing their status.

The GERP’s process is also simple, consisting of only a few steps:

  1. Signing an agreement with SRG;
  2. Preparing a business plan;
  3. Submitting documentation to city authorities and registering the business;
  4. Applying for a D Visa; and, finally,
  5. Traveling to Germany to collect the residency permit.

The entire process takes six to nine months. SRG will guide you through it and ensure all the documents are in order.

EU Blue Card

The EU Blue Card is one of the best options for those looking to work in Germany. It gives successful applicants a four-year temporary residence permit, one year longer than the period needed to qualify for permanent residency. Depending on the individual’s German language skills, this option affords the fastest route to permanent residence in just 21-27 months. This simplifies the route with but a few simple renewal requirements.

The qualification criteria are also quite simple, even if they are more targeted than those of the GERP. To qualify for an EU Blue Card, applicants must:

  • Hold a university degree equivalent to German standards;
  • Have a work contract with gross annual compensation within the legal requirements;
  • Have a clean criminal record;
  • Maintain a residential address in Germany; and
  • Travel to Germany at least once a year.

The EU Blue Card’s processing time is typically four months for employees. It may take six to eight months if a person wants to establish a company and have their business sponsor them for a Blue Card.

EU Blue Card holders can apply for permanent residency after three years if they:

  1. Have made contributions to the statutory pension insurance scheme; and
  2.  Meet the language proficiency levels of B1 after 21 months of employment and A1 after 27 months of employment.

New Naturalization Law To Redefine German Immigration

In addition to excellent immigration programs such as the GERP and EU Blue Card, Germany’s government may yet take its immigration framework to an entirely new level thanks to a new naturalization bill.

Members of the Upper House of Germany’s Parliament recently approved a bill that will allow dual citizenship and expedite the naturalization of residents to five years instead of eight.

The bill also proposes that children of foreign parents be granted German citizenship if one of the parents has been residing legally in Germany for the past five years.

The Upper House has passed the bill, and it will now go to the Upper Chamber of Parliament before going to the President’s Office if it receives approval.

If the bill passes, which looks like a foregone conclusion, it will mark a significant shift in German naturalization law and will add to the allure of the country as an ideal immigration destination.

To know more about Germany’s GERP and EU Blue Card and how you can become a German resident, contact SRG today via our website or email us directly at info@srg-me.com.

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