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    Working in Germany

    The regulations regarding the granting of an employment permit depent on the nationality of the applicant. Generally spoken, there is a distinction between EU- and EEA-citizen and third-country nationals.


    EU-citizens and citizens of the EEA member states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) and from Switzerland enjoy free access to the German labor market on the basis of the right of free movement. They don´t need a work permit.

    Third-country nationals

    Citizens of third-countries have to apply for a visa for the purpose of working at the German embassy in their home country prior to entering Germany. Only then is it possible to be issued a residence permit in Germany following the visa.

    Exemption: Citizens of visa-free countries (Australia, Israel, South Korea, Japan, Canada and United States of America) can enter Germany without visa and after their entry apply for the required residence title at the competent Foreigners Authority in Germany. However work permit must be granted before the employment is started. 

    Advice: To shorten the duration of the procedure, contact your future employer. Under certain circumstances, the employer can apply directly to the Foreigners Authority for a so-called fast-track procedure for skilled workers.

    The highly skilled third-country nationals can enter the German employment market more easily by applying for the EU BLUE CARD. A university degree is a prerequisite for attaining the permit of residence EU Blue Card. In addition to that, the applicant has to have an actual job offer in Germany with a minimum salary of 56.800 € (in 2021). A reduced gross annual salary of at least 44.304 € (in 2021) applies to employment in the professional fields of mathematics, computer science, natural sciences, engineering and human medicine.

    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. Furthermore subsequent family members don´t have to proof German language skills and enjoy immediate unlimited access to the German employment market.

    Foreign Graduates of German Universities

    After completing studies in Germany, students have the opportunity to search for a job in Germany. Graduates from member states of the EU, as well as graduates from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland have free access to the German labor market. Graduates from third countries who have successfully completed their studies in Germany have the opportunity to apply for a residence permit for 18 months to find a job. The period of 18 months starts when the last exam is passed and NOT upon exmatriculation or receival of the diploma.  The period of 18 month starts with the last exam.

    In these 18 months graduates have time to find a job that is appropriate to their education. They also have to prove that their costs of living  are covered during this time. With the residence permit for job search, graduates are allowed to work in any kind of job.

    For further information on entering Germany, please click here.

    Source: BMWi, BAMF, make it in germany

    Do you have any questions? Contact the Welcome Center Heilbronn-Franken team. We will be happy to help you.

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