How Long You Can Stay Outside Germany – ReEntry Certificate [2024]

by | Bureaucracy in Germany

Last Update: Feb 23, 2024 @ 10:19 pm

Home 9 Bureaucracy in Germany 9 How Long You Can Stay Outside Germany – ReEntry Certificate [2024]

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In the past year, Germany has become a welcoming state for international residents, whether they are students, skilled workers or family members joining their loved ones in Germany. Living here as an expat, away from your homeland is always tough and sometimes, you want to go back to your country for a longer period without compromising your visa status in Germany. However, it is important to understand that prolonged absence from Germany can affect the validity of your residence permit. In this guide, we will inform you about the different rules and regulations regarding how long you can stay outside Germany and how this will impact your residence permit. 

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Informing Foreign Office About your Longer Stay Outside Germany

As you know, communication is an important aspect when you are not sure about something. So if you want to go back to your home country or somewhere else for a longer vacation or even if it is for your job or work. In any case, you must inform Ausländerbehörde (Foreign office) about your intentions. 

This is important because this might affect your re-entry into Germany. If you failed to communicate your absence then it could become complicated for you when you want to return to Germany. So the first step is to inform your Local Ausländerbehörde.

What is a Re-Entry Certificate for a Residence Permit in Germany ? 

Once you inform the foreign office about your longer stay outside of Germany, you probably need to back your decision with solid reason. If the reason is not strong enough, they can also reject your application for a Re-Entry Certificate. 

As you can imagine, this certificate is crucial because staying outside Germany for a longer period can impact the validity of your residence permit or bluecard. Therefore, it is important to note that your re-entry certificate cannot be issued before leaving Germany. So it is essential to get your Re-Entry certificate in time.

General Rules of Longer Stay Outside Germany. 

Several general rules apply to longer absences:

Expiration of Residence Title

 Your residence permit may expire if your reason for leaving Germany is not temporary (e.g., attending school, working, or marrying and settling abroad). So your reason should be strong and also shows that after your work, you will return back to Germany. For some visa types, if you do not return within six months after leaving Germany or within a prolonged time limit set by the Foreigners Office, then your visa will be invalidated. 

Advance Communication

As mentioned before, before leaving Germany for an extended stay abroad, it is advisable to contact the Foreigners Office well in advance. You will need to provide a written statement about the reasons for your stay abroad, proof of sufficient means of subsistence, proof of health insurance coverage for Germany, and proof of expenses related to housing. Additional documents may be required in some cases.

Get in Contact with your local Foreign office to find out which documents you need for your case. 

Special Rules for Staying Outside Germany for Certain Permit Types

Check out requirements for staying outside Germany for different visas

How Long Can an EU Blue Card Holder Stay Abroad? 

Blue Card holders and their family members are allowed absences of less than 12 months without affecting the Blue Card's validity.

How Long Settlement Permit (Permanent Visa) Holder Can Stay Outside Germany? 

The settlement permit remains valid under specific conditions, such as being the spouse or registered partner of a German national and making a joint statement of continuing marriage or partnership while abroad. It also stays valid if you are 60 years or older and have legally resided in Germany for 15 years, returning within 12 months. Alternatively, if you have legally stayed in Germany for 15 years and have sufficient means to stay in Germany without any financial help from the State after re-entry.

How Long EC Settlement Permit Holder Can Stay Outside Germany? 

The EC Permanent Settlement Permit for Germany may expire if you live in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, or outside the European Union for more than 12 consecutive months (for prior holders of a Blue Card: for more than 24 successive months). Similarly, it expires if you live in another EU Member State (with the exception of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark) for more than six consecutive years.


Understanding the rules and regulations surrounding longer absences abroad is crucial to maintaining your residence permit in Germany. Always communicate your plans with the Foreigners Office, and if necessary, obtain a re-entry certificate before your extended stay abroad. By following these steps, you can make sure that your stay abroad goes smoothly. Without compromising your Visa status in Germany.

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