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I am recognized as a refugee in Germany with a 3 years residence permit.
I am now enrolled in an Integration course and I would like to join a Bachelor program at the university, soon after I get the required language level.

My residence permit renewal is due on the 2nd year of my undergraduate studies.
Am I able to get a permanent residence at that time?
I've read that I can get it on the third year in case of "special integration measures".

-What does this term stand for?

By that time, I'll have a C1 level of the language and I'll be living independently from the government, since I am planning to get a scholarship to cover the living expenses during my studies.

- Is this considered "living on welfare", especially if the grant is funded by a private institution?
asked Jan 27, 2019 in Legal advice by Hsynth
retagged Jan 28, 2019

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Dear @Hsynth,

Thank you for reaching out to our community and Welcome!

Let's have a look at your questions separately:

1. There seems to be the possibility to be granted a permanent residence permit after three years, as our asylum law expert Nilab explains on the following thread: Can I apply for permanent residence after three years?

However, this may only apply in special cases.

These are the general requirements to be eligible: 

  • They have held a residence permit for 5 years. 
  • They have the means to support themselves without public funds.
  • They have paid the compulsory or voluntary contributions to statutory pension insurance for at least 60 months. 
  • They are entitled to exercise gainful employment and have the permits to do so.
  • They have a sufficient command of German and basic knowledge of the legal and social system and way of life in Germany
  • They have sufficient living space for themselves and their family.

This information is from the website "Make it in Germany". They explain other options to get a permanent residence permit here:

Here is more information by the BAMF:

As you can read on any of these websites, you are able to apply for a residence permit earlier (after two instead of five years), if you have graduated from a German university.

The prerequisites are explained in this brochure starting on page 34:

2. As one of the prerequisites is supporting yourself without public funds, I am unsure if a scholarship counts. Applying for a permanent residence permit requires you to have worked and paid into the pension system

Yet, there are different requirements for graduates from German universities who apply: you must have held a residence permit for the purpose of employment right after completing your studies for at least two years, have a job related to your studies (qualifications) and paid into the pension system for 2 years. 

[If you are interested in scholarships, here is a list by the DAAD:]

Also, here are some more threads from our platform regarding permanent residence permits, especially the first one might be interesting for you: 

When can I get permanent residency?

How long do I have to be married to my wife until I can apply for a permanent residence permit in Germany?

Maybe there is another way to receive a permanent residence permit quicker. Especially since you plan on studying, it might be best to contact a student help center for more information. Otherwise, the BAMF lists these contact details of the "Citizen Service" for help: 

Phone: +49 (0) 911-943-6390; E-mail:

I hope the sources and information I linked here help. Feel free to reach out to us again if you have any more questions!

All the best,


answered Jan 28, 2019 by Isa
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