How To Get German Citizenship by Investment

Germany attracts foreign investors for many reasons: the superiority of the German economy; laws that create a safe environment for investment; a large number of foreign companies. Plus, the German passport itself is widely recognized in the world and is considered one of the most influential.


Although Germany does not have an official Citizenship by Investment or Golden Visa program, by law a foreign investor can obtain a three-year residence permit under certain conditions.


Who can apply for this visa?


  • Foreign entrepreneurs - establish a business in Germany

  • Foreign entrepreneurs - establish an overseas branch

  • Freelancers

  • Legal representatives of businesses who are not working under an employee status.


  1. Foreign investors qualify for a long-term “D” visa and temporary residence permit after business investment in Germany. The residence permits are usually for two or three years. It’s not required to reside permanently in Germany but the investor needs to visit Germany once a year at least.

  2. Once this has been granted, the holders are able to leave and re-enter Germany and Schengen countries without limitation. 

  3. After the business has been effectively productive for three years, applicants and dependents are eligible for an unlimited permanent residence permit. 

  4. After 6 years of obtaining a legal residence in Germany, you can apply for citizenship with certain additional conditions for the German language and culture which applied to this process.

  5. Regarding residency and citizenship, the applicant can include family members in the program.


As for the requirements for applicants, they are as follows:


  • Age from 18 years old

  • Having a business plan that matches the goals

  • Experience in a business that the investor is going to open in Germany

  • The investor can guarantee that the business will have a positive impact on the German economy and satisfy local or economic interests

  • Hire at least five people in Germany

  • Cash for the firm is raised through equity financing or a loan commitment

  • An investor has no criminal record


The residency process itself consists of the following steps:


Step 1

Register your German address; the first requirement in order to reside in Germany is to register your new German address with the authorities, and you must fulfill it in order to be eligible for a residence permit. (Not registering the address leads to getting a fine and the permit might be denied). 


Step 2

After you complete your registration, you will get a certificate which must be attached to the application.


Step 3

Issue a Health Insurance; Germany requires you to Issue Health Insurance before applying for a residence permit.   


Step 4

Bank Account; open a German bank account and transfer your funds, then you get the financial bank statements to prove you can support yourself and your family financially.


Step 5

Fill out the application form and set an appointment.


Step 6

Attend your appointment (either at the immigration office in Germany or the German consulate in your country or residence place) and have an interview to check your application document, if everything is fine you will be asked to wait till the process is finished in order to get the residence permit.


Step 7

The residence permit request takes around two months to be processed then you will get your residence permit.




After three years of continuous residence in Germany, the investor has the possibility to become a permanent resident. An investor can apply for citizenship after eight years of legal residence in the country. If the investor is well integrated into society, can speak German fluently, then an application for citizenship can be submitted after six years of continuous residence.

Taking your first steps in citizenship by investment programs? Or consider yourself an advanced investor? Our new book will help you find answers to all your questions for investors of all levels!


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