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I've a Niederlassungserlaubnis (permanent residence permit) and I do know that, this card will expire if I leave Germany (EU) more than 180 consecutive days.

However, I just don't know, it the law requires how many days per year, one has to live actually in Germany.

My situation is for this year 2022:

  • From 01st. January - 31st. March: I stayed in Germany

  • From 01st. April - 30th. July: I stayed in my home country (out of EU): 120 days

  • From 01st. August - 30th. September: I stayed in Germany

  • From 01st. October - 17th. March, 2023: I stay in  my home country (out of EU): 170 days

Will everything ok if I returned to Germany before the end of March, 2023 (180 days out of Germany)? 

OR I will need to return to Germany earlier (e.g. before the end of January, 2023)? 

Thanks,

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  • 7
    What is the reason for stay in your home country? The legislation is open to interperation and you will also loose your Niederlassungserlaubnis if you leave Germany 'for a reason which is not temporary in nature'. The fixed period after which the permit automatically expires is btw 6 months and not 180 days. but also that limit can be extended upon application if you have a good reason. Spending most of your time abroad and only coming back to Germany for a short period everey 4-5 months to 'reset' the 6 months limit is not likely to work out.
    – jarnbjo
    Oct 11, 2022 at 13:00
  • In general, immigration officers in every country don't like if you try to use loopholes. If you have no reason or a bad reason, they might not like it even if the law said it was okay
    – user253751
    Oct 11, 2022 at 17:10
  • On a quick glance that schedule looks like you’re spending more time out of Germany than in it. What is the reason(s)? It doesn’t seem like a typical pattern
    – Traveller
    Oct 12, 2022 at 10:12

1 Answer 1

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It depends:

  • If you’re married to a German, your PR never expires (even if you’re staying more than 180 consecutive days abroad), unless Germany doesn’t like you anymore (e. g. you’re acting/behaving anti-democratically), § 51 Ⅱ 2 AufentHG.
  • If you have legally stayed in Germany for more than 15 years in total, your PR never expires (even if you’re staying more than 180 consecutive days abroad) provided that you can make a living and Germany still likes you (e. g. you’re not a convicted criminal), § 51 Ⅱ 1 AufentHG.
  • Otherwise:
    • If you’re apparently leaving Germany for good, say selling house/terminating apartment rent, terminate German banking account, taking/sending all your stuff to the next destination, your PR expires immediately, § 51 Ⅰ No. 6 AufentHG.
    • If none of the above applies, you simply have to re-enter Germany within 6 months, § 51 Ⅰ No. 7 AufentHG. This period can be extended if it’s in the interest of Germany (e. g. you’re a researcher heading to an Antarctic expedition). There’s not set minimum number of days you have to stay in Germany, you can even stay zero days. It just needs to be believable that you still intend to use the PR.
  • Other reasons for revoking your PR still apply, e. g. if you are about to be deported, § 53 AufentHG. This will immediately expire your PR.

Note, a PR (a Niederlassungserlaubnis) never expires i. e. become invalid by passing of time, § 9 Ⅰ 1 AufentHG. The German wording of the law makes it clear “expire” (time) vs. “expire” (conditional).

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  • Thanks for your detail explanation, I still work remotely from my home country though, so technically everything is the same, except I'm not in Germany for the time. Here, I will just need to return to Germany within 6 months acccording to § 51 | No. 7.
    – Bằng Rikimaru
    Oct 12, 2022 at 11:32
  • 1
    PS: Just wanted to emphasize the difference; the limit is not “180 days”, but “6 months”: “October 12, 2022 + 6 months = April 12, 2023”, but “October 12, 2022 + 180 days = April 10, 2023”. If the respective calendar month day number does not exist, the last day is assumed, i. e. “August 31, 2022 + 6 months = February 28, 2023”. Oct 12, 2022 at 11:47
  • Thanks a lot! That is the new thing for this +6 months, which I've learnt from you today.
    – Bằng Rikimaru
    Oct 12, 2022 at 12:05

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