What is your purpose of work

Work visa Germany

Germany is a land of opportunity not only for Germans, but also for third-country nationals. The land of inventions and innovations is the fourth largest economy in the world and home to the world's most famous companies and corporations. As such, it offers many non-Germans the opportunity to find work and settle in the country.

The German work visa offers qualified foreigners the opportunity to settle in Germany and work in their field. It gives its holder the opportunity to work in Germany for up to two years, with the option of extending the visa and later receiving the EU Blue Card or applying for other types of residence permits.

Visa for long-term stays in Germany

You can apply for a visa for a longer stay in Germany for the following purposes:

  • Employment - if you already have a job offer in Germany.
  • Self-employment - if you want to set up a company in Germany or work as a freelancer.
  • Job seekers - if you want to look for work in Germany.
  • Working as an au pair - for young adults who want to learn more about German culture and language.
  • Working Holiday Visa - for young people who have signed a Working Holiday Visa agreement with Germany.

Who needs a work visa for Germany?

Citizens of the following countries can apply for a residence permit for work purposes after entering the country without a visa:

  • EEA / EU member states of the United States of America
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Switzerland
  • Republic of Korea

Citizens of other countries must apply for a visa for work purposes before entering Germany. In this article you will find all the information about the procedure you need to follow, including the documents you will need to apply for a work visa for Germany.

Categories that are eligible to apply for a work visa for Germany

All foreigners can apply for a work visa for Germany if they meet the requirements in Germany.

According to the "Residence Act", which regulates the residence permit for foreigners in Germany, the following categories can apply for a German work visa:

  • Highly qualified foreigners, in particular:
    • Researchers with special technical knowledge,
    • Teaching staff or academic staff in outstanding positions.
  • intra-group acquirers, in particular:

Third-country nationals with a university degree or a non-academic professional qualification who meet the following requirements are also entitled and encouraged to apply for a work visa for Germany:

  • There is a shortage of skilled workers in the profession that you would like to pursue in Germany.
  • You have a specific job offer.
  • Your training must be equivalent to a German qualification.

How to apply for a work visa for Germany?

The application process for a work visa for Germany is as follows:

  1. Get a job offer in Germany.
  2. Check whether you need a visa for longer stays.
  3. Find out where to apply for your visa.
  4. Gather all required documents according to the instructions.
  5. Make an appointment for a visa interview.
  6. Pay the visa fee for the German labor administration.
  7. Take part in the interview.
  8. Wait for a response to your visa application.

Documents required for a work visa for Germany

In order to prove to the German embassy / consulate in your country of residence that you meet the requirements for a work visa, you have to submit several documents. In addition to the visa interview, these documents are an essential part of your application for a German work visa.

Make sure to provide all of these documents according to the instructions provided.

  • Two fully completed application forms. Printed and signed at the end.
  • Two passport photos (Please see our Passport Photo Requirements page for more information as the requirements are strict).
  • Valid national passport (more information on passport requirements).
  • Proof of residence. Your driver's license and / or electricity bill with your name on as proof of residence in the area of ​​the consulate where you want to apply.
  • Health insurance. Mandatory certificate from the German employer, valid from the date of employment. If not already included in the compulsory health insurance, a separate travel insurance is available for the period from arrival in Germany to the beginning of employment. If you are looking for good insurance cover at a good price, you will find your occupational health insurance here!
  • A employment contract / Binding job offer stating the gross annual salary and a detailed description of the job you will be doing in Germany.
  • Approval by the Federal Employment Agency (if applicable).
  • Your updated resume indicating your academic qualifications and work experience.
  • Proof of qualification. Diplomas, certificates, stamp sheets, etc. or similar that prove your qualifications.
  • Personal cover letter with precise information on the purpose and duration of the stay.
  • Proof of a clean criminal record.
  • Proof of paid visa fee. The visa fee for a German long-term visa is € 75.
  • Declaration on the correctness of the information.

Where do I apply for a work visa for Germany?

You should apply for a German work visa at the German representation responsible for visa approval in your country of residence.

This could be one of the following:

  • The German embassy
  • A German consulate
  • A visa application center
  • The German embassy / consulate in a neighboring country, in the absence of German representations in your home country
  • The embassy / consulate of another country in your country of residence to which Germany has outsourced visa approval

Processing time for the work visa for Germany

The processing time for a long-term visa can be one to three months from the date of application. The processing time also depends on the number of applications the embassy receives at the time and your situation.

Arrival in Germany with a work visa

After you have received your German work visa, you can travel freely to Germany. However, there are still a few procedures that you must complete upon arrival in Germany in order to obtain a residence permit for Germany.

You should contact the immigration office in Germany, which is located near your place of residence. Some offices require you to make an appointment before the interview, while others allow you to register directly.

You have to take part in an interview, during which you also submit the necessary documents for a residence permit.

These documents are:

  • Your nationally valid passport.
  • Application form for a residence permit.
  • Two photos.
  • Reporting a clean criminal record.
  • Proof of the German language.
  • Confirmation of health insurance.

The period of time for your stay is determined by your employment contract. If your contract was issued for 2 years, your permit will also be valid for 2 years. However, you can renew it as many times as you want as long as you maintain your employment status.

Here you can read how to get a German residence permit.

Tips for looking for a job in Germany

If you would like to work in Germany but don't have a job yet, we can give you a few tips in this regard. There are many vacancies for foreigners in Germany. You won't have a hard time finding a suitable job for you, especially if you are professionally qualified.

The job search process for foreigners in Germany is as follows:

  1. Find a suitable job online

Public German job boards. The International Placement Service (ZAV) of the Federal Employment Agency provides information on global jobs throughout Germany. You can search for a job on their portals, email them or call them for advice. Check the website for more information.

Check the German recruiting websites. There are many online portals that offer jobs for Germans and foreigners. There you can check the vacancies and apply for a suitable one.

Register with a recruitment agency in Germany. You can find a list of these agencies on the German Yellow Pages. Note that there is a fee to register.

Contact companies in Germany. It is also a very good possibility to write directly to a company that you like and ask them if they are planning to hire new employees, even if they do not have a job advertisement.

  1. How to apply for the job

After you have found the job that suits you, send the company your application. Typically, most companies will ask you for the following documents:

  • Your CV,
  • Copies of your educational certificates,
  • Testimonials from employers.
  1. Take part in the interview

Many of the companies offer you the option to do the interview online; H. Via Skype, to visit. However, some others have strict guidelines that applicants must present in person for the interview. In this case, you should apply for a jobseeker visa and be able to attend the interview. Then when you get the job, you need to return to your home country and get one Work visa apply as explained in this article.