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I have a permanent residence permit (Niederlassungserlaubnis) of Germany. I want to work/freelance in another country (India) but maintain my residence in Germany. Is it possible that I visit Germany twice a year to maintain my permit? Visiting Germany every 179 days makes the Residence Permit invalid?
a) Is it allowed?
b) Do I need to inform Ausländerbehörde/Finanzamt about it?
c) Otherwise any valuable alternative will be highly appreciated


[EDIT]
Alternatively: If I pay the taxes (incl social security and pensions) in Germany while border-hopping, do I still need to inform Ausländerbehörde?
Additionally, is getting a German citizenship makes it any easier? Basically I want to live in India somehow, but want to keep my option to go to Germany as a backup option (kind of a security).

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Short answer:

b) Yes, you must inform the Ausländerbehörde of your intention and permission must be granted.

Assume that what you are planing to do is a form of Border hopping

  • which would lead to the Niederlassungserlaubnis being revoked

Long answer:

Your question implies that you are retaining your residence.

Does that mean you are retaining your flat and that a part of your family will remain?

What is the reason for wanting to work/freelance in India?

Is retaining the Niederlassungserlaubnis only a fallback solution if the work in India fails?

Is your work/freelance work both for Germany and India, but for next 2/3 years more time needs to be spent in India?

Based on your situation, the Ausländerbehörde will stipulate (in writing) a longer period than the default 6 months (or after a residence of 15 years: 12 months) that holders of a Niederlassungserlaubnis normally have.
This must be done before you leave.

In this way you would avoid any unnecessary Border hopping trips.

The bold portions of the guideline text of 51.1.5.1 below are the important points that must be fulfilled to avoid the cancellation of a residence due to extensive stays outside the country.


From: General administrative provisions to the residence law:

Zu § 51 – Beendigung der Rechtmäßigkeit des Aufenthalts; Fortgeltung von Beschränkungen
51.1.6.3
Bei Ausländern mit einer Aufenthaltserlaubnis zu den nicht in Nummer 51.1.6.1 und 51.1.6.2 genannten Zwecken oder einer Niederlassungserlaubnis kann im Allgemeinen eine längere Frist bestimmt werden, wenn ihnen ein gesetzlicher Anspruch auf Verlängerung der Aufenthaltserlaubnis zusteht oder wenn der Auslandsaufenthalt aus Gründen der Ausbildung oder Berufausübung oder dringenden persönlichen Gründen erforderlich ist, sowie um älteren Ausländern zur Betreuung durch ihre Familienangehörigen im Herkunftsland auch längerfristige Aufenthalte zu ermöglichen.

To Section 51 - Termination of the legality of the stay; Continuation of restrictions
51.1.6.3
Foreigners who have a residence permit for purposes other than those referred to in points 51.1.6.1 and 51.1.6.2 or a settlement permit can generally be granted a longer period of time if they are entitled to an extension of the residence permit or if the stay abroad is for training purposes or Profession or urgent personal reasons, as well as to allow longer-term stays for older aliens to be cared for by family members in their country of origin.


51.1.5.1
Die Erlöschungswirkung tritt nur ein, wenn objektiv feststeht, dass der Ausländer nicht nur vorübergehend das Bundesgebiet verlassen hat.
Dies kann angenommen werden, wenn er seine Wohnung und Arbeitsstelle aufgegeben hat und unter Mitnahme seines Eigentums ausgereist ist oder wenn er sich zur endgültigen Ausreise verpflichtet hat (z. B. zur Abwendung einer Ausweisung). Entscheidend ist nicht, ob der Ausländer subjektiv auf Dauer im Ausland bleiben oder ob er irgendwann ins Bundesgebiet zurückkehren will. Maßgeblich ist allein, ob der Zweck des Auslandsaufenthalts seiner Natur nach von vornherein nur eine vorübergehende Abwesenheit vom Bundesgebiet erfordert oder nicht. Die vorübergehende Natur des Auslandsaufenthalts ist auch im Fall von ausländischen Familienangehörigen von Deutschen zu bejahen, die als Beschäftigte des Auswärtigen Dienstes und anderer Behörden in Begleitung ihrer Familie aus dienstlichen Gründen für einen befristeten Zeitraum im Ausland eingesetzt werden. Es besteht ein Interesse daran, dass im Fall der dienstlich veranlassten Ausreise der Aufenthaltstitel der mitausreisenden Familienangehörigen nicht erlischt. Eine während des Auslandsaufenthalts ggf. erforderliche Verlängerung des Aufenthaltstitels kann bei der ausstellenden Ausländerbehörde beantragt werden.

51.1.5.1
The cancellation effect only occurs if it is objectively established that the alien [has] not only left the federal territory temporarily.
This can be assumed if he has given up his home and work and has left home with his property or if he has committed himself to the final departure (eg to avert an expulsion). It is not decisive whether the foreigner subjectively stays permanently abroad or whether he wants to return to the federal territory at some point. The only relevant factor is whether the purpose of the stay abroad, by its nature, requires from the outset only a temporary absence from the territory of the Federal Republic or not. The temporary nature of the stay abroad must also be affirmed in the case of foreign family members of Germans employed abroad for a limited period of time as employees of the Foreign Service and other authorities accompanied by their families for official reasons. There is an interest in the fact that in the case of an official departure the residence permit of the family members leaving the country does not expire. An extension of the residence permit which may be required during the stay abroad can be requested from the issuing immigration office.


Sources:

  • Does that mean you are retaining your flat and that a part of your family will remain? Yes, I will have a flat and still Angemeldet in local Bürgeramt What is the reason for wanting to work/freelance in India? Basically I will still be working for the same German company (most of the time). But I want to do that while living in India (parents + kid + family). I already have been doing that for past 5 years, but that was with official Entsendung/posting. But unfortunately it can not be extended past 5 years. Now the only option seems to be with freelancing. – user19328 Dec 11 '19 at 7:25
  • @user19328 I would advise getting a letter from your employer explaining the situation. Get advice from a Immigration lawyer, showing that letter discribing the whole situation. Their advice will probably be an application with the Ausländerbehörde that would allow this situation in a long time manor without being in danger of losing the Niederlassungserlaubnis. – Mark Johnson Dec 11 '19 at 7:46
  • Thank you @mark-johnson Based on your suggestion, I am in process of consulting an immigration lawyer. – user19328 Dec 12 '19 at 7:33

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