How to immigrate to Germany?Germany has been deemed as the fifth most favourable country to move to. This favorability is due to its well-performing economy, education system, and employment opportunities. People from all over the world want to have a chance to move to Germany. This article will focus on information about how to move to Germany and general immigration to Germany.

To immigrate to Germany, you will need a valid reason. There are several ways that foreign nationals can move to Germany, and they include the following reasons, which will be explained in more detail below.

  • German immigration for employment,
  • German immigration for education,
  • German immigration for entrepreneurs,
  • German immigration for family reunions,
  • German immigration residence permits.

General Requirements for Immigration to Germany

Even though there are many ways to immigrate to Germany, and each has some specific requirements, there are still similarities between them. To be eligible to move to Germany, you must fulfil the following criteria:

Prove Financial Stability

Each immigration purpose has a financial threshold which applicants need to fulfil, but regardless of intent, applicants must prove that they can finance themselves in Germany. Even if you will be working in Germany, you must have the initial funds to cover your expenses until you get your salary.

Have Health Insurance

You will not be able to immigrate to Germany without proper health insurance coverage. The recommended way is to get German health insurance since you cannot be sure whether German authorities will accept foreign health insurance. Find more information about health insurance for Freelancers, Employees and Expatriates in Germany.

Have at Least Basic Proficiency in German

To be able to live in Germany, you will need to know German. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages has three levels of language proficiency, A, B and C. Each one has two parts. Language proficiency is divided into A1/A2 or basic, B1/B2 or proficient in the language, and C1/C2 or advanced language skills. To immigrate to Germany, you will need to enter the exams and pass them up to either A1 or B1. If you want to get a permanent residence, you will need a higher proficiency of C1 or C2 level.

Get a German Visa

Citizens of these countries are required to apply and get a visa before entering Germany. All other nationals do not need a visa to enter Germany. They may apply for a residence permit after entering Germany without a visa.

Germany Visa types:

For specialised advice on all German visas and professional management of your application, consider working with the legal professionals at the Schlun & Elseven immigration law practice group. They provide expert advice on all matters relating to German visas, immigration law and German residence permits.

Germany Immigration for Employment

Germany has reported a shortage of skilled workers and highly qualified people. They are continually looking for engineers, IT professionals, medical workers, and other qualified professionals. In order to encourage such people to emigrate to Germany, foreign immigration authorities have relaxed the stringent requirements to go to Germany and work.

Thus, one of the most popular means of immigration to Germany is finding a job in the country. The steps to moving to Germany for work are the following:

Besides this, to get the residence permit for working in Germany, the employer and employee must prove that:

  • There was a shortage of employees that are from Germany or the EU, so they could not fill the position,
  • That the employee will have the same conditions as any other German employee in terms of salary and working environment,
  • That the employee meets all educational and works experience requirements for the job position,
  • That the company hiring the employee meets all necessities of the German authorities (registration documents and certification).

As an employee in Germany, you will get the chance to work as long as your residence permit allows it. If your employer wants to continue your working relationship even after your work permit is getting close to expiration, you can apply for an extension or after a certain period; you could also apply for permanent residence.

However, if you are an unskilled worker, it will be much more difficult to immigrate to Germany based on employment.

If you experience legal difficulties during the process, you may not come forward without legal help. The well-known German bureaucracy can be complicated and slow. We, therefore, recommend contacting Schlun & Elseven Lawyers when you experience legal problems during your stay in Germany. 

Germany Immigration for Education

Many people are not aware of this, but Germany offers free education. Unlike countries like the USA, which have enormous tuition fees, universities in Germany either have very low fees or do not charge anything at all. Because of this, Germany is a popular place to immigrate for education purposes.

To immigrate to Germany for completing a university degree, you must obtain a visa to study in Germany. The article outlines the requirements that you need to meet and the process of applying to get such a visa.

If you get your education visa for Germany and complete your degree, you can remain in Germany to search for a job for a limited time. If you can find a job during that time, you are allowed to stay in Germany. Reports suggest that up to 54% of students who complete a degree in Germany stay and find a job there. 

Germany Immigration for Entrepreneurs

If you are an investor with an interest in Germany, then you are in luck. Entrepreneurs and investors who create economic opportunities in Germany are allowed to immigrate there. There is, however, a certain threshold of investment that you need to make. As of the writing of this article, that amount is 250,000 Euros. Additionally, you will need to get a Self Employment Visa, which falls under the category of Germany Working Visa. To get the Visa, you must prove the following:

  • That you have the required funds to invest,
  • That your investment will benefit the German economy,
  • That your investment is demanded in the country.

If you maintain your status as an entrepreneur in Germany, you will also be allowed unlimited extensions of your residence permit after three years. Unlimited extensions of your residence permit mean that you can enter and leave the country whenever you want.

Entrepreneurs from around the world bring their ideas to the lucrative German market. However, it is advisable for entrepreneurs to work with business immigration lawyers who can oversee their applications and business plans.

The German business immigration team at Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte adopt a full-service approach and will not only prepare your application but will also advise you on the business opportunities in Germany, draft your business plan and ensure it fulfils the set requirements and support you in the establishment of your German business.

Germany Immigration for Family Reunions

There are instances when people move to Germany for various reasons but have to leave their family behind in their home countries. All spouses and children under 16 years old can apply for immigration to Germany to join their spouses or parents.

To be eligible for the family reunion immigration, spouses must prove that they are married, and the children must have birth certificates. For children under 16 years old, it is not necessary to have German language skills since they are assumed to be able to learn it quickly. However, for children over 16 years old, there must be sufficient proof of German language proficiency and the ability to adapt and integrate.

As for spouses, they will need to have at least an A1 German proficiency to qualify. If the spouse already in Germany could work, the same would apply to the joining spouse. The visas for spouses are bound by the same conditions.

Should you experience any practical difficulties in your case or should you seek to reduce the risk of your application being rejected then consider working with experts in the field such as those at Schlun & Elseven who provide comprehensive family reunification advice.

German Residence Permits

When you get one of the visas for immigration, you will also get a residence permit. The residence permits can be temporary and permanent. Temporary residence permits allow foreign nationals to stay in Germany for a specified period and then return to their home countries. Permanent residence permits mean that the foreign national can stay in Germany as long as they want to, can leave and return to the country whenever they want to. However, a permanent residence permit does not mean that you get a German citizen. That is another process entirely. In general, Germany has two temporary residence permits and one permanent.

Standard Residence Permit

This type of residence permit is used for all immigration purposes noted above and for others, such as completing training courses, for former Germans who want to return to Germany and those who go to Germany for political and humanitarian reasons. The standard residence permit is valid for some time and can be extended.

European Union (EU) Blue Card

The EU Blue Card is given to foreign national workers (who are not citizens of EU countries) who have high qualifications and want to work in Germany and apply those skills. High qualifications mean that the person has an undergraduate or graduate degree in any given field. To qualify for the EU Blue Card, you will need to have already found a job in Germany, and the minimum annual salary must be 56,800 Euros.

The EU Blue Card grants its holders the right to stay in Germany for four years, with a possibility of changing their residence permit into a permanent settlement. To qualify for permanent settlement, the person must show enough German proficiency, meet specific financial requirements, and have worked in Germany for more than 33 months in their place of employment which requires the skills gained with the highest qualifications.

Settlement Permit or Permanent Residence Permit

The permanent residence permit in Germany is called the Settlement Permit. The Settlement Permit is given to those who have had either a standard residence permit or an EU Blue Card for at least five years and meet certain language requirements.