Pension insurance for residence permit

Attorney Angelika from our team addresses legal questions in this column. Today, the question is about how to achieve the required time of pension insurance as soon as possible, in order to get a permanent residence permit.


„Dear Sir or Madam,

I have subsidiary protection and I know that – in order to get an unlimited residence permit – I have to pay five years of pension insurance. My question is: Can I pay pension insurance for one or two years directly at the pension insurance office? Or do I have to work for five years? I have been working for two years, but I want to shorten the duration of the permanent residence permit. I mean instead of paying it in five years, I pay it in three or four years.

With kind regards

Mojahed. “


Dear Mojahed,

when applying for the unlimited settlement permit for people with subsidiary protection or another humanitarian title (e.g. prohibition of deportation), this permit is based on § 26(4) of the Residence Act and § 9 Residence Act where it is specified, among other things:

“[…] the foreigner has paid compulsory or voluntary contributions into the statutory pension scheme for at least 60 months or furnishes evidence of an entitlement to comparable benefits from an insurance or pension scheme or from an insurance company; time off for the purposes of child care or nursing at home are to be duly taken into account.”

Few refugees with subsidiary protection status are likely to do so after five years, especially because although the asylum procedure is counted in the periods, it was rarely if ever possible to earn contributions subject to pension insurance during this time.

ADVICE: Take on mini-jobs and obtain proof of pension insurance

However, a suggestion has also been made for those, for example, who take up a mini-job during the asylum procedure or even later: Instead of choosing the often selected exemption from the pension insurance obligation, because hardly any pension claims arise from the 450 € anyway, it makes sense to waive this exemption for those who, for example, only have subsidiary protection and have to prove the 60 months of contributions. After all, only the number of months is required and not something like a certain minimum income or a certain minimum entitlement from the pension insurance.

Exempt from the proof of having paid 60 months of pension insurance contributions are, among others:

  • Persons who are in training for a recognized school or professional qualification (§ 9(3) Sentence 2 Residence Act).
  • Persons entitled to asylum and recognized refugees (§ 9(3) Residence Act).

However, unfortunately, not persons entitled to subsidiary protection!

If you already had a residence permit before 2005, you do not have to prove that you have 60 months of pension insurance.

For self-employed persons, voluntary membership in the statutory pension insurance may also make sense from a residence law perspective. Contributions can be paid in arrears until the March 31st of the following year, thus making up for any missed months. Currently, the minimum contribution is € 83.70 per month.

FURTHER ADVICE: Naturalization in accordance with §§ 8,10 of the Nationality Act.

Here, pension insurance and pension rights are not required. Therefore, in certain situations naturalization can be easier.

You can therefore ask your pension insurance whether a voluntary payment of pension contributions is possible for you in order to reach the 60 months more quickly.

Good luck with everything!


This article was first published in German:

Rentenversicherung für Aufenthaltserlaubnis


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Andere Kulturen und Menschen haben Angelika schon immer interessiert. Sie ist viel gereist und hat im Ausland gelebt. Als Rechtsanwältin ist sie auf Asyl- und Ausländerrecht spezialisiert. 2017 hat sie das Flüchtling-Magazin mit gegründet und ist seitdem für die Finanzierung und alle rechtlichen Aspekte zuständig. Bei kohero beantwortet sie die rechtlichen Fragen aus unserer Community. „kohero ist ein großartiges Medium für Geflüchtete und für Deutsche, um sich besser kennen zu lernen und die jeweils andere Kultur zu verstehen.“

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