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Robert Heldt

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Parental Allowance

Foreigners are also eligible for parental allowance

Citizens of the EU, Switzerland and the European Economic Area

If you are a foreigner and are entitled to free movement in the EU (usually citizens of the EU, Switzerland and the European Economic Area) you are thereby entitled to parental allowance if:

  • you work as an employee
  • are self-employed
  • provide services
  • have previously been employed and are now entitled to residency in Germany

Citizens of non-EU countries

Foreign citizens from non-EU countries (excluding Switzerland) may be eligible to claim parental allowance if their stay and access to the labor market is likely to be permanent:

  • If they have a permanent residence permit (Niederlassungserlaubnis) these requirements are met without further notice.
  • If they have a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) eligibility requirements for parental allowance can only be fulfilled if they are also entitled to employment  and have already been working in Germany.  Only if they have been in Germany for at least  three years and with an employment contract or are receiving unemployment benefits can they receive parental allowance.  This is also the case for anyone who has a residence permit in cases of hardship, for temporary protection or who is suspended from deportation because of the existence of exit barriers.

Access to parental allowance is not given for foreigners who:

    • have a residence permit for the purpose of education (§16, §17 of Residence Act)
    • have a work permit for a specified maximum period (§18 paragraph 2 of Residence Act)
    • have a residence permit granted in cases of hardship (§23 paragraph 1 of  Residence Act, see exception below)
    • have a residence permit granting temporary protection (§24 of Residence Act, see exception below)
    • have a residence permit where deportation has been suspended due to exit barriers (§25 paragraphs 2, 4, and 5 of Residence act, see exception below)
    • have a residence permit in accordance with §104 a of Residence Act

    For those persons it is assumed by law that their stay is temporary. This is the same as for asylum seekers with residence permits or people who are “tolerated” to live in Germany.  It should also be noted that just by having permitted employment does not necessarily give you access to parental allowance.


    1.  Foreigners who are in possession of a residence permit in cases of hardship, for temporary protections, suspension of deportation or because of the existence of exit barriers (§23, section 1,  §23a of Residence Act, §24 of Residence Act, §25, paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 of Residence Act) are able to receive parental allowance if they have been living in the Federal Republic of Germany for at least three years and are gainfully employed or receive ongoing allowances under SGB III (unemployment benefits) or take parental leave.

    2. For nationals of Turkey, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia special rules apply under the Association Agreement. As long as they are workers with a temporary permit or any residence permit they are entitled to receive parental allowance. That is, they must at least compulsorily insured in the Social Security system or have further voluntary insurance ; e.g. Accident insurance, unemployment insurance, health insurance or pension insurance (e.g. due to recognition of parental leave in accordance with §56 SGB VI)

    Extent of Assistance

    Parental allowance is income-related, amounting to 67% of net income for the last 12 months before the birth.  It should, however, be noted there is a maximum allowance of 1800€/ month and a minimum allowance of  300€/month. The relevant authorities will be able to outline the exact rules and regulations regarding the amount of money given to parents.  The parental allowance rate is given for the first 12 months of the child’s life.  A further two months (12 + 2) are paid for leave for the other partner (e.g. paternal leave).  However, it is also possible that both parents receive seven months each parental allowance to claim the 14 months in total allowed.  Accordingly, single parents are entitled to 14 months parental allowance.