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I am a non-EU person living and working in Germany. I completed my Masters from a German university in three years and then I started working with a Blue Card with a company in Munich. After six months, I quit and went to Belgium to study and then returned to Germany for a job. Since October 2021, I have been working in Germany on a new Blue Card. I speak German at a B2-C1 level.

I am wondering if I am eligible for a Niederlassungserlaubnis now? I have checked all the requirements and the only doubt I had was that, as a Blue Card holder and speaking German at a B2-C1 level, I become eligible after 21 months. In my case, do the six months I worked (on the old Blue Card) before I went to Belgium count towards the 21 months? If so, then I think I could apply by the end of January 2023.

I also read in the German law that study time counts, though only half, so for me it would be 1.5 years - would this be counted too? Any insight would be helpful. I have read a lot but I am still unsure. I have written many emails to the Foreigner's office but I have not received a reply.

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I [wonder] if I am eligible for a Niederlassungserlaubnis now?

Immigration law is way too complex, possibly you forgot mentioning circumstances affecting your case. You simply have to apply for a PR to know for certain.

I also read in the German law that study time counts, though only half, so for me it would be 1.5 years - would this be counted too?

Yes, if applying for a national PR or a EU PR, legal stays for the purposes of study or vocational training contribute only half:

  • § 9 (4) No. 3 AufenthG, national PR
  • § 9b (1) No. 4 AufenthG, EU PR (← you usually want this)

Note, there are other reasons for a PR that have different requirements. E. g. if you are married to a German citizen or are a public servant (Beamter).

[…] speaking German at a B2-C1 level, […]

The national and EU PR merely require “sufficient proficiency in German”. This corresponds to CEFR level B1, § 2 (11) AufenthG.

[…] do the six months I worked […] before I went to Belgium count […]

There are numerous pitfalls, but generally speaking, yes, these periods contribute to the minimum duration of stay(s) in the respective country that issued the respective permit(s). File an application to know for sure.

The national PR expects that you paid contributions to the pension fund for at least 60 months, 9 (2) No. 3 AufenthG. Evidently you have not fulfilled this requirement.

The EU PR demands secured subsistence, § 9a (2) No. 1 AufenthG, as described in § 9c AufenthG. Essentially you need an employment contract of unlimited duration, governed by German law, that has a certain minimum wage that depends on your age, number/age of dependents and what people usually earn in Germany, and this is still a simplified statement.

[…] I have written many emails to the Foreigner's office but I have not received a reply.

The immigration office does not want to be held liable for any unofficial statements they make. With limited information (i. e. not a complete application for a PR) it’s virtually impossible to correctly assess your eligibility, because immigration law is just too complex.

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  • thanks for your response. In my case, as stated, the contribution to the pension for 60 months should not be applicable because of my German skills (B2) and being a Blue Card holder, the time is shortened to 21 months. And if my earlier Blue card time is counted, then yes, I have paid contributions for 21 months - well, I guess, I have to apply and check, will do so with all documents, Thanks again. Jan 18, 2023 at 23:31
  • I’m sorry, but now I’m curious: Where is the legal basis for shortening the minimum time by more than half? With respect to C1 German proficiency I only found reduced time requirements for recognized asylum seekers and CRSR refugees, § 26 (3) 3 AufenthG. Jan 19, 2023 at 0:20
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    @KaiBurghardt §18c(2) - Act on the Residence, Economic Activity and Integration of Foreigners in the Federal Territory¹ Residence Act: The period referred to in sentence 1 [33 months] is reduced to 21 months if the foreigner has a sufficient command of the German language. Jan 20, 2023 at 8:08
  • @MarkJohnson Ah, I see, thanks! 18c (2) is happy with A1 proficiency, but B1 shortens the time. Then – for an 18c (2) permit – PTG will need to have worked for 21 months earning at least 58 grand gross annually; the specific figures depend on East/West Germany and in which year(s) you worked for six months in Munich. I doubt you’ll get this much as a fresh Master’s graduate. The threshold is just 45 grand gross annually if are working as a scientist, MD or IT specialist. Jan 20, 2023 at 11:30
  • @KaiBurghardt You should add that to your answer. Jan 20, 2023 at 12:07

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