• Mobility and Travel

Working Holiday in Germany

Traveling through Germany one year long and replenishing the holiday fund with summer jobs: we present the Working Holiday Programme.

Work and Travel in Deutschland

Experience the country and its people, culture and everyday life, earn money and learn the language through jobs – Work and Travel and Working Holiday programmes are a great way to get to know a country really well. These are the requirements for working holidays in Germany.

Who can participate in the Working Holiday Programme?

Bilateral Working Holiday programmes exist between Argentina Australia , Chile , Hong Kong , Israel , Japan , South Korea , New Zealand , Taiwan and Uruguay . Brazil is to join soon.

Canadians can travel to Germany via the Youth Mobility Program (YMP) and work in the country or do an internship related to their university studies.

Is there an age limit for Work and Travel?

Yes, at least 18 and at most 30 years. Only with the Youth Mobility Program is the age limit extended to 35 years.

Do I need a visa for a working holiday in Germany?

Yes, a Working Holiday Visa (WHV). It is valid for twelve months.

Where can I apply for my working holiday visa?

Usually in advance at the German diplomatic missions in the respective country. Only Australians, Israelis, Japanese, Canadians and New Zealanders can apply for the visa even after entering Germany.

What else should I bear in mind?

Work and Travelers must have health and accident insurance valid for Germany and financial reserves of about 2,000 Euro. Often a return ticket is also required or proof of the necessary money for one. How many months participants in the Working Holiday Programme are allowed to work in Germany and how much money they have to prove as security is regulated differently in the bilateral agreements. You should therefore inform yourself at the websites of the German Embassy in your country about details. The portal nomadenberlin.com also provides helpful information in English.

What jobs are there?

Work and travel jobs are not full-time jobs, but temporary and summer jobs. There are many offers in tourism, in call centres, in online business and in agriculture. When looking for a job, the Job Centre in each city provides help. Or look in job exchanges like monster.de , stepstone.de and indeed.com for holiday jobs or Work and Travel.

work travel visa germany

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How well do I have to speak German?

You should have at least a basic knowledge. As a rule of thumb, the more demanding the job, the better language skills that are needed.

Are there alternatives to Work and Travel?

You can work as an au pair in a family, apply to a German company for an internship or do volunteer work .

© www.deutschland.de

Related content

Volunteer-Programme in Deutschland: Maikely aus Nicaragua leistet Freiwilligendienst im Kindergarten.

What are you looking for?

Visa information, visa navigator.

Which visa do I need for Germany?

Schengen Visa

A Schengen visa is required if you intend to stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days within a 180 day period for business, visitor or tourist purposes.

Residence Visa

A residence visa is required if you intend to stay in Germany for more than 90 days for work or study or if you intend to move to Germany permanently.

Airport Transit Visa

Citizens of certain countries require an airport transit visa when flying via Germany to their final destination.

Frequently Asked Questions

Going to Germany? Take a moment to have a look at our FAQs before you call or contact us.

ETIAS Information

ETIAS travel authorization is an entry requirement for visa-exempt nationals traveling to any of the 30 European countries. Please note that ETIAS has been postponed until mid-2025. For any and all information regarding ETIAS, please only consult the official website: www.europa.eu/etias

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work travel visa germany

How to apply for a German work visa

Emily Archer

Verified by Emily Archer on November 22, 2023

Emily is a relocation consultant. She runs Archer Relocation since 2015.

The German work visa is a residence permit to work in Germany.

With a work visa, you can…

  • Live and work anywhere in Germany
  • Bring your family to Germany 14
  • Visit other Schengen countries without a visa 13
  • Become a permanent resident after 4 years 10

This guide explains how to apply for a work visa in Berlin or in your country.

Who needs a work visa?

The work visa is a type of residence permit . You need a residence permit to live in Germany if you are not a citizen or permanent resident of the EU , EEA or Switzerland.

Who needs a residence permit ➞

Work visa requirements

To get a work visa, you need… 18

  • A job offer You must find a job before you apply for the work visa. 15 It can be a short-term or part-time job. It can be a remote job. You must be an employee, not a freelancer.
  • A fair salary There is no minimum salary, but you can’t be underpaid. 42 You must earn as much as Germans who have a similar job. 32  –  Compare your salary
  • Qualifications for this job You must know how to do your job. For example, to get a car mechanic job, you must know how to fix cars. Your job can be unrelated to your education. 31
  • Permission to do this job You must have all the permits and special qualifications needed for the job. 12 For example, doctors, engineers and lawyers need special qualifications. –  Find the requirements for your job

If you are not a citizen of Albania, Australia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Israel, Japan, Kosovo, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, San Marino, Serbia, South Korea, the United Kingdom or the United States, you must have… 38

  • Vocational training or a university degree You must be trained to do this job. Your education or training must be recognised by the Agentur für Arbeit . It must be equivalent to 2 years of training in Germany. If you have a university degree, try to get a Blue Card ; it’s better. Your job can be unrelated to your education. 31

If you are not a citizen of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, South Korea, the United Kingdom or the United States, you must have… 49

  • An employer in Germany Your employer must have an office in Germany, even it it’s a remote job. 30

If you are over 45 years old, you must have… 43

  • A net salary of at least 49,830 € per year
  • or a pension plan that guarantees an income after retirement

You do not need to speak German to get a work visa. 27

Work visa alternatives

If you can’t get a work visa, there are other residence permits that let you work in Germany:

  • ⭐ Blue Card For skilled workers with a university degree, or IT specialists without a degree. There is a minimum salary. The Blue Card is better than the work visa: you get it faster, and you can get permanent residence faster. –  How to apply
  • Working Holiday Visa and Youth Mobility Visa For young people from certain countries. Work in Germany for 1 year. No salary requirement. No education needed.
  • Job seeker visa For looking for work in Germany. It gives you 6 months to find a job . When you find a job, you can apply for a work visa or a Blue Card.
  • Internship visa For university students. Do an internship in Germany for up to 6 months.
  • Au pair visa Work as an au pair . Minimum income: 280 € per month. No education needed.
  • Family reunion visa For spouses and children of German residents. You can work, study or freelance in Germany. 16 No income needed. No education needed.
  • Permanent residence or EU citizenship You can already live and work in Germany. You don’t need a residence permit.

More residence permit options ➞

How to apply in Berlin

You can apply for a work visa after you move to Germany :

  • Come to Germany
  • Apply for a work visa at your local Ausländerbehörde . You must apply at the Ausländerbehörde where you live. You can’t apply in another city.

You can apply in Germany if…

  • You are a citizen of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, the United Kingdom or the United States 9
  • or you already have a German residence permit , and you want to change it or renew it
  • or you have a job seeker visa 41
  • or you have a National Visa . You just need to convert it to a work visa .

If you can’t apply in Germany, you must apply in your country .

Usually, you can’t work while you wait for your work visa. 35 You might wait a few months with no income. It’s cheaper and safer if you apply in your country , then come to Germany when you are allowed to work.

Need help? An immigration lawyer or a relocation consultant can take care of everything. It costs 500 to 2,000 €. 45 Your employer might pay for it, or hire someone to help you.

1. Come to Germany

Come to Germany and look for a job .

  • If you are a citizen of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, the United Kingdom or the United States You can come to Germany without a visa. You can stay 90 days in Germany without a residence permit. You can look for a job, and apply for the work visa in Germany. 9 You can’t work before you get your work visa.
  • If you have a German residence permit Your current residence permit stays valid until you get your work visa. If your residence permit expires after you sent your work visa application, you don’t need to leave Germany.
  • If you have a job seeker visa You can come to Germany and look for a job. When you find a job, you can apply for the work visa. While you wait for your work visa, you can work 10 hours per week for your new employer. 11
  • If you have a tourist visa You can’t apply for a work visa with a tourist visa. Your application will be rejected. You must apply in your country . 25

If these options don’t apply to you, you must apply for the work visa in your country . 19

2. Find a job

You must find a job before you apply for the work visa. 15 Your job offer must meet the work visa requirements .

How to find a job ➞

3. Prepare your work visa application

Before you apply for the work visa, you must…

  • Your apartment must be big enough .
  • Your apartment must be affordable. Your rent can’t be higher than your income.
  • You must be allowed to register your address . You must get a tenancy confirmation from your landlord. If you can’t get this, you might not get a work visa. 1  –  How to find an apartment
  • Get health insurance You need valid health insurance . Travel insurance is not accepted. Ask a health insurance broker to help you choose the correct health insurance. Their help is free. –  How to choose health insurance
  • Prepare the required documents

If you are not a citizen of Albania, Australia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Israel, Japan, Kosovo, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, San Marino, Serbia, South Korea, the United Kingdom or the United States, you must also…

  • Get your education recognised Your professional training must be equivalent to 2 years of professional training in Germany. It must be recognised by the Agentur für Arbeit . The recognition process depends on your profession. 21 It takes weeks to a few months. 8 If you studied in Germany, your education is already recognised. –  How to get your education recognised

If you bring your family to Germany, you can apply for their family reunion visa at the same time. You must prepare these documents too.

While you wait for an Ausländerbehörde appointment, you should also…

  • Register your address ( Anmeldung ) When you register your address, you get a tax ID and a registration certificate . Your employer needs your tax ID when you start working. You might need a registration certificate to open a bank account , get a SIM card, find a Kita for your children, and use government services. –  How to register your address
  • Open a bank account You need it to pay your rent, pay your work visa application fee, and get paid by your employer. You can choose a bank from any EU country. –  How to choose a bank

4. Apply for the work visa

There are 2 ways to apply for a work visa in Berlin:

  • Apply in person Get an Ausländerbehörde appointment , go to your appointment, give your documents, and wait for your residence permit. It’s almost impossible to get an appointment.
  • or send your documents online Use the Ausländerbehörde contact form to send all the required documents , and wait for them to contact you. A few weeks later, they will give you an appointment. Usually, this is your only option.

How to get an Ausländerbehörde appointment ➞

When you book an Ausländerbehörde appointment , you must choose the type of residence permit:

  • If you have a university degree, choose “Economic activity”, then “Residence permit for qualified skilled workers with an academic education (sect. 18b para. 1)”
  • If you have another kind of professional training, choose “Economic activity”, then “Residence permit for qualified skilled workers with vocational training (sect. 18a)”

The Ausländerbehörde will process your application. If you send your documents online , it takes a few weeks to get invited for an appointment. After your Ausländerbehörde appointment, it takes 6 to 10 weeks to get your work visa. If you wait more than 3 months after you apply, you can sue the Ausländerbehörde for inaction . 20

In most cases, your current National Visa or a residence permit stays valid while you wait. If it expires , you don’t have to leave Germany.

If your residence permit expires soon ➞

6. Go to your work visa appointment

Later, the Ausländerbehörde will email you. They will invite you for an appointment.

When you go to your appointment, bring… 7

  • The required documents Bring all your application documents, even if you already sent them online. 47 In your appointment invitation, the Ausländerbehörde might ask for more documents.
  • Your appointment confirmation , printed You can’t enter the Ausländerbehörde without it. They check at the door. You must print it.
  • Passport photo (35 × 45 mm) You do not need to cut the photos yourself; they have a tool for this. The photo should be less than 6 months old. 36  –  Where to get passport photos .
  • Cash, Visa, Mastercard or Girocard You must pay the 100 € application fee. 44 You must sometimes pay later, when you pick up your work visa. This fee is tax-deductible , so keep the receipt.
  • A translator (optional) Many Ausländerbehörde employees only speak German. If you don’t speak German, bring an interpreter or a German-speaking friend. 53 It’s not required, but it helps. I recommend Red Tape Translation . Relocation consultants and immigration lawyers can also translate for you.

The appointment takes 15 to 60 minutes. You spend most of that time waiting. During the appointment, they take your fingerprints for your work visa.

If they approve your freelance visa, they must print the plastic card. This takes a few weeks. You might get a temporary certificate while you wait. It allows you to start working, but it’s not a valid travel document. It does not allow you to re-enter Germany.

What happens at the Ausländerbehörde ➞

What happens after your appointment ➞

7. Get your work visa

6 to 10 weeks after your Ausländerbehörde appointment, 22 you get 2 letters:

  • The eID activation code This letter arrives first. Save it for later. You need it to activate the eID function of your work visa.
  • Your work visa Around 2 weeks later, you receive your work visa, or an invitation to collect it at the Ausländerbehörde . 28 If you did not pay the 100 € fee, you must pay it during your Ausländerbehörde visit. The fee is tax-deductible , so keep the receipt.

Your work visa is a plastic card. The expiration date is written on it. It’s usually valid for 3 years . 17 If you have a limited work contract, your work visa is valid for a shorter time. For example, if you have a 2 year work contract, your work visa is valid for 2 years + 3 months. 3

You also get a Zusatzblatt . It describes the conditions of your work visa. For example, it can say that you can freelance, or that you can only work for your current employer.

Check if the information on your work visa is correct. The Ausländerbehörde sometimes makes mistakes.

8. Start working in Germany

Starting a new job in Germany ➞

Your first month in Germany ➞

How to apply in your country

You can also apply for a work visa in your country, before you move to Germany . 26 This is cheaper and safer , because you can start working as soon as you arrive in Germany. 34

To apply in your country: 4

  • Get your vocational training recognised.
  • Get an appointment at the German embassy or consulate in your country .
  • Go to your appointment and give your documents. The required documents are different in each country. Find the list on your embassy or consulate’s website.
  • Receive a National Visa . It lets you to come to Germany and start working .
  • After you arrive in Germany, convert your National Visa into a work visa.

1. Get your education recognised

To apply for the work visa, you must have a university or vocational training. Your education must be recognised in Germany. It must be equivalent to 2 years of training in Germany. 46

You must get your training recognised before you apply for your work visa. The process depends on your profession. 21 It takes a few weeks to a few months. 8 There might be an interview or a competence test, and you might need to pay for it. 24

How to get your education recognised ➞

If you are a citizen of Albania, Australia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Israel, Japan, Kosovo, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, San Marino, Serbia, South Korea, the United Kingdom or the United States, you don’t need a degree or vocational training. Skip this step.

If you studied in Germany, your education is already recognised.

3. Get an appointment at the German embassy or consulate

Get an appointment at the German embassy or consulate in your country. It can take months to get an appointment. 33

Find your German embassy or consulate ➞

4. Prepare for your interview

Before your embassy or consulate appointment, you must…

  • Find a place to live in Germany Some embassies and consulates ask for it. 48 It’s really hard to find an apartment before you arrive in Germany. Find a temporary place like a hotel room or a furnished apartment to get your National Visa. 51 After you arrive in Germany, find an apartment where you can register your address .
  • Get health insurance You need valid health insurance . Ask a health insurance broker to help you choose health insurance. Their help is free.
  • Prepare the required documents The required documents are very different in each country. Find your German embassy or consulate , and use their list of required documents.

If you bring your family to Germany, you can apply for their family reunion visa at the same time. Prepare these documents too.

5. Go to your National Visa appointment

Go to your appointment at the embassy or consulate, and give your documents. If you have all the required documents , it only takes a few minutes.

6. Receive your National Visa

In a few weeks (or a few months), you must go to the embassy or consulate again. They will give you a National Visa . This temporary visa lets you come to Germany and start working .

7. Come to Germany, start working

With your National Visa, you can travel to Germany and start working. 40

After you arrive in Germany, register your address , get a tax ID and open a bank account . These things will be useful later.

How to move to Berlin ➞

8. Convert your National Visa into a work visa

Your National Visa is valid for 3 to 12 months. 29 After your arrive in Germany, you must convert it into a work visa at the Ausländerbehörde .

In Berlin, you must convert your National Visa 8 weeks before it expires , not sooner. 39

To convert your National Visa into a work visa:

  • Book an Ausländerbehörde appointment Start looking for an appointment 3 to 4 months before your National Visa expires. It’s really hard to find an appointment. If your National Visa expires soon , send your documents online , it’s faster.
  • Go to your appointment During the appointment, they take your fingerprints for your work visa. It takes around 15 minutes.
  • Wait for your work visa 6 to 10 weeks, you get a letter. It’s your work visa, or an invitation to collect your work visa at the Ausländerbehörde .
  • Activate your eID (optional)

Your work visa is a plastic card. It’s valid for up to 3 years. You can renew it before it expires.

Required documents

These are the required documents in Berlin . 2 If you apply elsewhere, they require different documents. Check the website of the Ausländerbehörde , embassy or consulate where you apply. –  Find your embassy or consulate

  • Passport If you send your documents online , include a colour scan of your passport. If you go to the Ausländerbehörde , bring your passport. You get it back during the appointment; they do not keep it.
  • Passport photo (35 × 45 mm) The photo should be under 6 months old. 36 You do not need to cut the photos yourself; they have a tool for this. –  Where to get passport photos
  • Job contract or job offer Bring the original, not a copy.
  • Residence permit application form ( Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels ) Download the form here or on Berlin.de .
  • Job description form ( Erklärung zum Beschäftigungsverhältnis ) Your employer should fill this form and sign it. Download the form here or on Berlin.de .
  • Health insurance card
  • or proof of public health insurance Get a Mitgliedsbescheinigung nach 175 SGB V from your health insurer or your health insurance broker.
  • or proof of private health insurance Bring your insurance contract, a Mitgliedsbescheinigung , and bank statements that show health insurance payments. Get these documents from your health insurer or your health insurance broker. 6
  • Lease It must show the size of your apartment. Your apartment must be big enough . You must make enough money to pay your rent. It can be a temporary lease or a sublet.
  • and tenancy confirmation ( Wohnungsgeberbestätigung ) Some temporary apartments and sublets don’t give you this document. You might not get a work visa without it. 1
  • and registration certificate ( Anmeldebestätigung ) You must registered your address to get this document. The Ausländerbehörde might accept other proofs of your address, or a Bürgeramt appointment confirmation. 5
  • Occupation practice permit ( Berufsausübungserlaubnis ) You must have all the permits and special qualifications needed for the job. 12 For example, doctors, engineers and lawyers need special qualifications. –  Find the requirements for your job
  • Translations If your documents are not in German, bring translations. For certificates and official documents, bring certified translations . They sometimes accept untranslated documents, but don’t take the risk. Get translations from Red Tape Translation , Lingoking or Linguidoor .

If you are not a citizen of Albania, Australia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Israel, Japan, Kosovo, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, San Marino, Serbia, South Korea, the United Kingdom or the United States, you also need…

  • Proof of vocational training A certificate or a degree that proves that you received professional training to do this job.
  • Certificate of equivalence Proof that your professional training is recognised in Germany. If you got professional training in Germany, you don’t need this. 50

If you send your documents online , use PDF files or photos. Word documents and other formats are unreliable. 37

If you apply in person, print everything. Use A4 paper. Do not staple the pages together.

After you get your work visa

Bring your family to germany.

The family reunion visa lets you bring your family to Germany. If they have a family reunion visa, your family members can work, freelance or start a business in Germany.

You can apply for it at the same time as your work visa.

Activate your eID

You can use your work visa to log into online government services. For example, you can use it to apply for unemployment benefits . You must activate this feature at the Ausländerbehörde . Activate your eID before you need it.

How to activate your eID ➞

Renew your work visa

Your work visa is valid for up to 3 years. You must renew it around 8 weeks before it expires.

You can also apply for permanent residence after 4 years. 10

If you change jobs

When you change jobs, tell the Ausländerbehörde . You might need their permission to work for a different employer.

What happens to your work visa ➞

If you lose your job

If you lose your job , your work visa stays valid. Tell the Ausländerbehörde as soon as you can. In Berlin, they give you 6 months to find another job.

While you are unemployed, you can get unemployment benefits .

How to get unemployment benefits ➞

If you travel with a work visa

Your work visa lets you visit other Schengen area countries without a visa.

With a work visa, you can leave Germany for up to 6 months. 23 To travel longer, you need permission from the Ausländerbehörde .

Self-employment with a work visa

Your work visa might allow self-employment. Look on your residence permit , and on the Zusatzblatt . If it says Selbständige Tätigkeit gestattet or Erwerbstätigkeit erlaubt , you can be self-employed in addition to your job. You must keep your job, and it must be your main source of income. 52

Make a tax declaration

Your immigration expenses are tax-deductible , so keep all your receipts. At the end of your first year, make a tax declaration . You will pay less income tax .

Where to get help

Where to ask immigration questions ➞

The Ausländerbehörde can answer your questions, but they are very hard to contact. They can take months to answer. Sometimes they don’t answer at all.

How to contact the Ausländerbehörde ➞

Elliot Herman (October 2023), multiple relocation consultants (October 2023)  ⤴

Berlin.de , Business Immigration Service   ⤴

§18 Abs. 4 AufenthG , Berlin.de , Fiona Macdonald (August 2023)  ⤴

DARE Consulting (page 8)  ⤴

Kathleen Parker at Red Tape Translation (December 2023), Berlin.de   ⤴

Berlin.de   ⤴

DARE Consulting (page 9), BAMF   ⤴

§41 AufenthV , Berlin.de   ⤴

§18c Abs. 1 AufenthG , Berlin.de , Make it in Germany   ⤴

§20 AufenthG , Berlin.de , Make it in Germany   ⤴

§18 AufenthG   ⤴

europa.eu , ind.nl , HousingAnywhere   ⤴

§29 AufenthG   ⤴

§18 Abs. 2 AufenthG   ⤴

germany-visa.org   ⤴

§18 Abs. 4 AufenthG   ⤴

Multiple relocation consultants (October 2023)  ⤴

§75 VwGO   ⤴

§51 Abs. 1 AufenthG   ⤴

BAMF   ⤴

Auswärtiges Amt , §3 AufenthG , reddit.com/r/germany , facebook.com , einwanderer.net   ⤴

make-it-in-germany.com   ⤴

make-it-in-germany.com , DARE Consulting   ⤴

It depends on your case worker (October 2023)  ⤴

Ina Bozhilova at Noah Mobility (July 2023), Berlin.de   ⤴

New in November 2023. Make it in Germany , §18a AufenthG , §18b AufenthG , Red Tape Translation   ⤴

DARE Consulting (page 10), Agentur für Arbeit   ⤴

DARE Consulting (page 14)  ⤴

Berlin.de , Multiple relocation consultants (October 2023)  ⤴

It depends on the case worker. Multiple relocation consultants (November 2023)  ⤴

§26 BeschV , DARE Consulting (page 25), German embassy in Belgrade   ⤴

Berlin.de , Elliot Herman (October 2023), Anja Kunzke (October 2023)  ⤴

BAMF , Auswärtiges Amt   ⤴

Berlin.de , BAMF   ⤴

Multiple relocation consultants (November 2023)  ⤴

Elliot Herman, relocation consultant (December 2023)  ⤴

Emily at Archer Relocation (November 2023)  ⤴

§26 BeschV   ⤴

Berlin.de , §26 BeschV   ⤴

Multiple relocation consultants (November 2023), German embassy (US) , visaguide.world   ⤴

Red Tape Translation   ⤴

Touring Artists   ⤴

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Germany - Highly-qualified worker

Are you a non-EU citizen wishing to work as a highly-skilled employee in Germany? You can find information below on the conditions to fulfil and procedures to follow, as well as the rights you can enjoy during your stay.

To work in Germany as a highly-qualified worker, you must first obtain a visa to enter Germany.

You do not need a visa if you are from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, the United Kingdom or the USA.

Once in Germany, you must obtain a residence/settlement permit allowing you to work.

Residence permit for qualified experts during their job search (Sec 20 ResA)

A skilled worker can apply for a residence permit for job search for a maximum duration of 6 months. The skilled worker needs to hold a university degree. If the university degree was not awarded in Germany, it must either be recognised or equivalent to a German university degree.

Settlement Permit for highly-qualified workers (Sec 18c ResA)

Highly-qualified workers include:

  • Scientists with special knowledge;
  • University teachers or assistants with executive functions.

EU Blue Card (Sec 18b para. 2 ResA)

Migrants with a completed university degree can apply for an EU Blue Card. If the university degree was not awarded in Germany, it must either be recognised or equivalent to a German university degree. The applicants must present an employment contract / a binding employment offer with a specified minimum salary. This salary stands at two thirds of the earning ceiling of the general pension scheme (Beitragsbemessungsgrenze zur Rentenversicherung). For occupations that fall within the groups 21, 221 or 25 as defined in the Commission Recommendation of 29 October 2009, the limit stands at 52% of the earning ceiling 'in the general pension scheme'

No information available at the moment.

  • More information on the EU Blue Card in Germany
  • "Make it in Germany" Portal
  • Federal Ministry of the Interior
  • Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration
  • Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
  • Federal Foreign Office
  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research
  • Federal Office for Migration and Refugees
  • Public Employment Service
  • Diplomatic missions abroad

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Job Seeker Visa Germany: An Ultimate Guide For International Students (2022/2023)

What is a job seeker visa.

  • Who is eligible?
  • Work permit
  • Requirements
  • How to apply?

Video Course

How To Get Your German Student Visa Application Done — Quickly and Stress-Free

work travel visa germany

Many international students want to stay in Germany after successfully completing their Bachelor's or Master's studies at a German university. And they want to do that by finding a job. As you might have already heard about it, finding a job that corresponds to your degree soon after your graduation is a challenging task, and many students do not manage to do that. 

The good news is that even if you fail to immediately find a relevant job that qualifies you for a job visa, you can still stay in Germany thanks to the job seeker visa! Would you like to know how exactly that is possible? Then this article is just for you, as here we address the most crucial questions when it comes to getting a job seeker visa after graduating from a German university !

It is our goal to inform you honestly and accurately, therefore, we need to add a DISCLAIMER :

You should use this text as a general guide, but it cannot be a legal consultation. All of the information regarding the job-seeker visa needs to be verified by the Foreigners' Authority ( Ausländerbehörde ). Please be aware: some rules and procedures can vary based on your location in Germany. That is why we highly recommend you consult the local Foreigners' Authority for information that applies to your case.

Want to learn more about your BLOCKED ACCOUNT requirement?

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work travel visa germany

The job seeker visa ( Aufenthaltserlaubnis zur Arbeitsplatzsuche ) is actually a type of residence permit that international students studying in Germany can apply for after they graduate. This type of visa - also known as a residence permit to seek employment - allows the graduates of German universities to stay in Germany after completion of their studies for the purpose of finding a job corresponding to the degree they obtained. The job seeker visa is a temporary residence permit, which is valid for maximum 18 months and cannot be prolonged. During these 18 months, you need to find an appropriate job and switch to a job visa (also known as the residence permit for the occupation). The appropriate job is one where your position and your salary at least partially correspond to the degree that you acquired. For example, you cannot get a job visa if you got a degree in physics and want to work as a security at a grocery store.

It is noteworthy that the 18-month timespan starts as soon as you officially graduate. Moreover, if you do not apply for a job search permit immediately after your graduation but later, your application might be rejected. Hence, you need to apply for a job seeker visa once you have proof that you completed your studies.

There is an entitlement to this residence permit. In other words, you will definitely be able to convert your student residence permit to a job search residence permit as long as you successfully completed your studies at a German university and correctly and timely submitted all of the necessary documents.

WARNING: When you have a job seeker visa, you are allowed to stay outside of Germany for up to 6 months. If you stay more, your job search residence permit will be cancelled.

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Who is eligible for a German job seeker visa?

Everyone who completed their studies in Germany with an appropriate residence permit for study purposes , no matter the country of origin, is eligible for a German job seeker visa. It should be emphasized that the students from EU member states, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Switzerland, do not need a job seeker visa to stay in Germany because, basically, they have the same rights as Germans.

Group 1 (EU + 4)

No job seeker or employment visa needed.

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Group 2 (rest of the world)

Job seeker or employment visa needed.

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Can I work with a job seeker visa?

work travel visa germany

You might already be aware of the fact that to pursue a degree in Germany, most of the international students need a special type of residence permit for studying. This residence permit grants them the right to work in Germany , although with some limitations. In particular, international students can work in Germany 240 days per year part-time (e.g. up to 20 hours per week) or 120 days per year full-time (e.g. more than 20 hours per week).

After completing your studies, you can convert your student residence permit or student visa to a job seeker visa. And the job seeker visa also allows you to work in Germany. In other words, in this case, the residence permit to seek employment comes with the work permit. In fact, employment-wise, you have more rights with the job seeker visa rather than with the student visa. For example, you can work full-time without limitations with a job search residence permit . Moreover, you can take up any type of employment, even the one that does not correspond to your qualifications/degree. For example, even if you studied engineering, you can work in McDonald's as a cook with your job search permit.

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Further Reading

Job Seeker Visa Germany: Requirements

Actually, it is easier to apply for a job seeker visa rather than for a student visa . You should apply for a job search visa immediately after you receive proof that you successfully completed your studies at a German university. The documents that you need to apply for a job seeker visa after your studies are usually listed on the website of the relevant Foreigners' Authority office. Depending on the city or town you reside in, there might be some slight differences in requirements. After looking through various requirements across locations in Germany, our team came up with the following general checklist of documents that you will usually need for your job seeker visa application:

Checklist for the job seeker visa in Germany

Completed application form

You can find the application forms on the website of the Foreigners' Authority responsible for your application. The form is usually quite self-explanatory and easy to fill in. It asks you to provide information regarding your personal details, like your first and last names, date of birth, email, address, marital status, etc. Here is one of the examples of the German job seeker visa application form.

Valid Passport

Make sure that your passport's expiry date is not very close and that it has enough free pages left.

Registration of the address (Meldebescheinigung)

When you arrive in Germany, you have two weeks during which you have to register your new German address at the local citizens' office (Bürgeramt). After doing that, you will receive a paper confirming your registration. This is the paper that you need for your job seeker visa application.

Proof of graduation from a German university

Usually, you do not need to wait for your diploma. Transcript of records and proof from your academic supervisor and/or head of the study program that you have successfully passed all of the subjects, including the thesis, should be enough.

Proof of valid health insurance

You can ask your German health insurance provider to send you a paper, which states that you are indeed insured by the given company.

Proof of sufficient funds

You need to prove that you are able to secure your livelihood . This can be done, for example, by providing the bank statements of the last 3-6 months, a blocked account , a declaration of commitment and an employment contract.

Current biometric passport photo

The size of the photo should be 35(W) x 45(H). Your face in this photo should be clearly visible and should occupy 70-80% of the picture. This equals to 32-36mm of height. The background should be without shadows, bright and unicolored, preferably in neutral grey. Further details regarding the photo quality, head position and the rest can be found here .

Table: Examples of job seeker visa requirements across German cities

Once again: it is crucial to check the websites of Foreigners' Authority offices in various towns and cities of Germany, as the requirements might slightly vary. For example, to be considered for a job seeker visa, the authorities in Berlin-Charlottenburg require you to submit proof that you have applied for at least three jobs, while in the case of Bremen such kind of proof is not required.

How to apply for a job seeker visa in Germany?

As already mentioned, you should apply for a job seeker visa as soon as you officially finalize your studies. Ideally, the application should be sent to the Foreigners' office 4-6 weeks before your student visa or student residence permit expires. 

Currently, in most cases, there is a three-step procedure for getting a job seeker visa:

Sending the application package to the authorities (via email or post). 

Submission of the biometric data and payment. After you send the application, the authorities will get in touch with you (usually via email), stating that your complete application was well received and checked.  Besides, they will inform you about the specific day you have to visit their office so they can collect your biometric data. Put another way, you have to appear in person to 

Sign the necessary documents

Hand in your fingerprints

Show your passport

Submit the biometric photo

Pay the job seeker visa fee . The job seeker visa usually costs around 100 EUR . In most cases, the Foreigners' office accepts payment by both cash and EC card.

Receiving the residence permit card. After the biometric data is collected and the payment is made, you immediately receive a paper, which serves as a substitute for the residence permit card. It states when the card will be ready and that this substitute paper is valid for 3 months . You will be informed whether you will receive the card by post or if you need to visit the office once again to pick it up. So, the final step is getting the card either via email or in person. It is noteworthy that the processing time for the German job seeker visa is circa 4-6 weeks . The countdown starts as soon as you submit the biometric data and pay the fee.

Just like in the case of the requirements, the procedure to apply for a job seeker visa may also vary based on your location in Germany. That is why, in this case as well, it is crucial to check the websites of the relevant Foreigners' Authority offices. For example, in the case of Bonn , there is an additional step. In particular, the first step described above is divided into two parts. First, the authorities in Bonn ask you to submit just the filled-in application form without any other documents. After you do that, they send you a message stating the further documents that you need to provide. And submission of the remaining documents is the second step of your application.

Summary Box

Key things to remember about the job seeker visa: 

You should apply for a job seeker visa immediately after your graduation

It is valid for maximum 18 months

It grants you the right to take up any type of job 

The application fee is around 100 EUR

The processing of the application takes 4-6 weeks

You should always check the information on requirements and procedures on the website of the Foreigners' Authority that is responsible for your application

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International Citizens Group

Resources for International Citizens and Expatriates

Work Visas in Germany

Work visas in germany for expats and foreigners.

German visa stamp

Do I Need a Work Visa in Germany?

Citizens of the European Union, the European Economic Area (which includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway), and Switzerland generally do not need work visas for Germany. However, there are some exceptions. Citizens of newer EU countries, including Bulgaria and Romania, require permits to work in certain sectors. Additionally, all new residents from the EU and EEA must apply for a residency certificate within eight days of arrival. This is a necessary step to access the public German healthcare system and obtain an electronic tax card.

What Are the Different Types of German Work Visas?

There are several different types of work visas and it really depends on your country of residence and your occupation. People from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, and the United States require a residence permit for work purposes. In order to work in Germany, you must first have a residence permit that includes work authorization. The extent to which you can work will be detailed on this residence permit. As such, when you look into work visas in Germany, you are really also looking into German residency requirements. You can apply for this after you arrive in Germany. This works out well for people who are visiting as short term tourists and fall in love with the country or come across a fantastic work opportunity.

Visitors from all other countries need to get a work visa before they travel to Germany. In order to apply for a work visa in these circumstances, you need a firm job offer. These applicants will also need a residence permit once they get to Germany.

In both cases, there are several different kinds of residency permits and work visas to choose from, depending on your circumstances. These are four of the most popular.

General Employment Permit

General employment permits apply to those working in jobs that do not require higher education or special skills. Note that the term “special skills” is relevant. There are many jobs that fall under the purview of the general employment permit that require vocational certificates. You will only be eligible if the position in question cannot be filled by a worker from the EU, the EEA, or Switzerland. These permits are usually granted for a year and can be extended multiple times.

Highly Skilled Worker Permit

If you are a highly skilled worker (such as scientists with special knowledge, doctors, university teachers or assistants with executive functions) or earn more than 84,600 Euros, you can apply for a settlement permit, also referred to as a highly-skilled worker permit. This highly coveted permit allows you and your family to live and work in Germany indefinitely.

University Graduate Permit

Foreign university graduates with sufficient funds for personal support can get a six-month residence permit to look for work. However, this permit is for looking only! You cannot actually work with a graduate permit so if you are so lucky to find a good job, you’ll have to apply for the appropriate permit or visa for the situation.

EU Blue Cards

EU Blue Cards – which actually aren’t blue at all – are designated for applicants with a university degree and a guaranteed job with an income of at least 50,800 Euros. (Should the job be related to a field where there is a shortage of workers, that income level drops to about 41,000 Euros). A Blue Card is really a four-year residency permit and it also allows family members to join you and work in Germany.

Self Employment Residence Permit

If you are self-employed or planning to start a business, you must demonstrate how your skills are needed in the area you want to settle down in. You must also demonstrate how you will help the local economy. For instance, will you be hiring local staff or attracting tourists? Applicants must also prove that they have sufficient funds to cover their own costs and provide a detailed business plan.

How Do I Get a German Visa?

Unlike some countries, where the burden of applying lies with employers, for work visas in Germany the responsibility of applying for a visa or permit lies with the individual. However, you can expect some support from your employer. They can provide a detailed job description and attest that they could not fill the position by using the EU, EEA, or Swiss workers.

The usual application time ranges from one to four months. The timing depends partly on where you are from, what your occupation is, and how busy the office is.

German Visa Application Check List

Generally, you must provide the following when applying for a work visa or residency permit:

  • Two completed application forms.
  • Two passport photos.
  • A valid passport.
  • Proof of current residence. Acceptable documentation includes a driver’s license and utility bills.
  • Proof of health insurance. If applying for a residency permit, this proof generally comes from your German employer, whose responsibility it is to help you enroll in the public German healthcare system . Alternatively, you can use a European Health Insurance Card or simply carry your own global medical insurance that will cover you between your arrival and when employment begins.
  • An employment contract that details salary information and job description.
  • Your resume. This demonstrates your qualifications and that you’re a good fit for the job description.
  • Proof of qualifications, as appropriate, including university degrees or other certificates.
  • Proof of a clean criminal record.
  • Receipts that prove you paid the visa fee.
  • A personal cover letter explaining the purpose and duration of your stay in Germany.
  • A signed declaration of Accuracy of Information.
Read: Health Insurance in Germany for Expats
  • Best Cities to Work in Germany
  • Moving to Germany
  • Best German Hospitals

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work travel visa germany

  • Business and industry

Travel to Germany for work

Check if you need a visa or permit to work in Germany and how to get one if you do.

This guide is for British citizens travelling for business or other work purposes. It explains what employers, employees, or the self-employed need to do if they need a visa or permit.

This information is provided as a guide only. You must always check the exact application process and document requirements with the German embassy or immigration authorities .

Entry requirements

If you’re going to Germany to work (or any other EU country , Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein) you must make sure you meet passport and other travel requirements .

Germany is in the Schengen area . If you’re travelling for business for up to 90 days in a 180-day period, you may be able to do some business-related activities without needing a visa or permit, such as attend business meetings. It does not matter how many countries you visit in the Schengen area. Your total stay must be no more than 90 days in every 180 days. The 180-day period keeps ‘rolling’.

If you’re staying for longer, or for other types of work, you may need a visa or permit.

The German authorities are responsible for setting and enforcing entry rules. They decide which activities need a visa or permit, or which may be exempt.

You must always check with the German embassy or immigration authorities before you travel, to make sure you meet their legal requirements.

If you’re working in more than one country, you need to check the entry rules of each country.

If you need a passport, visa or permit, you should apply well in advance of travel.

Visa and permit documents

This guide explains the general application process for some of the visa or permit types available in Germany. It includes a checklist of documents that you’ll usually need to include when applying.

It may not cover all scenarios so you must always check the exact application process and document requirements with the German embassy or immigration authorities .

You must also check what format the documents should be presented in, including if they must be:

  • ‘legalised’ (with an apostille) or notarised
  • originals, or if copies are acceptable
  • signed in ink (a wet signature), or if they can be signed electronically (an e-signature)
  • dated within a certain period of time, such as 30 days before you submit your application

Countries often use the terms visa, work permit and residence permit differently. For example, some may refer to a work permit as a visa.

This guide uses the same terms used in Germany, so you know which ones to use when speaking to the German authorities.

Check if you need a visa or permit

You do not need a visa or permit if you’re travelling to Germany for up to 90 days in a 180-day period for specific business-related activities. These activities can include:

  • attending job interviews
  • going to court as a witness
  • attending trade fairs
  • board meetings
  • meeting clients or customers, including entertainment such as eating at a restaurant
  • meeting colleagues, contractors, sellers, suppliers or other customers for business meetings
  • fact-finding visits, as long as it’s not an essential part of the project or a day-to-day work activity
  • negotiating deals or contracts
  • attending, speaking or presenting at a conference
  • team building activities
  • leisure travel such as holidays or visiting friends or family

Or for the following types of training, so long as it’s for the same company or group and does not exceed 90 days in a 12 month period:

  • classroom-based training
  • on-the-job training
  • shadowing someone’s job, as long as the focus is on training

These activities are covered by the Schengen waiver .

Border checks

At the border, you may be asked to show:

  • proof of return travel, such as plane or train tickets
  • health insurance that covers your stay
  • proof of accommodation for your entire stay
  • enough money for the duration of your trip
  • an invitation letter explaining your trip, or a plan for any training you’ll be doing

Check Germany’s exemptions

Certain types of work and activities do not require a visa or permit because they’re exempt.

All countries have their own exemptions. What may be exempt in one country may not be in another. You should always check with the country’s authorities.

Exempt for 90 days in 12 months

The following do not require a visa or permit in Germany if they’re for less than 90 days in a 12-month period:

  • academic staff, such as scientists, technicians, engineers or language teachers working at research or higher education institutions (doesn’t include researchers at accredited research institutions)
  • teachers working at state or approved private schools
  • internships, if you meet legal requirements – check these with the German authorities
  • journalists employed in the UK and living outside Germany
  • fashion models
  • after sales service, such as installing software or machinery, or completing technical maintenance, repairs and training – your employer must submit a notification to the German Federal Employment Agency before you start working
  • travel guides who accompany tourist groups to Germany – you must keep your regular place of residence in the UK
  • translators who need to take part in meetings and discussions in Germany – you must keep your regular place of residence in the UK
  • international (cross border) rail and road traffic industry workers – including drivers who collect and unload deliveries, bus or coach drivers, train operators, train service staff and attendants
  • sea and air transportation workers, such as international ship crew, sea pilots, technical staff, passenger service staff and plane crew – aircraft pilots, engineers and navigators employed by German companies will need a work permit
  • speaking, lecturing or performing in science, the arts, entertainment or sports of special interest (performers and their assistants) – you must keep your regular place of residence in the UK
  • working in special cultural or musical events or festivals, or in the film and television industry
  • working in a recognised voluntary position or carrying out charitable or religious work

Also, sport and e-sport professionals and trainers working for a German sports organisation or taking part in German competitions with these conditions:

  • you must be over 16
  • the sport organisation must pay at least 50% of the minimum contribution to the statutory insurance pension scheme
  • the German national association for your sport must recognise you as a professional athlete or trainer (this is only possible for the top leagues in sport, except for football, where the second league is also acceptable)

Exempt for 90 days in 180 days

Directors, board members and business leaders are exempt for up to 90 days in a 180-day period. For more than 90 days you need a long-term work permit from the first day of work.

If you have an EU intra-company transfer permit (EU ICT) from another country you can work in Germany for 90 days in a 180-day period. Your employer has to notify the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) .

All the exemptions are covered by the Schengen visa waiver .

Show proof of exemption

You need to be able to show proof that you’re exempt to the authorities on request. This could be:

  • an assignment letter
  • employment confirmation
  • proof of required qualifications

Further checks

If you’re not sure if you need a visa or permit to travel you can get advice from the German embassy or immigration authorities .

Applying for a visa or permit

This guide outlines the steps required for each visa or permit, but you must check the exact rules and processes with the German embassy or immigration authorities .

Usually, you should apply for a national D visa so you can start working. You then apply for a longer-term residence permit once in Germany.

Taking your family

You may be able to apply for dependant permits if you have a family and want them to join you. It depends on the type of work permit you have.

Find out about taking your family with you .

Short-term visa and work authorisation

If you’re going to Germany for less than 90 days, and the activities do not fall under the list of exemptions , then you can apply for a Schengen C visa with work authorisation .

Long-term visas and permits

Germany offers long-term visas and permits for work for stays of over 90 days. They are valid for up to 4 years depending on which one you need.

You must apply for one if your profession isn’t exempt or you’re in Germany because you’re:

  • transferring to a German branch of a UK-based company (intra-corporate transfer), even if it’s for a short period of time
  • working for a German company on a German employment contract
  • providing services to a client in Germany
  • providing services as a self-employed worker or setting up a business
  • conducting research work

Transferring to a German branch of a UK-based company

You need one of these permits if your UK-based company moves you to a German branch to work:

  • international staff exchange programme
  • EU intra-company transfer permit (EU ICT)

If you do not qualify for these permits, you may also be able to get a permit for privileged nations .

International staff exchange

If you need to work at a German branch temporarily, your employer can use the international staff exchange .

To qualify your employer must:

  • be registered with the personnel exchange department of the German labour office
  • have a branch in Germany and exchange staff with their offices in other countries
  • have at least a bachelor’s level degree or equivalent professional experience
  • keep your UK employment contract – this must be valid for the length of your stay
  • be paid a salary that is equivalent to the standard German salary for somebody in a similar position and with a similar background

The international staff exchange permit takes 8 to 12 weeks to get. It’s valid for up to 3 years and can’t be extended. You can apply for the permit again after a 6-month cooling off period.

If you have a family they can join you as dependants. Find out about taking your family with you .

How it works

You need to check with the German authorities on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

Your employer submits a work permit application for pre-approval from the Federal Employment Agency (FEA) . This speeds up the process. You can also apply directly at the embassy in the UK or immigration office in Germany .

You complete the online D-visa application , print the form and sign it. You submit the application form, with the necessary documents, directly at the embassy in the UK or immigration office in Germany . You won’t be able to start working until you have your final residence permit. (Local immigration offices often have their own forms. If you’re applying while in Germany, always check with the office before submitting your application.)

You register your address at the local city hall within 14 days of arriving in Germany, if staying for more than 3 months.

You submit a residence permit application at your local immigration office – check with them which forms and documents you need. You only need to do this if you’re staying in Germany after your national D-visa expiry date. The residence permit application has to be submitted before the D-visa expires.

Application documents

German authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Usually, they need:

  • completed D-visa application form or local equivalent
  • declaration of employment form (‘Erklärung zum Beschäftigungsverhältnis’), to be completed by your employer
  • form B (‘Zusatzblatt B’), to be completed by your employer
  • completed residence permit application form for post arrival procedure, if required
  • 2 standard passport photos (35mm x 45mm)
  • passport for you and any accompanying dependants – valid for 6 months, less than 10 years old, and with at least 2 blank pages
  • degree or qualification certificate relevant to the job
  • job description
  • signed assignment agreement with your employer
  • organisation chart showing the relationship between the UK and German operations
  • birth certificate, for any accompanying children ( legalised with an apostille )
  • marriage certificate, if your spouse is accompanying you ( legalised with an apostille )
  • health insurance cover in Germany, for you and any accompanying dependants
  • proof of residence in Germany, including signed confirmation from the landlord (required once you get to Germany)

EU intra-company transfer (ICT)

You need an EU intra-company transfer permit (EU ICT) permit) if your UK-based company moves you to a branch in Germany to work for:

  • up to 3 years, if you’re a manager or specialist
  • up to 1 year, if you’re a trainee
  • be a manager, specialist or trainee
  • have specialist knowledge in the field
  • have worked for the company abroad for at least 6 months

An ICT takes 8 to 12 weeks to get. You can’t extend it beyond the 3 years, or 1 year for trainees. You can apply for the permit again after a 6-month cooling off period.

Your employer submits a work permit application for pre-approval from the Federal Employment Agency (FEA) . This speeds up the process. You can also apply directly at the embassy in the UK .

You complete the online D-visa application , print the form and sign it. You submit the application form, with the necessary documents, directly at the embassy in the UK . You won’t be able to start working until you have your final residence permit.

You register your address at the local city hall when you get to Germany, if staying for more than 3 months.

  • completed D-visa application form
  • organisational chart showing the relationship between the UK and German operations

Working for a German company on a German employment contract

You need to apply for one of these permits if you have an offer of employment with a company in Germany:

EU Blue Card

  • visa for qualified specialists
  • privileged nations permit

You can apply for an EU Blue Card if you have a university degree relevant to the position.

You must have one of the following:

  • a recognised degree from an accredited university outside Germany
  • a degree from a German university

Check if your degree is recognised .

If your degree is not recognised you can apply to get it recognised . The authority aims to examine documents within 3 to 4 months but it can be quicker.

You must also:

  • have an offer of employment with a company in Germany for at least 1 year
  • pay social security contributions in Germany
  • meet the minimum annual salary requirements

The EU Blue Card takes 4 to 8 weeks to get. It’s valid for up to 4 years and can be extended.

This permit type can lead to permanent residence if you meet the criteria.

Your employer submits a work permit application for pre-approval from the Federal Employment Agency (FEA) , if your role is in a shortage occupation .

You register your address at the local city hall within 14 days of arriving in Germany, if you’re staying for more than 3 months.

  • passport for you and any accompanying dependants, issued within the last 10 years and valid for 6 months with at least 2 blank pages
  • work permit pre-approval, only for shortage occupations
  • degree certificate from an accredited university not based in Germany
  • proof that your degree and the university are recognised, only for universities outside Germany
  • signed employment contract with a German company

Qualified specialists

If you’re a specialist you can apply for a visa for qualified specialists (work permit).

To qualify you must:

  • have an offer of employment with a company in Germany
  • have specific knowledge, skills or experience in the field

It takes 8 to 12 weeks to get. It’s valid for up to 4 years and can be extended.

Your employer submits a work permit application for pre-approval from the Federal Employment Agency (FEA) . This speeds up the process. You can also apply directly at the embassy in the UK or immigration office in Germany

  • degree certificate relevant to the job

Permit for privileged nations

You can apply for a privileged nations permit if you’re:

  • transferring to a German branch of a UK company
  • working for a German company based on a German employment contract
  • providing services to a client when your company doesn’t have a branch in Germany (Direktentsendung)

If you’re providing services you need to make sure you could never be classed as temporarily employed by the client. You must:

  • stay employed in the UK
  • report to your UK employer and not directly to the client

You do not need to meet any educational or experience requirements for this permit.

You’ll be labour market tested so must be able to show that you have the necessary skills and experience for the job.

The privileged nations permit takes 8 to 12 weeks to get. It’s valid for up to 4 years and can be extended.

  • work permit pre-approval, if available
  • signed employment contract with your employer

Self-employed work

If you want to provide services as a self-employed worker or set up a business, you’ll need a visa for self-employment (work permit). To qualify you must:

  • show there’s economic interest or regional demand for your services
  • prove that your activities have a positive effect on the German economy
  • be able to support your activities either with your own money or with an approved loan
  • support yourself without burdening the German social security system

It takes 8 to 12 weeks to get. It’s valid up to 3 years and can be extended. This permit type can lead to permanent residence after 3 years if you meet the criteria.

You submit a residence permit application at the local immigration office . You only need to do this if you’re staying in Germany after your national D-visa expiry date. The residence permit application has to be submitted before the D-visa expires.

  • proof you can support yourself financially with your chosen work
  • proof your work fulfils an economic interest in Germany, such as a business plan or confirmation letter from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Deutsche Industrie- und Handelskammer)
  • proof of enough personal money or a loan approval
  • proof of trade such as a professional licence, if applicable
  • proof of retirement provisions if you’re over 45

Research work

You can apply for a visa for research (work permit) if you have an offer of employment with a recognised research institution.

To qualify:

  • the institution must sign a confirmation they will be covering your living expenses and pay your return travel costs to your home country within 6 months after your position ends
  • you must have either a PhD or a qualification that will allow you to start a PhD programme

The visa for research takes 8 to 12 weeks to get. It’s valid for at least a year and can be extended.

  • hosting agreement between you and the German international research institution
  • proof of residence in Germany including signed confirmation from the landlord (required once you get to Germany)

German government guidance

Read official German government guidance on visas and permits .

Check for travel changes

European governments may update or change their rules without notice.

You should always check general travel advice for Germany , for updates on issues, such as safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings before travelling, or planning to travel.

Content reviewed. No changes made. (The information provided is up-to-date as of 11 September 2023.)

Content reviewed. No changes made. (The information provided is up-to-date as of 21 July 2023).

Clarified that the online D-visa application form can be used only for applications made at the embassy/consulate in the UK. Applications made at local immigration offices in Germany may use a different form. Updated the application documents required for an international staff exchange. (The information provided is up-to-date as of 22 March 2023).

Content reviewed. No changes made. (The information provided is up-to-date as of 9 January 2023).

The national D-visa can now be complered online. We've added details of the forms to be completed by the employer ('declaration of employment' and 'Form B'). The processing time for the qualified specialists and privileged nations permits have changed to 8 to 12 weeks. The information provided is up-to-date as of 23 September 2022.

Updated salary criteria for qualified specialists. The information provided is up-to-date as of 30 November 2021.

First published.

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Germany Work Visa 2024: Step-by-Step Guide, Types, and Eligibility

Planning to work in Germany next year? The Germany Work Visa 2024 has got you covered! Whether you have a job offer or are still on the lookout, we’ll break down the easy process and explain the types of visas available for different jobs. Let’s make your work journey in Germany hassle-free!

List of Germany Work Visa 202 4

1.  germany work visa for qualified professionals 🎓 ( step by step guide), step 1: check eligibility and requirements.

  • Ensure equivalence or comparability of your foreign academic or vocational qualification.
  • Secure a concrete job offer in Germany or a valid employment contract.
  • Be aware of the minimum salary requirement for individuals over 45: an annual gross salary of at least EUR 48,180 or provide proof of adequate retirement provision.
  • Reference: Recognition of Foreign Qualifications

Step 2: Document Preparation and Visa Application

  • Prepare required documents, including your employment contract, passport, recognized degree or vocational qualification, and visa application form.
  • Bring all documents in their entirety.
  • Pay fees of EUR 75 in local currency.
  • Obtain the visa to practice a qualified profession.
  • Plan your journey to Germany.
  • Consider the Fast-Track Procedure for potential acceleration with your employer’s assistance.

Step 3: Document Submission and Waiting Period

  • Submit all documents entirely.
  • Be aware that processing times may vary from a few days to several weeks.

Step 4: Finalize Travel Arrangements

  • Once the visa is issued, plan your journey to Germany.
  • Ensure you have sufficient health insurance coverage before entering Germany.

Step 5: Registration in Germany

  • Register your home address in Germany at the Residents’ Registration Office.
  • Schedule an appointment with the competent foreign authority.
  • Obtain a list of required documents from the authority and start preparation.
  • Apply for the residence permit to perform skilled work under Sections 18a and 18b of the Residence Act.
  • Fees for this step may add up to EUR 100. ( Visit Here )

Also Check: Top Scholarships in Germany Without IELTS 2024 | Fully Funded

2. EU Blue Card – Embracing High-Skilled Prospects 🌟 ( Step By Step Guide)

Step 1: check eligibility.

  • Ensure you have a German degree or a foreign degree equivalent to a German degree.
  • Verify you have a specific job offer meeting the required conditions, including a minimum gross annual salary.
  • For those in bottleneck professions, lower salary thresholds apply.

Step 2: Application Process

  • If eligible, proceed to apply for the EU Blue Card.
  • Demonstrate equivalence and recognition of your foreign degrees if applicable.
  • Ensure your job offer meets the required criteria.
  • Consider the special case for IT professionals without a formal qualification.

Step 3: Submission and Visa Process

  • Submit your application for the EU Blue Card.
  • If applicable, obtain approval from the Federal Employment Agency.
  • In some countries, explore the option of applying online for an EU Blue Card.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Consular Services Portal for digital applications.

Step 4: EU Blue Card Benefits

  • Understand that the EU Blue Card is issued for the duration of your employment contract, with possible extensions.
  • Explore opportunities for settlement permits after 33 months with language skills at level A1, or 21 months with level B1.
  • Consider family reunification options if you plan to live in Germany with your family.

Step 5: Changing Jobs

  • If you wish to change your employer, it’s possible with a valid EU Blue Card.
  • Notify the local Foreigners’ Authority if changing jobs within the first year.
  • Be aware that conditions for the EU Blue Card in the new job will be assessed.

Additional Information:

  • Regularly check information on the Federal Employment Agency (BA) and the Visa-Navigator .

3. Work Visa for IT Professionals 💻

  • You need to have an IT degree or equivalent qualification and a job offer from an employer in Germany that is related to your field of expertise.
  • You need to apply for a visa at the German embassy or consulate in your home country. You will need to submit the same documents as for the work visa for qualified professionals, plus proof of your IT skills and experience.
  • You will also need to pay a visa fee and attend an interview.
  • If your visa is approved, you can travel to Germany and register your address at the local registration office within 14 days of arrival.
  • You will then receive a residence permit that allows you to work in Germany for up to four years. You can apply for a permanent settlement after four years. ( Visit Here )

Also Read:  7 Steps to Apply for Canadian PR from Your Home Country 2024

4. Job Seeker Visa (No Job Offer) 🔎

  • You need to have a bachelor’s degree or higher from Germany or a recognized university outside Germany.
  • You need to have at least five years of relevant work experience in your field of study.
  • You need to have enough funds to cover your living expenses for six months in Germany (around 853 euros per month).
  • You need to have health insurance that covers you in Germany.
  • You need to have basic knowledge of German (A1 level).
  • A valid passport
  • A completed application form
  • Two passport-sized photos
  • A cover letter explaining your motivation and goals for seeking employment in Germany
  • Proof of your academic qualifications and professional experience
  • Proof of sufficient funds and health insurance
  • Proof of language skills
  • You will then receive a job seeker visa that allows you to stay in Germany for up to six months and look for a job. You cannot work during this period. If you find a job that meets the requirements for a work visa or an EU Blue Card, you can apply for it without leaving Germany. ( Visit Here )

5. Germany Opportunity Card 2023 (No Job Offer) 🚀

  • Work experience
  • Language skills
  • Adaptability
  • Job prospects
  • You need to score at least 70 points out of 100 to qualify for the opportunity card.
  • Proof of your points calculation
  • You will also need to pay an application fee and attend an online interview.
  • If your application is approved, you will receive an opportunity card that allows you to travel to Germany and stay there for up to 12 months. You can look for a job or start a business during this period. You can also work part-time or do voluntary work. If you find a job that meets the requirements for a work visa or an EU Blue Card, you can apply for it without leaving Germany. ( Visit Here )

Also Check: Japan Work Visa 2024: Types, Eligibility, and Tips to Get It

6. Germany Seasonal Work Visa 🌾

  • For non-Europeans seeking seasonal work in agriculture, farming, tourism, and fruit picking.
  • Visa validity: Up to 90 days within a total of 180 days.
  • Requirement: Job offer from a German employer related to seasonal work.
  • Additional prerequisites: Work permit from the Federal Employment Agency (BA), health insurance, and sufficient funds for the stay. ( Visit Here )

7. Freelance Visa (No Job Offer) 🖋️

  • Allows non-Europeans to work as freelancers or self-employed professionals in Germany.
  • Visa validity: Up to four years, convertible into a residence permit.
  • Criteria: University degree or equivalent qualification, job offer or portfolio of past work, health insurance, and adequate financial means.
  • Essential proof: Demonstration that the applicant’s profession is in demand or financially advantageous for Germany.

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Visa for Germany

We hope you understand that we cannot respond individually to questions featured in this catalogue.

Please contact the Help Desk if you haven't found the answer to your question.

You are living abroad and you are in need of consular information? Please contact the German mission which is competent for your place of residence.

German missions abroad: Countries A to Z

Do I need a visa for Germany?

On the Federal Foreign Office webpage you can find out whether you need a visa for visits to Germany and the Schengen states of up to 90 days. Most non- EU -foreigners wanting to work or study in Germany or to stay longer than 90 days in Germany for other purposes, usually need a visa.

Exceptions are indicated in the relevant list of countries.

  • Overview of visa requirements/exemptions for entry into the Federal Republic of Germany
  • The Schengen Agreement

Visa regulations

I am a (non-German) EU citizen and want to visit Germany with my spouse (who is not an EU citizen). Does my spouse need a visa?

If you and/or your spouse live in a Schengen country, the situation is as follows:

As holder of a residence permit issued by a Schengen country, you need no visa for short-term stays in other Schengen countries - so you need no visa for Germany either. In any 180 days period you may stay for up to 90 days maximum in another Schengen country. Please check with the relevant authorities in your country of residence whether your spouse's residence permit entitles him or her to visa-free travel within the Schengen area.

If you or your spouse live in an EU country where the Schengen Agreement does not apply or not apply in full, the situation is as follows:

If the authorities of your country of residence have issued your spouse with a “residence card of a family member of a Union citizen” pursuant to Art. 10(1) of Directive 2004/38/EC, he or she needs no visa for travel within the EU .

If you and your spouse live outside the EU , your spouse will need an entry visa if he or she is from a country subject to a visa regime. In this case, however, a facilitated visa procedure applies.

If you have further questions, please visit the website of the relevant German mission or contact the mission directly.

The EU provides a guide to your rights as an EU citizen .

Are there special visa arrangements for EU citizens?

EU citizens do not need a visa to visit, live or work in Germany. They only have to register at the local German registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt).

Additional information is available at the European Job Mobility Portal.

  • European Job Mobility Portal

Do foreigners with a residence permit for one of the Schengen member states need a visa to visit Germany?

Please note that not all EU members fully apply the Schengen Agreement, but that some non- EU countries do apply it fully.

Non- EU citizens living in one of the countries that do apply the agreement fully (so-called Schengen States) with a valid residence permit do not need a visa for visits to Germany of up to 90 days in any period of 180 days when not taking up work.

Schengen states:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. For non- EU citizens living in another European country regular visa regulations apply.

My visa was issued by a mission of another Schengen state. Can I use it to travel to Germany?

Yes. Holders of

- a Schengen visa (text on the visa reads “valid for Schengen states”),

- a residence permit of a member state or

- a national visa of a member state

can also travel to Germany for up to 90 days in any period of 180 days.

The Schengen visa should, however, have been issued by a mission of the country which is the main destination. The country of entry and departure is not the determining factor.

What countries are Schengen states?

I'm planning a trip by air and have to transit at a german airport. do i need a visa.

The vast majority of foreign travellers benefit from the “transit privilege” - if during a stopover at a German airport, you do not leave the International Airport Area and if the destination is not in a Schengen country, you do not need a transit visa.

However, if for some reason you need to enter the Schengen area during your stopover (for example to change terminals or if the destination is in a Schengen country), you may require a visa; please plan for this. You should apply for a visa well before you travel!

Only five airports in Germany have an International Transit Area enabling you to transit without formally entering the Schengen area:

  • Frankfurt/Main
  • Hamburg (4.30 a.m. - 11.30 p.m. only)
  • Düsseldorf (6.00 a.m. - 9.00 p.m. only) and if the airline has arranged the transit beforehand with the authorities responsible for cross-border security (the Federal Police)
  • Berlin-Brandenburg

Nationals of the following countries do not have the transit privilege and therefore require an airport transit visa (category A) for transit at a German airport:

  • Afghanistan
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • South Sudan

* certain exceptions apply to these countries

Exceptions from the requirement to hold an airport transit visa:

  • Holders of valid visas and national residence permits from EU and Schengen countries
  • Holders of certain national residence permits from the following countries: Andorra, Japan, Canada, San Marino, United States of America
  • Holders of valid visas from the EEA countries (the EU , Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) and visas issued by Japan, Canada and the United States of America

I don't need a visa for my trip to Germany, but are there other things I should bear in mind?

You can only enter Germany if you have valid identity papers. On the planned date of departure from Germany, your passport has to be valid at least for another three months and it has to be issued within the last 10 years.

In certain cases, documents have to be presented that prove the purpose and circumstances of the visit.

Similarly, proof may also have to be provided that you have sufficient funds to maintain yourself during your stay and to finance the return trip. The amount of funding depends on the type and length of stay. There are no fixed daily rates.

You are advised to take out health insurance before your trip which also covers return transport to your home country.

In cases of repeated entries and a longer duration foreigners who are not nationals of a European Union or European Economic Area state must bear in mind that visits to the Schengen area are restricted to 90 days in any period of 180 days.

For longer stays for example to study or take up employment, different regulations often apply.

What is the procedure for applying for a work visa?

What is the procedure for applying for a student visa, my visa was issued by a german mission abroad. can i use it to travel to other countries in europe, do i have to enter and leave via germany or can i do so elsewhere.

Yes, you can. Holders of

- a Schengen visa (text on the visa reads “valid for Schengen states”)

- a national visa (D-visa)

can stay in the entire Schengen area for up to 90 days in any period of 180 days. The Schengen area consists of the following countries:

Germany, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The Schengen visa has to be applied for at the foreign mission of the country which is the main destination. The country of entry and departure is not the determining factor. The entry into and departure from the Schengen area can thus occur at any border crossing.

I am a foreigner living in Germany and am planning a trip abroad. Do I need a valid passport and visa?

As a foreigner you are requested to hold a valid passport or document in lieu of a passport at any time. In general, the issuance and extension of foreign passports have to be applied for at the competent foreign missions in Germany, except for recognized asylum seekers, recognized refugees according to the Geneva Refugee Convention, stateless persons or those entitled to subsidiary protection. The mentioned groups are mostly issued a passport in lieu of a passport (Passersatzpapier) by the local Immigration Office (Ausländerbehörde) at the place of residence. There are three types of those documents:

- Travel document for refugees (“Blue Passport”)

- Travel document for stateless persons

- Travel document for foreigners

Holders of Blue Passports are in general allowed to travel to all the countries which have signed the Geneva Refugee Convention. Please note that for many of these countries, however, you may have to apply for a visa in advance. Information on visa provisions for non-German citizens wanting to travel to a third country can only be provided by the respective foreign mission of the country concerned. The addresses of the foreign missions in Germany are available here:

Foreign Missions in Germany

However, you are not allowed to travel to your country of origin - this would imply that you no longer need humanitarian protection; you risk losing your asylum in Germany if you travel to your home country.

Foreign nationals who are in possession of a valid German residence title (Aufenthaltstitel) may travel for a period of up to 90 days within 180 days to other Schengen-States, so do not need a visa. This applies as well to holders of a German Visa of the category “D”.

In both cases, general entry requirements of Article 6 Section 1 letters a, c and e of the Regulation ( EU ) 2016/399 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on a Union Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (Schengen Borders Code) are fulfilled and the person is not listed by the relevant Member State as not permitted.

In case of doubt please get in touch with the competent mission of the country in Germany.

  • Who are Member States of the Schengen Agreement?
  • Vertretungen anderer Staaten: Länder A-Z
  • Schengen Border Code
  • Travelling abroad for refugees (Handbook Germany)

Germany, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland have all acceded to the Schengen Agreement and are thus Schengen states.

The Schengen area thus includes all EU member states except Ireland and Cyprus; at present the EU members Bulgaria and Romania only apply some of the Schengen provisions. Until these three countries apply what is known as the Schengen acquis in full, as is their aim, passport controls will remain in place at internal borders. In addition to the EU countries already mentioned, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein are also Schengen states.

Holders of Schengen visas (text on the visa reads “valid for Schengen states” in the language of the issuing country) may spend up to 90 days in a given 180 days period in the Schengen area, provided their visa is valid at the time. The same applies to holders of most national residence permits and national category D visas issued by individual Schengen states for long‑term visits of more than three months. A separate visa may well be needed for travel to other EU states which are not Schengen states.

Where do I have to apply for my visa? And who is responsible for the decision?

Visas have to be applied for prior to entry at the German mission abroad covering the place of residence of the applicant.

Please find more information on the webpage of the competent German mission.

The decision on granting a visitor/business visa lies with the competent German mission abroad. The mission also decides on granting visas for longer stays and/or to take up work or studies. These, however, can in most cases only be issued with the approval of the aliens authority concerned.

If a visa application is rejected, the applicant has the option of writing to the visa department of the competent German mission abroad asking for the reasons leading to the rejection of your application (known as remonstration). Please note that you have to submit the remonstration yourself.

How long does my passport have to be valid if I want to apply for a visa for a trip to Germany?

On the planned date of departure from Germany, your passport has to be valid at least for another three months and it has to be issued within the last 10 years. It should also contain at least two empty pages where the visa can be inserted.

I want to travel to Germany/the Schengen area several times in the next few months. Can I apply for a visa with longer validity?

The mission abroad decides what type of visa to issue (period of validity, number of days covered) on the basis of the documents submitted. If necessary, it may issue a visa that entitles the holder to enter the Schengen area on multiple occasions within the given period of validity. Such annual or multi-annual visas, which are valid for one or more years, are as a rule only issued to persons who have already been to Germany or other Schengen states several times in the past and whom the mission abroad considers to be particularly trustworthy (e.g. because of their position in the host country). Please note that regardless of the length of validity, visas only entitle the holder to a maximum stay of 90 days in any period of 180 days.

I am in Germany on a tourist/visitor/business visa. For important reasons, I want to stay in Germany past the expiry date of my visa.

Can i have my visa extended in germany.

It is only possible to extend the validity of visas in certain exceptional cases. This can only be done by the foreigners authority in Germany covering the place of residence of the visa holder. This is the only authority that can decide on an extension of a visa during a visit to Germany. Neither the Federal Foreign Office nor its missions abroad can do so.

The person I issued an invitation for has had their visa application rejected (Tourist/Visitor/Business). What can I do?

The notification sent to the applicant by the mission abroad states not only that the visa application has been unsuccessful, but also gives the grounds on which it was rejected and information on the applicant's right to appeal the decision.

If a visa application is rejected, the applicant has one month to appeal in writing (“remonstrate”) to the mission abroad. The mission abroad will then reconsider the application.

If the mission still concludes that the applicant does not meet the conditions for obtaining a visa, it will again set out in detail in writing the reasons why it rejected the application in a Remonstrance Notice.

The applicant may appeal this decision within one month by filing an action with the Administrative Court in Berlin.

The applicant also has the option of appealing to the Court (also within one month) against the initial decision instead of remonstrating to the mission.

For reasons of data protection, information about individual visa applications may only be provided to the applicant personally or to a person whom the applicant has authorized in writing to receive such information.

What is the procedure for applying for a tourist/visitor/business visa? Can we apply for the visa in Germany?

The visa always has to be applied for by the person who intends to travel to Germany. Details on the documents to be presented at the time of application are often available on the webpage of the competent German mission or directly from the mission itself.

For private visits, an invitation is usually required to confirm the purpose of the journey. In case the visitor is not able to fully cover the expenses associated with the trip a formal pledge to cover all costs (declaration of commitment) has to be presented with the visa application. In this case the host can sign the relevant form (“Verpflichtungserklärung”) at his/her residency's local authorities (usually Ordnungsamt or Ausländerbehörde).

For my visa application I need an invitation from a relative/acquaintance living in Germany. What form does such an invitation have to take?

In the first place, an invitation proves the purpose of the intended journey. Therefore, no special formalities are required. If, however, the host intends to cover the expenses associated with the trip, a formal pledge to cover all costs (declaration of commitment) has to be presented with the visa application. In this case the host can sign the relevant form (“Verpflichtungserklaerung”) at his/her residency's local authorities (usually Ordnungsamt or Auslaenderbehoerde).

I am not a German national and want to marry my German partner in Germany. What do we have to do to get an entry visa?

First of all find out from the competent registry office in Germany what documents you and your German spouse have to present in order to marry in Germany.

As soon as the registry office confirms your documents are complete, you can apply for a visa to marry in Germany.

Once you are married the final residence and work permit will be issued by the foreigners authority in Germany.

Details on the documents to be presented with your visa application are often available on the webpage of the competent German mission abroad or directly from the mission itself.

Does my foreign spouse have to provide proof of German language skills when applying for a visa (i.e. before arriving in Germany?)

I am not an eu national and want to live in germany with my german spouse. what do we have to do.

First of all you have to apply for a visa for family reunification (subsequent immigration of spouses) from the competent German mission abroad.

Documents required include an authenticated marriage certificate as well as the German passport of the German spouse.

The German mission will forward the visa application to the foreigners authority in the place where you want to live in Germany for an opinion.

The German mission abroad can only issue a visa for entry once the foreigners authority has given its approval. The final residence permit will be issued by the foreigners authority in Germany once you are there.

I am a German citizen and want to move to another EU country with my spouse (who is not an EU citizen). Does my partner require a visa?

National residence permits issued by the Federal Republic of Germany entitle the bearer to travel to the other Schengen countries of the EU without a visa. If you intend to move to an EU country that does not belong to the Schengen area, it is possible that your spouse may not require a visa if he or she holds a national residence permit.

If your spouse does not hold a national residence permit, an entry visa is generally required if he or she is from a country subject to a visa regime. In this case, however, a facilitated visa procedure applies.

A visa is not required if your spouse has been issued with a “Residence card of a family member of a Union citizen” pursuant to Art. 10 (1) of Directive 2004/38/EC. If you and your spouse intend to move from one EU country, of which you are not a national, to another EU country, you should first establish the applicable regulations with regard to visas.

If you have any other questions, please contact the responsible mission abroad for the EU country in question directly and visit their website for further information.

I am not a German national but am living and working in Germany with a valid residence permit. Can my spouse ....

...who is also not a German national live and work with me in Germany?

If you want to live in Germany with your spouse you have to submit an application for family reunification to the competent German mission abroad. Details on the documents to be presented with your visa application are often available on the webpage of the competent German mission abroad or directly from the mission itself.

EU citizens as well as citizens of Iceland , Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland citizens have the right to live and work in Germany . After arrival , they just need to register with the appropriate office of the town hall ( mostly called “Einwohnermeldeamt” or “ Bürgeramt ”) of their residence in Germany .

Studying and working in Germany

Yes. Under the amended Immigration Act which entered into force on 28 August 2007, foreign spouses have to prove they have at least a basic knowledge of German. For detailed information on this, please click on the link below to the website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. You can also request further information directly from the German diplomatic missions in the respective country.

  • Federal Office for Migration and Refugees

Do I need a visa if I want to study/work in Germany?

As a general rule, all foreigners staying in Germany for more than 90 days wanting to work or study in Germany need a visa before entering Germany. For more information:

Nationals of Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the United States may apply for the necessary permit after arrival in Germany. The same applies for nationals of Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino who do not intend to take up employment.

EU citizens as well as citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland citizens have the right to live and work in Germany. After arrival, they just need to register with the appropriate office of the town hall (mostly called “Einwohnermeldeamt” or “Bürgeramt”) of their residence in Germany.

If you plan to study in Germany, you have to submit an application for a student visa to the respective German mission abroad before travelling. Citizens of the EU are exempted from this duty, as well as - under certain conditions according to the EU -mobility program - foreigners who already hold a temporary residence permit as a student issued by another EU -country, due to the EU -mobility program, please see the Implementation Status of the REST-Directive of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.

Documents have to be presented proving inter alia that the applicant has been accepted for studies by the university. The German mission abroad will then forward the visa application for an opinion to the foreigners authority in the town housing the University.

The German mission abroad can only issue the visa for entry once the foreigners authority has given its approval.

Details on the documents to be presented with your visa application are often available on the website of the competent German mission abroad or directly from the mission itself. the application form for a visa can be downloaded here .

When applying for a student visa, how can I prove that my financing is secure?

Financing can be proved by presenting the income and financial circumstances of parents, by a declaration of commitment in line with Article 66-68 Aufenthaltsgesetz (German Foreigners Act) made by a person with sufficient assets or income, by paying a security into a blocked account in Germany, or by depositing an annually renewable bank guarantee at a bank in Germany. Proof of sufficient funds is also taken as satisfied if the stay is being financed by a scholarship from public funds or a scholarship from an organization recognized in Germany or a scholarship financed by public funds in the country of origin, if the Federal Foreign Office, the German Academic Exchange Service ( DAAD ) or another German organization granting scholarships has been responsible for providing the link to a German higher education institution.

  • German Academic Exchange Service ( DAAD )
  • I want to study in Germany. Where can I apply for a scholarship?

How long does it take to issue my student visa? Can you speed up the process?

Visa applications of students need amongst other things the approval of the competent German alien´s authority. Therefore the processing time for student visas may take several weeks, in individual cases even months. Applicants for student visas are encouraged to read all the relevant information on the respective German mission´s website carefully before their appointment and hand in only complete paperwork. This is the best way to assure a speedy process.

As soon as there is a development in the processing, the applicant will be contacted.

Kindly be advised that the help desk of the German Foreign Office is not able to speed up the process or check the status of the application.

As a general rule non- EU nationals need a residence title (visa or residence permit) to take up employment in Germany. By law the residence title has to give information whether and to which extent access to the labour market is granted. This information replaces the former work permit. If you intend to commence work in Germany you have to apply for a visa with the competent German mission abroad before entering Germany. (Only nationals of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the United States may apply for the necessary residence title after arrival in Germany.)

Details as to which documents have to be presented with your visa application are available on the webpage of the competent German mission abroad or directly from the mission itself.

Can I take on holiday jobs in Germany?

Germany has concluded bilateral agreements on working holiday stays with Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Israel, Chile, and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

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Frequently asked questions (faq).

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An aerial view of a German city at night

Work and travel in Germany

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Global travel advisory

For all essential travel, check travel advisories and requirements before you leave Canada.

Follow all additional local public health measures while travelling.

Stay informed when you  return to Canada .

A castle on a hill in Germany

How to apply

Who can apply.

To work in Germany through the Youth Mobility Visa, you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen
  • be 18-35 years old (inclusive), and
  • have a valid Canadian passport

Other requirements may apply, check  Germany’s website  for more details.

What type of work visa do I need?

Germany youth mobility visa appointment delays.

The wait time for a Youth Mobility visa in Germany is currently 4 to 6 months. To avoid delays, we strongly recommend that you wait until your visa is issued before leaving for Germany. Check Germany’s website for more information.

You need to apply for a Youth Mobility visa. This visa has 4 categories:

Young professionals who want additional training under a contract of employment to increase their knowledge of German culture and the German language.

Young Canadians who want to do an internship in Germany as part of their studies or training.

Registered post-secondary students who want to work in Germany during their academic vacation .

  • Category d (Working Holiday)

Young Canadians who want to travel to Germany and work temporarily to help finance their trip. This is known as a Working Holiday.

Do I need a formal job or internship offer?

Yes, you need a job offer (pre-arranged contract of employment) or a formal internship offer if you apply to:

  • Category a (Young professionals)
  • Category b (Internship)

No, you don’t need one if you apply to:

  • Category c (Academic vacation)

How long can I stay and work?

You can stay and work in Germany for up to 12 months.

You can participate in Germany’s Youth Mobility Program two times. Your second participation must be in a different category and at least one of the two participations must be in category a or category b .

Three friends under arches in a German city

Start your Adventure

About germany.

Germany is found in the heart of Europe with diverse landscapes for you to explore. Every German city has something unique to offer. Go to Düsseldorf for fashion, Berlin for music, Hamburg for art and Munich for a great night out. If you’re more into sports you can enjoy skiing in the Alps or water sports at the beaches in Northern Germany.

Germany hosts various festivals that show off Germany’s tradition of bringing people together and celebrating including Oktoberfest, wine festivals and music festivals.

Germany has a large and diverse economy with a wide range of small and medium size enterprises. Strong industrial sectors include automotive, chemicals, green technologies, renewable energy and software.

The best way to make sure your trip is the experience of a lifetime is to plan. Review our travel checklist to find out what you should know or do before travelling to and working in a foreign country.

Before you leave, remember to register as a Canadian abroad to receive notifications in case of an emergency while you are abroad or of a personal emergency at home. The service also enables you to receive important information before or during a natural disaster or civil unrest.

Need help planning? One of IEC’s recognized organizations might be able to help you find a job, transportation, and provide travel advice.

Most recognized organizations charge a fee for their services.

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  • United Kingdom

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IMAGES

  1. Work Visas in Germany for Expats and Foreigners

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  2. Germany Employment Visa Requirements and Application Process

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  3. Germany Job Seeker Visa

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  4. Germany Work Permit: Visa Requirements, Eligibility, Cost

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  5. Germany Work Visa

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  6. Germany Work Permit Visa

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COMMENTS

  1. Germany Working (Employment) Visa

    The Germany Employment Visa is an opportunity for qualified foreigners to settle in Germany and work in their fields. It gives its holder the chance to enter and work in Germany for up to two years, with the possibility of extending the visa and later applying for an EU Blue Card, or other types of residence permits.

  2. Working Holiday in Germany: visa and job information

    Yes, a Working Holiday Visa (WHV). It is valid for twelve months. Where can I apply for my working holiday visa? Usually in advance at the German diplomatic missions in the respective country. Only Australians, Israelis, Japanese, Canadians and New Zealanders can apply for the visa even after entering Germany. What else should I bear in mind?

  3. Employment in Germany

    After the application has been approved by the Aliens' Authority and -if applicable- by the Work Office (Arbeitsagentur), the Embassy or Consulate General will issue a residence permit in the form of a visa, which will include the authorization to work in Germany.

  4. Visa Information

    A residence visa is required if you intend to stay in Germany for more than 90 days for work or study or if you intend to move to Germany permanently. 07.06.2021 Article Airport Transit Visa Citizens of certain countries require an airport transit visa when flying via Germany to their final destination. 10.12.2020 Article Frequently Asked Questions

  5. Germany Employment Visa Requirements and Application Process

    The documents required for your work visa to Germany application are: Standard German visa application documents. A signed contract from your future employer. Certificate about compulsory health insurance (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung). From German employer valid from date of employment.

  6. How to apply for a German work visa

    The German work visa is a residence permit to work in Germany. With a work visa, you can… Live and work anywhere in Germany Bring your family to Germany 14 Visit other Schengen countries without a visa 13 Become a permanent resident after 4 years 10 This guide explains how to apply for a work visa in Berlin or in your country. On this page

  7. Studying and working in Germany

    Germany opens labour market for skilled workers from non-EU countries. New rules for the immigration of skilled workers to Germany entered into force in early 2020. The new law extends the ...

  8. What is the procedure for applying for a work visa?

    What is the procedure for applying for a work visa? As a general rule non- EU nationals need a residence title (visa or residence permit) to take up employment in Germany. By law the...

  9. Germany Work Visa

    Germany Work Visa Requirements. The required documents in order for one to be able to work in Germany are as follows: Standard Requirements for a Germany Visa. Letter of intent or contract offered to you by a company in Germany containing a detailed description of the employment. For Germany General Work Visa: Proof you have the required ...

  10. Germany

    To work in Germany as a highly-qualified worker, you must first obtain a visa to enter Germany. You do not need a visa if you are from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, the United Kingdom or the USA. Once in Germany, you must obtain a residence/settlement permit allowing you to work.

  11. Work and Travel in Germany on a Working Holiday Visa!

    Work and Travel in Germany on a Working Holiday Visa! — Nomaden Berlin For many, the opportunity to work and travel in Germany is a dream come true! In our free visa guide, we detail how you can apply for a Working Holiday Visa at your local German embassy or consulate and make your travel dreams a reality.

  12. Moving to Germany as a skilled worker

    Freedom of movement within the EU applies to citizens of all European Union member states, as well as citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland - who can enter Germany without a...

  13. Work-related visas in Germany

    If you're planning to find employment in Germany, you might need a work visa. Check which requirements apply to your situation.

  14. German Work Visa: All You Need to Know

    The German Work Visa allows you to work in regular employment in Germany. The visa can be applied for once you have received a formal job offer from an employer based in Germany. Explore our German Job Hunting Guide if you are yet to secure employment in Germany. It is often called the Employment Visa or Residence Permit for Employment.

  15. Working in Germany: Getting a German Work Permit

    Travel to Germany and apply for the work and residence permit at the Ausländerbehörde. Alternatively, you can also: Apply for a Job-Seeker Visa for Germany. Find employment. Submit your work residence permit application to the Ausländerbehörde.

  16. Job Seeker Visa Germany (2023/24): Step-by-Step Guide

    In particular, international students can work in Germany 240 days per year part-time (e.g. up to 20 hours per week) or 120 days per year full-time (e.g. more than 20 hours per week). ... And the job seeker visa also allows you to work in Germany. In other words, in this case, the residence permit to seek employment comes with the work permit ...

  17. Work Visas in Germany

    In order to work in Germany, you must first have a residence permit that includes work authorization. The extent to which you can work will be detailed on this residence permit. As such, when you look into work visas in Germany, you are really also looking into German residency requirements. You can apply for this after you arrive in Germany.

  18. Apply for a work visa in Germany online

    Applying for a German work visa is no doubt a complex process. There is a lot of contradictory information circulating online. The first step is obtaining a valid employment contract from the German company. After that is done, more paperwork is waiting. Documents must be gathered and translated into German.

  19. Travel to Germany for work

    30 April 2021 Last updated 27 September 2023 — See all updates Get emails about this page Contents Entry requirements Check if you need a visa or permit Check Germany's exemptions Applying for...

  20. Work and Travel in Germany. Volunteer & work visa info for backpackers

    Work and Travel in Germany. Volunteer & work visa info for backpackers. Where do you want to travel? What skills do you have? VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN GERMANY FOR TRAVELLERS Germany is not only a fairytale landscape of castles, dark forests, and sloshing steins of beer.

  21. Germany Work Visa 2024: Step-by-Step Guide, Types, and Eligibility

    Step 2: Document Preparation and Visa Application. Prepare required documents, including your employment contract, passport, recognized degree or vocational qualification, and visa application form. Bring all documents in their entirety. Pay fees of EUR 75 in local currency.

  22. Visa for Germany

    On the Federal Foreign Office webpage you can find out whether you need a visa for visits to Germany and the Schengen states of up to 90 days. Most non- EU -foreigners wanting to work or study in ...

  23. Work and travel in Germany: International Experience Canada

    To work in Germany through the Youth Mobility Visa, you must: be a Canadian citizen be 18-35 years old (inclusive), and have a valid Canadian passport Other requirements may apply, check Germany's website for more details. What type of work visa do I need? Do I need a formal job or internship offer? How long can I stay and work? Start your

  24. Immigration: Germany lowers work visa requirements for IT specialists

    Immigration: Germany lowers work visa requirements for IT specialists, to ease residence permit and settlement permit rules from March New work-in-Germany rules from March 2024: Plus, anyone ...

  25. Four-Day Work Week: Germany Tries Experiment to Fight Labor Crisis

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    567 likes, 60 comments - jannedhuyvetter on January 8, 2024: " CAN YOU WORK ON A WHV IN AUSTRALIA? ️The Working Holiday Visa allows you to visit Aust..."

  27. Germany tests 4-day workweek amid labor shortage

    Less work, same money, greater happiness and productivity. Starting on February 1, 45 companies in Germany are test-driving a 4-day workweek. It sounds counterintuitive. Like many countries ...