Moving to Germany From Canada

If you want to move to Germany from Canada, there are different immigration routes to consider. The specific pathway you should take will depend on your purpose for immigrating.

For more information on how to immigrate to Germany from Canada, including eligibility and documentation requirements, contact one of our legal experts at Total Law. Call us at +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online.

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    Immigration in Germany: An Overview

    Germany has one of the largest and most diverse economies in Europe. It’s also regarded as one of the safest places to live. It’s easy to see why many individuals choose to migrate to Germany.

    There are several ways to move to Germany. You can migrate for employment purposes, to take up an academic program, to start a business, to undertake vocational training, or to reunite with your family members.

    It’s important to note that the rules for migrating to Germany are complex. Each immigration pathway has strict requirements that you must meet for your application to be approved.

    Before applying, you should consider your circumstances, including your purpose for moving and the category you’re eligible for.

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    Types of Visas for Germany From Canada

    There are several types of German visas, categorised as short-stay and long-stay visas.

    Short Stay C Visa

    The Short Stay C Visa, also called the Schengen Visa, allows visa holders to visit Germany for 90 days within a 180-day period. However, Canadian citizens are exempt from the Schengen Visa and can visit and live in Germany for three months visa-free.

    Non-citizens living in Canada, such as permanent residents and individuals holding a valid Canadian study or work permit, may require a visa for short-stay visits to Germany, depending on their nationality.

    Long Stay National Visa

    The German Long Stay D visas, also called National visas, are issued for long-term visits from three months up to one year, depending on your purpose of travel. After entering Germany, you can apply for a German residence permit at your place of residence.

    Alternatively, if you are a Canadian citizen and wish to stay in Germany long-term, you can enter the country without applying for a visa. Then, you must register your presence with the German authorities within 14 days of your arrival and apply for a residence permit within the first 90 days to extend your stay.

    However, this option is best if you’re applying for a family reunion or study visa. You will not be allowed to engage in employment activities until you receive a residence permit. As such, if you have to resume a job or start a business immediately after you arrive in Germany, it’s advisable to apply for a national visa, which includes a work permit, before your trip.

    The different types of national visas include:

    • Family Reunion Visa
    • Work Visa
    • Business Visa
    • Research Visa
    • Study Visa
    • Vocational Training Visa

    Moving to Germany for Family

    The Family Reunion Visa allows immediate family members of German citizens and residents who intend to relocate to Germany to live with their families.

    If you are married to, planning to get married to, or are a child under 16 of a German citizen or foreign citizen residing in Germany or the parent of a minor citizen or resident, you are eligible for the Family Reunion Visa.

    Requirements for the Family Reunion Visa

    To apply for family reunification, you must be proficient in German up to a level A1, as demonstrated by a language test. The exception to this requirement is if you are applying as:

    • The spouse of a German citizen or a citizen of an EU member state
    • The spouse of a foreign citizen from Canada, ​​Australia, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the UK, the U.S., Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco, or San Marino, or
    • The parent of a German child

    Additionally, if your family member residing in Germany is from a non-EEA country, they must hold a resident permit, a German settlement permit, or an EU Blue Card.

    When applying for the visa, you must provide proof of your relationship to the German citizen or resident with the following:

    • Original marriage certificate and copy
    • Original birth certificate long form of your child and copies or
    • Registration of marriage appointment in Germany

    Begin the process of moving from Canada to Germany today, with the help of our immigration experts. Contact Us

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      Moving to Germany for Work


      Germany has several work visas you can apply for if you are considering moving for employment purposes. Depending on your skills and qualifications, you can migrate to Germany as a/an:

      • Jobseeker
      • Skilled worker with a university degree
      • Skilled worker with vocational training
      • IT specialist with professional experience
      • Intern
      • Au Pair
      • EU Blue Card holder

      Jobseeker Visa

      The Jobseeker Visa will allow you to migrate to Germany without a prior job offer to seek employment within your qualifications.

      When initially granted, the visa only allows you to take up probationary employment for up to 10 hours a week. If you get a full-time job, you must apply for a residence permit, which permits you to work full-term.

      The Jobseeker Visa is valid for six months, and if you do not get a job within this period, you will need to leave the country.

      Visa for Skilled Workers

      If you are a skilled worker with an academic qualification or vocational training, you can apply for a skilled worker visa. If you’re applying with a foreign vocational qualification, it must be verified by a recognition body as equivalent to a German certification.

      As part of the requirements for this visa, you must have received a job offer from an eligible German employer before applying.

      Furthermore, if you’re over 45 years old, your job must pay a minimum annual gross salary stipulated by the German government. As of 2023, the minimum was €48,180. If your salary does not meet the minimum requirement, you must have sufficient pension, life insurance, or assets that meet up.

      Visa for IT Specialist with Professional Experience

      If you are an IT specialist with significant professional experience, you can apply for a skilled worker visa to work in the information and communication technology field.

      As an IT specialist, you do not need to have a vocational qualification or a university degree to apply for the skilled worker visa if:

      • You have at least 3 years of professional experience in the last 7 years
      • Your gross annual wage is a minimum of €52,560 (for 2023)

      Internship Visa

      The internship Visa allows you to take a paid internship with a German employer.

      To apply, you must be enrolled at a Canadian university. Also, you will be required to provide an internship contract or a letter of intent from your German employer that indicates your salary, working hours, and employer’s full address.

      If your application is successful, you will be issued a residence permit in the form of a visa for one year. If your internship is longer than one year, you can apply for a final residence permit when you arrive in Germany.

      Au Pair Visa

      The Au Pair program allows foreign nationals to broaden their understanding of German culture and language.

      Under the Au Pair program, you will be required to live with a German family whose mother tongue is the German language for a minimum duration of 6 months and a maximum of 12 months.

      During your stay, you will assist your host family with childcare and light household duties in exchange for room, board, and a small stipend.

      It’s important to note that you can only apply for this visa once, and to be eligible, you must be at least 18 and not more than 26 years old.

      EU Blue Card

      The EU Blue Card is for qualified academic professionals and individuals in STEM occupations, including mathematics, IT, the natural sciences or technology, and medical doctors.

      To qualify, your job must meet the minimum annual remuneration. If you’re an academic professional, the remuneration in 2023 is €58,400, but €45,552 if you work in a STEM occupation.

      Moving to Germany for Business

      You can move to Germany to start a business or work as a freelancer with a long-stay visa for self-employment purposes.

      If you intend to set up a business as a self-employed entrepreneur (Gewerbe), you must meet the following requirements:

      • There must be a commercial interest or a regional demand for your product or service
      • Your business will likely have a positive impact on Germany’s economy
      • You can finance your business through capital investments or loan commitments

      If you graduated from a German university or have a residence permit for research purposes, you can set up a business related to your academic degree or research activity without fulfilling these requirements.

      To work as a freelancer (Freiberufler), you must have obtained any licence required to perform your job and have sufficient financial resources to support your project.

      Moving to Germany for Research

      The Research Visa is a great option if you’d like to come to Germany to work as a researcher. To be eligible for this visa, you must:

      • Hold a doctoral degree from a German or foreign university
      • Have been selected to carry out research by a German research institution
      • Pursue a research activity that leads to the awarding of an academic degree

      You’re also eligible for this visa if you are a doctoral student enrolled in a Canadian university and wish to travel to Germany for research.

      As part of the requirements for the visa, you must submit a hosting agreement or a contract between you and the research organisation. If the research institution is not publicly funded, they must provide you with a Declaration of Costs related to your research activity, which you must submit with your application.

      Moving to Germany for Study


      Germany has numerous colleges and universities for international students to pursue further education. You can apply for a “visa for the purpose of studying”, depending on the kind of program you want to pursue.

      The different visas include:

      • Language Course Visa
      • Study Visa
      • Study Applicant Visa
      • PhD Study Visa

      Language Course Visa

      This visa allows you to complete an intensive language course lasting three months to one year. This visa cannot be extended further than 12 months, and you cannot switch to another visa or take up a job. Once your Language Course Visa expires, you must return to your home country.

      Study Visa

      You can apply for a Study Visa if you have been accepted to study at a German university or preparatory college. With this visa, you can work part-time, and when your study program ends, you can get a full-time job and remain in Germany.

      Study Applicant Visa

      The Study Applicant Visa allows you to enter Germany for 9 months to seek educational opportunities. If you get a place to study within this time, you can apply for a Study Visa. Otherwise, you might need to leave the country when your visa expires.

      PhD Study Visa

      The PhD Study Visa applies to international students admitted to undertake a doctoral program in a German university. You can work part-time during your studies and take full-term employment when your program ends.

      We can offer you a tailored service when applying for a visa from Canada to Germany. Contact Us

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        General Requirements for Moving to Germany

        To apply for a visa in Germany, you must submit the following documents:

        • A valid Canadian passport issued within the last ten years and valid for at least six months after arriving in Germany with at least two empty pages.
        • Passport-size picture, stamped, not older than three months.
        • Proof of your legal status in Canada, such as a copy of your Canadian residence permit.
        • The fully completed visa application form, including declaration Section 54 (2) 8, is duly signed.
        • The following documents, where applicable:
          • Proof of professional qualifications
          • Proof of recognition of your foreign qualification
          • A copy of your occupation permit, if applicable
          • A copy of your work, au pair, or internship contract
          • A letter of acceptance into a German university or preparatory college
          • Curriculum vitae
          • Letter of motivation
        • Proof of accommodation in Germany, showing full address and postal code. It could be a rental contract, hotel reservation, or invitation letter with the name and passport copy of the inviting person.
        • Proof of sufficient funds.
        • Prepaid self-addressed Xpresspost envelope (Canada Post only).
        • Declaration of “Use of mail services”, duly signed.
        People at Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany

        Moving to Germany to Seek Vocational Training

        If you are below 25, you can enter Germany to search for a qualified vocational traineeship opportunity through the Vocational Traineeship Visa.

        This visa is valid for six months, and if you find a traineeship position within this period, you may apply for a residence permit.

        If you can’t find a suitable traineeship position, you must leave Germany. You can only reapply for the visa after living outside of Germany for at least the same amount of time spent in Germany.

        How to Move to Germany From Canada

        If you are required to apply for a visa before moving to Germany, you must first book an appointment at the German Consulate General in Toronto through its website. Be aware that the earliest you can apply for a German visa is three months before your planned trip.

        On the day of your appointment, you must visit in person. You must submit your documentation, pay the visa fee, submit your biometrics, and answer some questions regarding your application.

        The consulate will review your application and contact you as soon as it has decided on your case. The processing time is usually between 4 to 12 weeks, depending on the type of visa you’re applying for. They will send your passport to you using the Canada Xpresspost envelope you provided.

        Your visa will state the number of days you can stay in Germany until you can apply for a residence permit with the local registration office.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        Migrating from Canada to Germany requires careful consideration of the legal aspects and your individual circumstances. Our experienced immigration lawyers at Total Law are here to assist you throughout this process.

        Our lawyers will assess your situation and advise you on the best path to take. We will guide you through the application process and ensure you submit the right documents.

        Call +1 844 290 6312 to speak to a lawyer or fill out the online contact form, and one of our lawyers will reach out to you.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  The German National Visa costs €75 for applicants 18 years and above. Children below 17 will pay €37.5.

                  It is easier to move to Germany if you speak German. However, it is not required for most visa categories, and you can learn the language once in the country.

                  You can apply for permanent residence in Germany if you have lived there for five years (3 years if you are married to a German citizen and two years on a work permit if you graduated from a German university).

                  You can obtain German citizenship if you have lived in Germany for eight years. However, you may be required to relinquish your Canadian citizenship as Germany does not recognise dual citizenship, except in rare cases.