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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 foreign authority in their home country prior to entering Germany. The extend of access to the labor market is stated in the permit of residence. When only limited access is granted you have to apply for full access at the ZAV.

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

    Advice: In order to reduce the timeframe and complexity of the process of application for a work permit, approach your future employer who can initiate the process of preliminary examination. In this case, the employer hands in the necessary documents at the ZAV in Germany which proves if all requirements for the access to the German labor market are met and conducts the proof of precedence. The outcomes are directly forwarded to the responsible German foreign authority in your home country.

    The highly skilled third-country nationals can enter the German employment market more easily by applying for the Blue Card. 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 with a minimum salary of 52.000€ (last checked July 2018). Third-country nationals that start an employment in a profession, that is recorded on a white list and thus by the Federal Employment Agency officially declared to be in demand, and who receive the annual minimum wage of 40.560 €, can also apply for a Blue Card and will enjoy the same advantages as Blue Card holders when granted.

    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.

    Source: BMWi

    Specialists from non-european countries

    For skilled workers with a qualification, which corresponds to a vocational training and not to an academic training in Germany, there is also the possibility of taking up employment in Germany. If you are unsure whether your profession in Germany is a vocational training or a study, you can search for your profession in the Berufenet. If you want to enter Germany with a vocational training and want to work, a distinction is made between two occupational groups.

    Immigration into shortage occupations

    If there is a shortage in a profession throughout Germany, this profession is listed on the so-called whitelist. If your occupation is listed here, you must fulfil two requirements in order to be able to enter Germany for work. You need:

    1. Professional recognition of your foreign training

    2. Job offer

    If these two requirements are met, you can apply for a visa to enter Germany at the responsible German mission abroad (embassy or consulate) in your country of origin. Further information on the application procedure and the necessary documents can be found on the website of the German missions abroad.

    Information on professional recognition can be found at www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de. For questions on professional recognition, you can also contact the recognition counselling services of the IQ Network Baden-Württemberg. For information and tips on finding a job in the Heilbronn-Franken region, you can also contact the Welcome Center Heilbronn-Franken team

    Immigration into non-shortage occupations

    Since autumn 2016, the points-based model project for foreign skilled workers (PuMa) offers for the first time the possibility of immigration for skilled workers whose occupations are not on the whitelist. The model project is limited to the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. PuMa has three requirements:

    1. Professional recognition of foreign training

    2. 100 points (e.g. for language skills, family in Baden-Württemberg etc.)

    3. Job offer

    You can find more information about the awarding of points in the PuMa flyer  and on the website. If you are interested in PuMa and would like to travel to Germany via the project, you can contact the Virtual Welcome Center of the Federal Employment Agency directly. For information and tips on finding a job in the Heilbronn-Franken region, you can also contact the Welcome Center Heilbronn-Franken team.

    Source: Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung der Bundesagentur für Arbeit

    Source: www.make-it-in-germany.com

    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 (here again is an exceptions for Croatian graduates), as well as graduates from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland have free access to the German labor market. Graduates from third countries that have successfully completed their studies at an German University can extend their residence title by 18 months for the purpose of searching for an employment or to become self-employed.  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. In contrast to students, graduates that are in search for a job may work without any restrictions concerning the industry or time limits.

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