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    Entry to Germany

    EU-citizens and citizens from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway (European Economic Area) and Switzerland

    Citizen from European Union member states as well as citizen from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland can enter Germany without a visa. They don´t have to hold a visa or any kind of permit neither for entering nor for working in Germany. They enjoy the right to move and work freely within EU as long as they carry a valid document of identification. If you are a citizen of those countries and you plan to live permanently in Germany, you only have to register at the local residents´ registration office which usually is located within the municipality. Also third-country nationals who are family members of an EU-, EEA- citizen or of a citizen of Switzerland enjoy the right of freedom of movement.


    Third-country nationals

    Citizen who originate from a country that is neither member of the EU nor of the EEA are third-country nationals. Third country nationals are obliged to have a visa for entering Germany.

    Exemption: Citizen from Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand and the United States of America are allowed to enter Germany without visa. The following link directs you to a list of countries whose citizens require a visa: List of third-countries.

    However, citizens of visa free countries who plan to stay in Germany for longer than three months have to apply for a permit of residency within this time frame. This application can be submitted at the local foreigners´ registration office at the place of residence in Germany. In any case third-country nationals need to hold a work permit before they start an employment.

    Citizen of third-countries who need a visa, personally have to apply for it at the German embassy or consulate general in their home country. Information about the visa procedures and necessary documents can be found on the homepage of the responsible German foreign authority. Click here to find a list of German missions abroad (Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

    Please assure that your visa or residence permit corresponds to the actual purpose of your stay (e.g. employment). Be aware of long processing times especially for visas for stays longer than three months.


    Academics from third-countries

    Blue Card EU

    The introduction of the Blue Card EU facilitates the entry to, residence in and access to the employment market of Germany.

    A graduation from a college or a university is a prerequisite for attaining the permit of residence “Blue Card EU”. In addition to that, the applicant has to have an actual job offer in Germany that has to reach a required minimum salary. Certain professions require a lower annual minimum wage. The required salary level is adjusted annually. Here you find the current requirements for the annual salary.

    Blue Card holders automatically receive a permanent right of residence after 33 months when the employment contract continues. German language skills can shorten this period so that after 21 months the right of permanent residency might be granted.


    Qualified professionals from third-countries

    Professionals with a qualified vocational training or degree also have the opportunity to work in Germany. If you are unsure whether your profession in Germany is training or studying, you can search for your profession on Berufenet. The prerequisite for a residence title is the recognition of the foreign qualification. Another requirement is a concrete job offer. For persons older than 45 years, further regulations apply.


    Jobseeker´s  visa

    When you´re still in search for a job in Germany you can, provided that you completed a vocational or academic training,  apply for a visa for the purpose of searching a job. This kind of visa gives the right to reside in Germany for up to six months. Another precondition is that financing of the living for the entire period of stay is ensured. During your stay, you are only allowed for trial work for up to 10h/weeK as part of the application process. When a position is found you have to apply for either a Blue Card or for a residence permit for the purpose of working at the local foreigners registration office in Germany.

    For further information regarding the jobseeker´s visa please click here.


    Source: BMWi, BAMF, ZAV, www.make-it-in-germany.com

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