What does a biometric residence permit mean

The electronic residence permit

Subject area immigration and nationality law

Applying for and extending a residence permit for non-EU citizens:

Since September 1, 2011, your residence permit has been issued as an electronic residence permit (eAT) with a certified chip. The previously issued residence permits are still valid (up to a maximum of 31.08.2021).

Everything you need to know about the new eAT can be found in the information brochure from the Ministry of the Interior.

Citizens from non-EU countries generally need an entry visa to enter and stay in Germany. You can find more information on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

After entering the country, a residence title can regularly be issued as a residence permit if the legal requirements are met. The residence permit is a temporary residence permit. This can be granted for various purposes of residence (e.g. studies, employment, au pair, family reunification, etc.).
The settlement permit is an unlimited residence permit. Prerequisites for issuance are, among other things, having held a residence permit for several years and securing a living.

Application for and delivery of your eAT
To apply for the eAT, all applicants who have reached the age of 6 must be interviewed in person, as fingerprints are stored on the eAT chip and can only be taken on site. As long as all requirements for the issuance of the residence permit are met, we will order it from Bundesdruckerei. As soon as Bundesdruckerei has sent us the eAT, you will receive a letter from there with a PIN letter.
You do not need an appointment to collect your eAT from our citizens' office. Please bring the PIN letter you received with you and tell us whether you would like to use the online identification function. The eAT can also be picked up by an authorized person. To authorize, we ask you to use the form “Power of attorney to issue / collect an eAT”. (Link to power of attorney will follow)

Necessary documents

  • valid passport (valid for at least 3 months)
  • a passport photo suitable for biometrics
  • Sign the fully completed application
  • Depending on the purpose of your stay, additional documents (will be communicated by the clerk)

Please get in touch directly with the contact persons for the subject area named in the respective information. Personal interviews are usually only possible by prior appointment. So make an appointment with one of the employees at the following telephone numbers.

Application forms / explanations

You can download the required documents here:

You can of course also receive the applications in paper form from our immigration office.

Further information to download

eAT for the following purposes of residence

The maximum period of validity of the eAT is 10 years for unlimited residence permits, although it is linked to the validity of the passport. In the case of temporary residence permits, it is based on the validity date of the title. The eAT is issued for the following residence permits:

  • residence permit
  • permanent residence permit
  • Permission for permanent residence on the ground floor
  • Residence card for family members of EU citizens who are not EU citizens
  • Permanent residence card for family members of EU citizens who are not EU citizens
  • Residence permit for Swiss citizens
  • Blue card EU

The changes do not affect EU citizens who are entitled to freedom of movement or who are currently in the asylum procedure. Duldungen and fiction certificates are also not covered by this innovation.

The eAT stores this information

  • personal data
  • biometric data, i.e. the facial image and two fingerprints
  • Data for electronic government services (electronic proof of identity, eID for short)
  • so-called qualified electronic signature (QES)
  • additional provisions in connection with the residence permit (e.g. on employment)

Since the fingerprints are also stored on the chip of the electronic residence permit, in future it will generally always be necessary to speak to applicants from the age of 6 in person. Furthermore, the photo must be suitable for biometrics.

Old residence permits remain valid

All previous residence permits remain valid until the expiry of the time limit or until the passport is reissued or extended. An eAT is only ordered when the relevant extension or transfer of the residence permit is applied for.

Contact information

The service point can be reached by phone and email:


Please understand that the employees can only be reached during the general opening times. We generally recommend that you call within these times.

It is important that you get in touch with the specified contact person at an early stage, as long-term appointments can usually be expected. The issuing of the electronic residence permit (eAT), which was introduced on September 1, 2011, by Bundesdruckerei takes about 3 to 5 weeks. In individual cases, additional, additional documents may often be required, which can also delay the processing time.

Address and opening times of the immigration office:

Bad Kreuznach district administration
foreigners Authority
Salinenstrasse 47
55543 Bad Kreuznach
Phone: 0671 / 803-1399
Fax: 0671 / 803-1371
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