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  1. Hello, all. I could not find any thread on the forum dedicated to the 'Sonderausweis' (special permit) – in fact, the internet is more generally stumped when it comes to it, too – so I thought about creating one here. Feel free to add other talking points concerning it here.   Some context: I am a non-EU citizen, and will graduate from a German university soon. As such, I have access to the German job market and will be able to apply for permanent residency (in Germany) after two years of full-time employment (compared to other non-EU citizens who did not study in Germany, and can only apply after five years).   I was recently offered a position at an intergovernmental organization in Germany, but was notified that the 'Auswaertiges Amt' (Federal Foreign Office) in Germany will issue both me and my spouse a 'Sonderausweis', which allows us to stay and work in Germany, as well as travel in the Schengen area.   I have many questions about the 'Sonderausweis', but I have failed to find concrete answers. Can anyone help?   How long does it take to get the 'Sonderausweis'? / What is the processing time? If I get the 'Sonderausweis', can I still apply for permanent residency in Germany after two years? Is it possible to refuse a 'Sonderausweis' and to merely apply for and work with a 'normal' German work permit at the intergovernmental organization (which is in Germany)?  Spouses and other family members also (automatically) get the 'Sonderausweis'. Can they apply for any job in Germany, or are they only allowed to work at intergovernmental or supranational organizations? My contract is only for a year. Thereafter, will I still be able to apply for the (18-month) job seeking visa, for example, or a work permit, if I find another job? Are there any other benefits to a 'Sonderausweis' that I have not addressed (work and stay in Germany, travel in the Schengen area)?   Thank you for reading this far. Any input would be greatly appreciated.