Citizens of the European Union, as well as citizens of the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the Republic of Korea can apply for their residence permit for work purposes after entering Germany without a visa. Citizens of other countries are required to apply and obtain a visa for work purposes before entering Germany.

After the application has been approved by the Aliens’ Office and by the Work Office, the Embassy will issue you a residence permit in the form of a visa, which will include an authorization permitting you to work in Germany. You don’t need to obtain no extra work permit after arriving in Germany.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

  • Two fully completed application forms
  • Two passport photographs (see our page on photo requirements for more info as there are strict requirements)
  • Valid national passport (more information on passport requirements)
  • Employment contract or letter of intent from your future employer in Germany
  • Your driver’s license and/or utility bill in your name as proof of residence in the consular where you plan to apply
  • You are also required to submit photocopies of all these documents, get insured and pay a visa fee of 60 Euro.

WORK PERMITS FOR NON-EU NATIONALS

After the introduction of the new Immigration Law on January 2005 by the German Republic there are three residence permits for work purposes:

  • General employment
  • Specialist professional
  • Self-employed

Below are the requirements for the three different residence permits:

1. General Employment

Acceptance of foreign nationals in the general employment category is based on the economic needs of the Federal Republic of Germany. The two basic conditions are:

  • Vocational qualification
  • A concrete offer of a contract of employment

You will need the following documentation:

  • Application form for a residence permit
  • Two passport size color photos
  • Valid passport
  • Two copies of your vocational qualification
  • Letter of intent or contract offered to you by a company in Germany containing a detailed description of the employment

You will also need to submit two copies of each of these documents with you application.

2. Specialist Professional

The Federal Republic of Germany is interested in attracting specialist professionals to work and live in Germany. This applies particularly to:

  • Graduates with special professional knowledge and experience
  • University teachers with outstanding career profiles
  • Experienced managers with an offer of a job carrying a salary of not less than 86.400 Euros per year

Applicants should furthermore satisfy the following criteria:

  • Ability to integrate into German society
  • Sufficient funds to maintain yourself
  • A contract of employment

You will need the following documentation:

  • Application form for a residence permit
  • Two passport size color photos
  • Valid passport
  • Documentation of your professional knowledge and experience
  • Letter of intent or contract offered to you by a German employer, including a detailed description of the employment

3. Self-Employed

To work on a self-employed basis your proposed business must:

  • Fulfil the needs of Germany
  • Have a beneficial economic impact
  • Be fully covered by your own capital or bank loan for which there is a written confirmation

If you investment is worth 1 million Euros and creates 10 new jobs than you fulfill the first two requirements. To ensure the sustainability of your business project, the following criteria will also be taken into account:

  • Viability of your business plan
  • Your relevant business experience
  • Amount to be invested in Germany
  • Impact of your business project on employment and skills
  • Contribution of your project to innovation and research

You will need the following documentation:

  • Complete application form for a residence permit
  • Two passport size color photos
  • Valid passport
  • Detailed description of your business project, including an expectation of how your project meets the required criteria
  • Proof that you possess the necessary capital for the business
  • If you are over 45 years of age, you must also provide evidence of adequate pension means

A residence permit for self-employed business purposes is valid for a maximum of three years. It can be indefinitely extended if your project is successful.