Total Law Business Immigration Lawyer: An Overview
Any employer looking to hire workers from outside of Germany should seek specialist business immigration lawyers in order to navigate any professional visa, residence permit, or other administrative permission queries. German business immigration laws in particular can be complex and there is little room for error in the application process for bringing talent from outside of the country in; and in the case of urgent role fulfilment, time may be of the essence and mistakes can be costly.
Corporate immigration services offered by Total Law include the end-to-end management of applications and appeals for all relevant visas and residence permits including the collation of all required supporting documentation, guidance through interview processes and advice on more complex and demanding cases. We have experience in a large variety of business immigration services and will always communicate jargon-free for transparency and clarity.
Every case is managed on an individual basis based on its merits, but if you’re looking for more regular business immigration options, we can also offer management packages with a single point of legal contact in the Total Law team. Our lawyers work not just for you, but with you, to always get the best outcome.
In most instances, an employer is responsible for the filing of all relevant legal applications on behalf of the worker they intend to move into Germany. It is, therefore, imperative that a professional image is maintained through the correct procedures being followed and the swift completion of such processes.
- Total Law Business Immigration Lawyer: An Overview
- Hire Overseas Employee into Germany: Who Needs What?
- Business Immigration Process: The EU Blue Card
- Business Immigration Service Provision: Work Visas
- Total Law Corporate Immigration Service: What We Offer
- Contact Information: Who to Reach Out To
- Frequently Asked Questions
Hire Overseas Employee into Germany: Who Needs What?
Germany offers various visa types for professional purposes. These facilitate entry into the country and then a relevant residence permit is required to legally stay living there. However, as Germany is a member state of the EU (European Union), not everyone requires both or either – and who needs what is dependent on where the employee holds citizenship.
If a foreigner employee is a national of one of the following countries, they will need to apply for a residency permit but in most cases not a visa:
- All EU member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden
- All EEA (European Economic Area) states: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- United States of America.
It is a common misconception that overseas employees from these countries don’t need any intervention at all from their German employer. This is not the case as the application process for a residence permit will still require input from them; and they cannot begin work until such time as this has been granted. A work permit can be applied for ahead of arrival in Germany by the employer – contact Total Law on (+44)333 305 9375 to learn more.Where an employee is a citizen of any other countries, this is classified as a ‘third country’. Citizens of such states will require full visa permission to enter Germany and this must be of an appropriate class for their profession.
Business Immigration Process: The EU Blue Card
The European Blue Card is a residency status afforded specifically for overseas workers classified as ‘highly qualified’, allowing them the right to live and work in any EU country other than Denmark or Ireland (although it must be the one that the Blue Card is applied for from).
The Blue Card is an option for business immigration but holds strict eligibility criteria. These are as follows:
- The employee must hold a degree from a German educational establishment or a degree that is formally recognised through the qualification recognition scheme in Germany; OR
- The employee must hold a qualification that corresponds to at least level 6 of the ISCED 2011 (International Standard Classification of Education)
- A formal job offer must already be in place, and the job must:
- Be contracted for a minimum period of six months
- Be of a relevant role to the employee’s qualification/s
- Pay a gross annual salary of at least €45,300 (as of January 2024).
For those in a profession considered a ‘bottleneck’ by the German Federal Employment Agency, a lower salary threshold of €41,041.80 (as of January 2024) applies. Such professions include:
- Manufacturing, mining, construction and distribution managers
- ICT (Information and Communications Technology) service managers
- Professional services managers, such as childcare services, health services and education managers
- STEM professionals
- Academic professionals in architecture, spatial planning and transport planning
- Medical doctors, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, midwifery professionals
- School teachers and educators.
Total Law offers business immigration service provisions for the Blue Card, where it’s appropriate for the role in-hand. Our office is contactable on (+44)333 305 9375 to discuss.
Business Immigration Service Provision: Work Visas
For business immigration, Germany offers two types of professional visas: short-stay and long-stay. The former are intended for those working in the country for any period up to 90 days, and the latter for any longer than that.
For most industries, a short stay visa can be obtained that covers work for the holder without a specific professional application process having to be undertaken. This includes for general short-term work assignments, meetings, conferences, any government or intergovernmental official visits, cultural or sports events, filming, or trade fairs and exhibitions. In these instances the employer would be required to provide a letter of invitation or short-term employment contract. Such visas can be applied for by the individual at their local German Embassy or Consulate, although it is customary for the employer to pay the visa fee (€80).
Long stay visas are known as Category D visas in Germany. They come in many different types depending on the classification of the work assignment or role to be carried out and the industry within which the employer functions. These visa classes include separate provision for:
- Graduate workers and holders of vocational qualifications (where the employee doesn’t meet the criteria of the Blue Card)
- Workers with partially recognised qualifications
- IT specialists
- Workers with an apprenticeship contract
- Workers on an ICT (Intra-corporate transfer)
- Au pairs.
In all cases, an employment contract must have been issued by the employer. It is considered practical due diligence by employers to have carried out sufficient background checks to ensure the worker will be eligible for a visa – and this is something a business immigration lawyer can help with. Total Law’s team do this routinely. Call us to talk through the circumstances of your potential hire on (+44)333 305 9375.
Total Law Corporate Immigration Service: What We Offer
Total Law is a specialist business immigration law firm. Our team of solicitors are highly trained and well versed in German immigration legalities and regulations. Our services include:
- Background checks on potential employees from abroad including legal right-to-work checks
- The creation and issuance of relevant employment contracts
- The creation and issuance of relevant HR policies
- The collation of required supporting documentation
- Management of professional visa and residence permit applications
- Management of professional visa appeals
- The creation and issuance of relevant sponsorship licences
- Preparation for candidates’ visa interviews
- Phone support, guidance and advice on specific HR issues or questions
- Presentation and explanation to relevant investors on immigration law as required
- Preparation of application for family members visas where appropriate
- Founder/entrepreneur/other involved party briefings.
Immigration for corporate purposes can hugely boost the talent in a business but often requires high level buy-in. We believe that transparency and good communication is the best way to achieve this. That’s why the Total Law team pride themselves in using no jargon and utilising our strategic relationships in various immigration authorities worldwide to maximise the chances of visa success for all of our business clients.
Contact Information: Who to Reach Out To
The Total Law team pride themselves on their efficient and effective business immigration work, helping companies all over the world recruit the best possible talent and reach their full potential as a result. We aim to provide one point of contact for the business while a team of specialists work their craft on cases and always communicate jargon-free.
We work either on individual cases as required, or, for more regular business immigration activity, a package basis to cover off everything. That said, there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ for any business’ HR legalities and so a bespoke agreement is reached with every client tailored to fit their needs.
For more information in a free chat with no obligation to proceed, call the Total law office on (+44)333 305 9375 today.
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Not all German professional visas hold a language requirement, but many do – and certainly in lots of industries working practices will be made easier if an employee holds a decent level of knowledge in German. As standard, those visas that do hold language requirements measure language knowledge through the CEFR (Common Framework of References for Languages). While an employer does not necessarily hold responsibility for their employees’ training in German, they may find it beneficial to offer free or subsidised classes to train their workforce.
Germany offers a whole host of work visa options, so if a potential employee doesn’t fit the criteria for one, they may for another. Total Law can help you investigate options: call us on (+44)333 305 9375.
There are two options for a company to hire an overseas worker who currently works for themselves. This may be to take them on an employee and apply for the relevant work visa, or to state support for them to enter Germany under a visa that directly caters for self-employment activity.
Total Law has experience in applying for and managing all types of visas and residence permits for Germany and so we can help you no matter which immigration route is most suitable for your staff.
There was a transition process for British citizens after the country left the EU, but this is no longer in place. Those entering Germany from the UK are now considered ‘third country’ nationals and must take the appropriate visa routes as such.
While not a legal requirement, it is always recommended that businesses work with specialist lawyers to manage their business immigration in order to ensure that all details are taken care of and that the employer does not put themselves at risk of any liability.
A business established in Germany by German citizens may use the standard overseas hiring processes for taking on workers from overseas. However, where a start-up has been established in Germany under a specific visa or through certain business incubators, there may be legal prerequisites as to where workers can be hired from; with a guidance known as the ‘50/50 rule’ dictating that at least 50% of the firm’s total workforce should be from within the EU. If you’re unsure how this may apply to your business, contact Total Law on (+44)333 305 9375 to discuss.