If you wish to stay in Germany for a longer period of time you will need a residence permit. They are issued for specific purposes of stay – for example employment, studies or family reunification. The rights you will enjoy in Germany thus depend on the reason for your stay.

Residence permits are only valid for a specific period of time after which you might be able to apply for a renewal or a permanent residence title, the permanent settlement permit or the permanent EC residence permit – generally after 5 years of legal residency in Germany.