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The new electronic residence title (elektronischer Aufenthaltstitel - eAT)

The electronic residence title was introduced on 1 September 2011. Instead of the previous stickers used in passports, the residence title is now issued in the form of a chip card. These chip cards are similar to the new personal ID card for German citizens, and are produced by the Bundesdruckerei (Federal Printing Office) in Berlin.

In what form is the electronic residence title issued?

The following residence-related approvals are issued as electronic residence titles (eAT):

  • residence permits,
  • settlement permits, and
  • permanent residence permits (under Residence Law),
  • the EU Blue Card in accordance with article 19a of the Residence Law,
  • family member's residence cards, and
  • permanent residence cards (under the Freedom of Movement Law/EU), and
  • the residence permit for residents of Switzerland (under the agreement of the EU with Switzerland).

Format, chip

The electronic residence title is the size of a credit card. There is a chip integrated into the eAT card, holding not only personal data and data relating to the residence status, but also biometric data (photograph, two fingerprints).

eID and eSign function

The electronic identity card (eID) makes it possible, for example, to electronically identify oneself for internet services relating to the economy or administration. This function can be unlocked upon request. Using the electronic signature (eSign), you can sign legally valid digital documents. After the electronic residence title has been issued, you can apply for this function from a private certification service. These functions of the electronic residence title correspond to those of the new German electronic personal ID card.

Legal status

The electronic residence title is issued as a separate document. It is no substitute for a passport. It serves only to document residence status, and is fundamentally only valid in conjunction with a valid, recognised passport or passport substitute.

Time of application submission

The previous residence titles in sticker and paper formats remain valid. You need only apply for an electronic residence title when your (temporary) residence title expires or your passport, in which the residence title is held, has expired or been lost, and you have received a new passport (transfer).

Attendance in person at time of application, addition personal attendance to collect

As fingerprints are saved on the chip, all applicants over the age of 6 must attend in person. When all the requirements for issuing the residence title have been fulfilled, the electronic residence title is ordered by the Aliens Authority from the Bundesdruckerei (Federal Printing Office) in Berlin. The electronic residence title is sent to the Aliens Authority after around two to three weeks. To collect it, the applicant must attend again in person. In the event that you wish to arrange for someone else to collect your eAT, you must issue this person a power of attorney. The corresponding form sheet can be found in the download area on the right.

Contact information
Matters relating to nationality and foreigner affairs
Telephone +49 (0)201 88 33333 (appointment scheduling)

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