Question about “niederlassungserlaubnis” in Germany

I have just received the "niederlassungserlaubnis". But with very strange conditions.

I have passed 3 years working with blue card in Germany with A2 language certificate.

The problem is I have received a green paper with the "niederlassungserlaubnis" which says "Erlischt bei Inanspruchnahme von sozialleistungen" which translates to "expires when social benefits are used".

Is that legal? All my friends didn't have similar paper. And what I knew that by having the "niederlassungserlaubnis", you have the right of all "sozialleistungen". Any one know what should I do? What does the law says about that?

One more strange point, the new card has an entry "Karte Gültig bis" "card expired in" and is written the expiry date of my passport. When I checked with others, their card has the entry "Gültig bis" "valid to" and written "unbefristet" = "permanent". May be because the addition of word card? Is that normal also? What should I do here as well?


Hi Pash2,

Asking if it's legal, is something you need to clarify with lawyers. I would advise however, before going to those lengths, to direct your questions back to the office who issued you the residence permit. Finding an answer to your question, "What does the law says about that?", is not necessary.

"Erlischt bei..." doesn't sound right to me. Typo?

Getting a limited or unlimited residence permit is something the german authorities decides on, based on several factors and criteria. Which brings me to your question regarding the expiry of your residence card. When your passport number changes due to renewal or of sort, of course so should the passport number on your "Niederlassungserlaubnis". Thereby, stating the expiry date of your passport on your residence card.

As mentioned earlier, you need to clarify this with the Alien Authority (Ausländerbehörde). Asking them however, is not a guarantee that they will reveal the reasons for it.

Kind regards,

Hi BeZwe,

Thanks for your answer. For the date it doesn't bother me much. The green paper is my problem. Just want to know why only me have such paper.

And I double checked it is erlischt bei

It is normal nowadays that a residence permit is conditional on not being a ward of the state. The authorities obviously think it is legal - and to check it, you'd have to go all the way to some higher court (which I wouldn't recommend). If you lose your job and cannot afford staying longer, they want you to return to your country. (Remark: Unemployment benefits - ALG1 - are considered an earned benefit and do not count towards this!)
The permit being valid until the underlying travel document expires is also normal. And the wording is completely o.k. by German language rules.
Just take the whole issue as a hint from the authorities that staying in Germany is not your right, but a benefit!

Hmmm does sound a bit strange to me since one of the fundamental differences of a Niederlassungserlaubnis or settlement permit to other residency permits is that one can be eligible for social benefits - unless there has been a recent change in the law. Then again, one normally needs 5 years to get it and to pass a B1 German exam. I think there are relaxed requirements for getting it for someone with a blue card but maybe some differences in benefits and conditions as well?

What is clear is that while one can stay indefinitely with a Niederlassungserlaubnis. One should be issued a new one upon getting a new passport in your case.  But if they leave Germany it will be annulled after 6 – 12 months. There are some special situations depending on if one is then working elsewhere in the EU and intending to return that can make a special exemption up to a number of years. But one MUST be able to finance their stay upon return. Thus if they left while getting social benefits and cannot prove a waiting job so that they would avoid again being on social assistance, then they will not be able to return with the status of a Niederlassungserlaubnis. Or if one eventually applies for citizenship; it will be denied if one is on social assistance. And if one is convicted of a serious crime then no residency permit can keep one from being deported if they choose. 

Normally I suggest people look at the BAMF website to look for details but the site was recently redesigned. The English language pages are now online but at least until some days ago the search function didn’t really work properly; giving the same irrelevant results no matter what one searches for. But in all such cases, the first

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