Short-time allowance – influence on work permit and waiting period for settlement permit?

Obtaining a settlement permit (unlimited residence permit) requires, among other things, the fulfillment of a waiting period. During this time, the foreigner holds a residence permit for a specific purpose. The duration of the waiting period also depends on the purpose of the stay.

The residence permit also requires that the livelihood is secured (Section 2 (3) Residence Act). This is often fulfilled by salary from employment. In the case of a residence permit for the purpose of employment, the salary level is even a central requirement for obtaining the residence permit (Section 39 (2) Residence Act).

This raises the question of whether the receipt of short-time allowance jeopardizes the existence of the residence permit and the chances of obtaining a settlement permit?
We distinguish between the purpose for which the current residence permit exists and the legal basis on which a settlement permit may be considered in the future:

Skilled workers § 18 AufenthG

The receipt of short-time allowance in connection with the Corona crisis has no influence on the existence of a residence permit for employment. The Federal Ministry of the Interior has clarified this in a decree. It thereby makes an exception to the fact that the residence permit for employment is linked to a certain minimum salary level. This salary level has previously been confirmed by the Federal Employment Agency as part of its approval when the residence permit was first issued or when it was extended.

The waiting period for the settlement permit for skilled workers is 48 months (§ 18c AufenthG). If the university degree was obtained in Germany, only 24 months. Receipt of short-time allowance does not affect the waiting period. The same applies to the fulfillment of pension insurance payments, whose contributions are reduced in the case of short-time allowance. Required to pay contributions for 48 or 24 months. The amount of the assessment base does not depend on a specific salary, but on a salary that would be required to cover the cost of living.

Special case: EU Blue Card § 18b para. 2 Residence Act

The receipt of short-time allowance in connection with the Corona crisis also has no influence on the existence of an EU Blue Card.
However, the receipt of short-time allowance has an influence on the receipt of the settlement permit. The waiting period for a settlement permit is 33 months (for German language skills level A 1) or 21 months (for German language skills level B 1) (Section 18c (2) Residence Act). However, a minimum salary for EU Blue Card is required by law, which usually increases slightly every year. If the salary does not correspond to the current level, it does not count towards fulfilling the waiting period. This also applies analogously to the receipt of short-time allowance. In addition, the payment of pension insurance contributions over 33 or 21 months is required. The amount of the contributions is based on the minimum salary for the EU Blue Card. While receiving short-time allowance, the minimum contribution level for pension insurance is also not reached, so this period does not count.

General regulations

In particular, holders of the residence permit for family reunification § 30 AufenthG (spouses) apply for the settlement permit according to the general rule § 9 AufenthG. The waiting period is 60 months. The receipt of short-time allowance by a spouse does not affect the waiting period. The provision of the 60 months of pension contributions is also respected if they are based on an assessment basis necessary to cover subsistence.
Also, all foreigners – including skilled workers and EU Blue Card holders – can seek permanent EU residence under Section 9a of the Residence Act. Here, the advantage for EU Blue Card holders is that the periods of receipt of short-time allowance also count.


Please note that these representations do not claim to be correct and complete and are not suitable to replace an individual consultation. Please contact the lawyer you trust for this.