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Germany Work Visa Requirements

If you are hoping to acquire a German work visa, it is important to be thoroughly aware of the requirements to be successful in your application. Typically, you will need a work visa if you are not a citizen of the EU and wish to reside and find full-time work in Germany.

If you need assistance determining if you qualify for a work visa and need help with your application, contact Total Law online or by phone at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online.

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    Being successful in an application to be granted a D-type National Germany work visa can be a delicate process with each individual case needing the utmost amount of diligence and care as the requirements may well vary themselves from case to case.

    In addition to the eligibility criteria that you must meet in order to qualify for the work visa itself, it is important to understand the requirements for the application process, which equally needs very close attention being paid throughout in order to minimise the chances of encountering hurdles which may slow down or hinder your chances of being able to reside and work in Germany.

    It is recommended to inquire about the different types of visas offered to those who wish to seek employment in Germany who may have different circumstances regarding the length or nature of the work they wish to undertake.

    It is also beneficial to understand the different pathways offered if you wish to acquire a permanent residence permit or German citizenship in the future, as some types of German work visas may allow for reduced lengths of time for which you must have resided in Germany in order to qualify.

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    Eligibility Criteria

    Employment Offer

    A key requirement you must meet to qualify for the German work visa is that you need to have received a valid job offer from a German employer that is approved by the German Federal Employment Agency. The terms of your employment contract need to be at least on par with that which would be offered to any local worker in a similar job role.

    Your contract may be for a long or short-term role, though your residence permit in Germany will usually be tied to the length of time you are employed for. Typically this will be issued for 12 months but can be renewed until applying for a permanent residence permit becomes possible.

    University Degree

    To get a work visa, you will be required to have graduated from a university degree course or equivalent that is recognised by the German authorities.

    You may also apply if you have a non-academic vocational degree or there is a shortage of qualified workers in the field you will be applying for.

    The German work visa additionally tends to be authorised for foreigners deemed ‘highly qualified’ in their particular field of expertise, including researchers and scientists, and members of upper management of a particular corporation being transferred to branches based in Germany.

    You should note while proficiency with the German language is not an explicit requirement for the work visa, it is recommended to become competent in speaking and writing with it to be as comfortable as possible settling into your new life.

    Health Insurance

    You will be obliged to have a valid health insurance plan for the duration of your residence in Germany. Your insurance plan must cover up to €30,000 in any medical expenses that may be incurred during your term of stay on your visa in Germany.

    Most of the population of Germany chooses to use the statutory insurer, though there will be other options available which you may need to inquire to when sending your application.

    Application Requirements

    Aside from the eligibility requirements you must meet to qualify for the work visa, you must abide by certain protocols and provide additional proof during the application process in order maximise your chances of the German authorities successfully approving your request to work in Germany.

    First of all, upon completing the application form, which you may do in person at a German embassy or visa application centre, you may be required to present certain documents as proof of your intentions to work in Germany.

    Such documents may include:

    • 2 signed copies of application form
    • 2 passport photo
    • Valid passport
    • Biometric data (fingerprints)
    • Employment contract or proof of job offer
    • Proof of German residency
    • German health insurance information
    • CV with proof of relevant qualifications
    • Cover letter with intention of stay

    You must pay €75 as an application fee. Upon receiving a successful response after a wait of up to a few months, upon entering Germany you must register your new address at the Citizens’ Registration Office (Bürgeramt) and apply for a temporary residence permit, the length of time of which will be issued in accordance to how long your visa has permitted you may work and reside in Germany for.

    You will need to apply for the residence permit at your local German Immigration Authority Office (Ausländerbehörde) and present many of the same documents as you had to when you applied for the visa permitting entry.

    EU Blue Card

    The EU Blue Card is another type of work visa available to be applied for if you fit into the category of ‘highly skilled professionals’ who wish to come to Germany from outside the EU.

    Those working in Germany on a EU Blue Card can expect such benefits as a reduced waiting period for acquiring a permanent residence permit at just 33 months of time residing in Germany to become eligible, or 21 months if you can achieve a B1 level of knowledge in the German language. You are also awarded more leniency regarding being able to change jobs.

    To qualify for an EU Blue Card you must receive a job offer with a minimum salary of £43,800 annually, with a reduced figure of £36,682.80 allowed for those in a ‘bottleneck profession’, a line of work where extra labour is in higher demand, such as healthcare, education, or IT specialist, and you must have had at least 5 years of experience in this role.

    You are also required to have received a Master’s Degree or equivalent at university and your prospective job role must be relevant to this qualification.

    You cannot be self-employed with this visa as it requires having received a concrete job offer for at least a 12-month period, and you will be equally required as with the regular D-type National work visa to prove your qualifications entitling you to the specialist role you are applying to work within in Germany.

    If you require assistance applying for the EU Blue Card if you believe you may qualify, contact Total Law today on +44 (0)333 305 9375.

    For assistance acquiring a German work visa, speak with our immigration experts today. Contact Us

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      Other Work Visas

      Other than the typical Employment visa, there are a few other types of visa available to those who are able to meet the eligibility criteria who wish to work in Germany.

      The Self-Employment visa is available for those looking to set up or migrate their own business in Germany and are able to meet the stricter set regulations than other types of work visa. There should be sufficient demand for the service or product you are offering, should be able to demonstrably show that your business will have a positive impact on the German economy and you’ll be able to financially sustain yourself accordingly, and if you are over 45 years old, you must be able to prove that you have adequate provisions for an old age pension plan.

      The Freelance visa is similarly available, though in addition to the same regulations for the Self-Employment visa that may be relevant to the Freelance visa, chiefly that your services will be beneficial for the country’s economy, you must show during the application process that you already have prospective clients willing to utilise your services or hire you.

      How Can Total Law Help?

      The process to acquire a German work visa can be a difficult process, and merely determining your own eligibility can be a strenuous task requiring the utmost diligence and attention to detail. It is recommended for you to consult expert legal assistance when navigating the application process to avoid any errors before sending forms off for processing.

      Total Law has an experienced team of immigration specialists who will be able to offer you guidance on the requirements of the German work visa and how to be successful in the application process, and then they will rigorously check through all the details on each of your documents and forms to ensure nothing will unnecessarily hinder receiving a timely response.

      Making any mistake in this stage of the process could prove to be detrimental in your prospective future plans to reside in Germany, emphasising the importance of not doing it alone without specialist assistance.

      Total Law will also assist you in the case that you receive a rejected application and wish to appeal the decision.

      Contact Total Law today for expert guidance online or by phone at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                Another type of D-type National German work visa, the Job Seeker visa, is available for those who have not yet received a job offer from a prospective employer, but wish to reside in Germany for a term of up to 6 months to search for employment which will allow them to acquire a residence permit for a longer period of stay.

                To be eligible, you must have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree and, like the EU Blue Card, you must have at least 5 years of experience in your particular field and be able to prove you have the means to financially sustain yourself while residing in Germany searching for full-time work.

                Upon finding work, you may convert your Job Seeker visa to a typical Employment visa assuming that you now meet the relevant eligibility criteria.

                There are a variety of short-term visas available which often allow some form of work, though you are recommended to inquire whether the specific activity you wish to undertake will be allowed on the particular visa you choose to apply for.

                You can apply for a short-stay Schengen visa to visit Germany for up to 3 months at a time which allows for some amount of business to be conducted including meetings, conferences, and certain fairs or exhibitions.

                Any stay that exceeds the 3-month allowance will require an application to be made for a German work visa and a residence permit while in Germany. If you wish to work a full-time job, establish a permanent residence, or start your own business in Germany then you will likely need a D-type National work visa.

                Other relevant visas include the Au Pair visa for those wanting to learn more about German culture, which permits some amount of part-time work, and the Working Holiday visa.