Immigration Lawyers Germany

Germany is one of the most favoured destinations to live, work, study and invest for expats from across the world. Expert legal support is often sought to understand the complex nature of German immigration rules, and navigate smoothly through the visa, residency or citizenship application processes.

At Total Law, we have a team of competent lawyers and immigration advisers with specialist knowledge and vast experience in helping both private individuals and foreign businesses move to Germany. For more information on what services we offer, speak to our legal team today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or via our online application form.

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    Immigrating to Germany: Challenges Involved

    German immigration rules and regulations are based on various national acts and laws as well as EU directives. In addition, there are several relevant German statutory instruments as well as previous court decisions and interpretations of such acts, codes and laws that govern the policies around immigration, residency and citizenship in Germany.

    Germany has, arguably, quite complex policies and processes in place when it comes to immigration, thus making it more difficult for individual immigrants as well as foreign companies seeking to do business in the country, to understand the nuances and legalities involved.

    Moreover, being the fourth largest economy in the world, Germany often attracts economic migrants, many of whom try to enter the country by illegal means, such as providing forged documents etc. Given that, all visa/permit applications are subjected to rigorous scrutiny by the German immigration office.

    Even when applying for a short stay Schengen visa for Germany, such as a tourist visa or a business visa valid up to 90 days, you must be aware of the visa requirements and application guidelines, to increase your chances of receiving a visa.

    It is, therefore, of utmost importance to seek legal advice and support as soon as you plan to move to Germany, whether you are a private individual wishing to visit, live, work or study in the country or a foreign company/organisation seeking to expand your business footprint there.

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    Our German Immigration Law Services

    Immigrating to Germany and settling there eventually involve a myriad of complexities and must-dos. Expats moving to Germany may do so for various purposes, e.g. to:

    • Work
    • Business
    • Study
    • Join family
    • Make financial investments or open up a new business
    • Retire
    • Seek protection from persecution in their own countries, etc.

    The eligibility and documentary evidence requirements as well as the application process for obtaining a German visa or residence permit will vary depending on the immigrant’s nationality, the reasons behind their immigration to the country, and their personal circumstances.

    This all may sound a bit overwhelming if you are planning to move to Germany or set up a new business there, but our expert and empathetic immigration lawyers can help you navigate through these legal complexities smoothly.

    In this article, we have provided a general outline of the various immigration situations in Germany, how our Total Law team can help you in each of these scenarios, and what additional immigration assistance we offer.

    A strong economy, flourishing business scene, high-quality infrastructure, and the overall law and order situation attract both individual foreign entrepreneurs and overseas companies to invest or expand in Germany.

    To do so, they must be aware of the various requirements of immigration rules in Germany as well as German employment law and German social security tax law. If your company fails to comply with such laws and regulations in Germany, it may lead to significant fines and penalties as well as a revocation of your business licence and the visa/permit of your migrant workers.

    At Total Law, we receive various enquiries from foreign business clients, starting from how to send their overseas employees to Germany on work assignments, how to invest into an existing German business, how to incorporate and manage a subsidiary, to how to set up a new business or start-up in the country and immigrate with family, etc.

    Regardless of what your requirements are and/or how complex your situation is, our team of experienced lawyers will take care of the legalities and bureaucratic formalities involved in the process, leaving you free to focus on launching and running a successful business venture in Germany as well as settling there with your eligible family members.

    Short-Term German Visas

    Foreign nationals from visa-required countries for Germany may need to apply for a short-term visa to travel to the country and stay there for up to 90 days, for various purposes such as tourism, business visa, medical treatment, visiting family or friends etc.

    Depending on the purpose behind your trip, the eligibility criteria and documentation requirements will vary, and it is advisable to seek legal help even when applying for a short-term visa in Germany.

    Our team of competent lawyers and immigration advisers can guide you from start to finish, and also complete and submit your German short-term visa application on your behalf. In case your visa application is rejected, we can advise you on the next steps as well, as applicable in your scenario.

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    German Visas for Employment Purposes

    Our team of competent lawyers and expert immigration advisers can provide you with the legal advice and any required assistance, if you are planning to live and work in Germany on a long-term basis. We will guide you through the various options available to skilled foreign workers according to the Skilled Immigration Act.

    In general, you must possess a degree/qualification that is either recognised in Germany or comparable to a German degree and a job offer for a qualified position from a German employer, to be eligible to apply for a work visa in Germany.

    You may also get a work visa without having any formal qualifications or a university degree to work in an IT specialist role in Germany, if you can meet certain prerequisites.

    After travelling to Germany on a work visa, you will have to apply for a residence permit, under Section 18a or Section 18b of the German Residence Act, to take up qualified employment in the country as a skilled worker.

    Furthermore, if you are a foreign national freelancer or a digital nomad, we can also assist you find a suitable visa/permit option to move to Germany, e.g. a German freelance visa.

    EU Blue Card

    You may also apply for a EU Blue Card in Germany if you meet the eligibility requirements, which is a residence title for foreign academics and people with comparable qualifications to work in an EU Member State, i.e. Germany in this context.

    The Federal Employment Agency in Germany will need to approve your employment, whether applying for a work visa or a EU Blue Card, after thoroughly assessing whether your conditions of employment correspond to those of German workers in a similar position. Our legal team also offers counsel in this area if required.

    Reach out to us for legal help with applying for a German visa. Contact Us

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      Special German Visa Options for Certain Professions

      There are certain regulated professions in Germany, e.g. healthcare professionals, pharmacists, teachers, architects etc., for which you may either need a licence or meet additional standards.

      For example, if you are a doctor, you will need a licence to practise in Germany. Similarly, if you a foreign national taking up a teaching position in Germany, the relevant authorities will first ensure that your professional qualification level meets the stipulated standards.

      Moreover, there are special visa options for cross-border commuters of foreign nationalities, who work in Germany but reside in a neighbouring state, and who go back to their residence at least once a week.

      To avoid any difficulties related to social security, tax liability and vehicle registration for these people, Germany provides a border-crossing certificate that helps these commuters obtain a residence title and an employment permit in the country.

      Such legal nuances might be very difficult for an individual or even a foreign company to understand. This is where our Total Law team can help you, with our bespoke immigration service offerings.

      Germany Study Visa

      If you wish to pursue higher education in Germany, you will need to apply for a long-term national visa to travel to the country (if from visa-required countries) and a temporary residence permit for study purposes after your arrival.

      To obtain a German student visa/residence permit, you must have either been accepted by state-recognised universities or higher educational institutions in Germany, or enrolled in full-time language courses, vocational training or internships in the country. You must also have sufficient financial means to cover your stay and tuition fees in Germany.

      After completing your studies, you may also be eligible to apply for a job seeker’s visa to explore options for working in Germany. Our team of immigration advisers can discuss your options with you at length, and help you choose the most suitable route depending on your circumstances.

      Family Reunification in Germany

      Eligible family members of a citizen or resident in Germany may join them under the family reunification principles. After travelling to Germany on a Family Reunion visa, they will need to apply for a temporary residence permit for family reunification purposes.

      Although subjected to rigorous scrutiny and stringent checking by German immigration authorities to verify the authenticity of relationship claims, migrating to Germany as spouses/civil partners and minor children of a German citizen or resident is comparatively easier than as other dependent relatives or adult, unmarried children.

      In the latter case, you will have to show enough evidence of unavoidable hardship if you cannot join your German citizen/resident relatives, to be eligible to apply for a Family Reunion visa.

      However, we have a team of sympathetic and competent lawyers who can assist you, regardless of the complexities involved in your case. We have been helping clients globally for years, to join their family in Germany.

      Dial +44 (0)333 305 9375 today to discuss your immigration situation with one of our expert immigration lawyers.

      Retiring in Germany

      While Germany does not offer a retirement visa, foreign nationals with sufficient financial means to support themselves and their family members in the country can apply for a temporary residence permit.

      Such individuals must not rely on any employment opportunity in Germany to make a living, nor will they have access to public funds. Moreover, they must also have health insurance covering themselves and their family members in the country.

      Our immigration advisers can take you through the different options for obtaining a temporary residence permit in Germany, if you are seeking to settle in Germany after retirement, and fit the above criteria as well as other relevant conditions.

      For the best chances of success with your immigration case, enlist the help of our legal experts. Contact Us

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        Permanent Residency in Germany

        After spending a certain amount of time in Germany on a temporary residence permit, you may be eligible to apply for a permanent residence title in the country. This is, however, not applicable for international students residing in Germany on temporary residence permits for study purposes.

        The recommended amount of time you have to spend in Germany for obtaining a permanent residence title will vary depending on the type of your temporary residence permit.

        Moreover, there are two pathways to permanent residency in Germany, through a settlement permit or a permanent EU Resident Permit. Although both of them are almost identical in terms of rights and benefits, which one you choose will ultimately depend on your circumstances and travel requirements.

        We at Total Law can not only help you make that decision, but also assist you throughout the process, from helping you arrange for required supporting documents to completing and submitting your application form on your behalf.

        Citizenship in Germany

        You may be eligible to apply for German citizenship by naturalisation after spending eight consecutive years in the country on a permanent residence title. Or you may obtain German citizenship through descent if you can prove your familial links to the country.

        In both cases, an applicant will have to prove their interest in Germany and willingness to make it their new home, in addition to fulfilling the eligibility and documentation requirements. Given the legalities involved, hiring legal representation is of utmost importance if you want to obtain German citizenship.

        Dual Citizenship in Germany

        Moreover, you may have to consider the pros and cons of letting go of your current citizenship for your country of origin since Germany at present does not generally allow dual citizenship.

        German citizenship law is based on the principle of avoiding multiple citizenships, although there are a few exceptions, such as:

        • Children who have received dual citizenship through descent, where one of the parent is a German citizen.
        • People who have applied for a German Retention Permit and been granted the same prior to applying for a foreign citizenship.
        • Citizens of another EU Member State or Switzerland.

        Please consult our competent and experienced immigration lawyers to receive bespoke legal advice regarding your German citizenship application, and/or whether you may be able to have dual citizenship in Germany.

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        Relocation Services: Moving to Germany

        We have talked so far about different pathways to immigrate to Germany, and how our team of expert immigration lawyers and advisers at Total Law can help you navigate through the policies and processes involved.

        However, relocating to Germany comes with its own challenges. Starting from purchasing or renting an accommodation, opening a bank account, purchasing health insurance (where applicable) to actually moving to Germany physically, it takes a lot of paperwork and a thorough understanding of how the German bureaucratic and administrative systems work.

        Our Total Law team not only can help you through the process, but also complete some of the tasks on your behalf so that you can concentrate on settling down in Germany as well as integrating with the German society.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        At Total Law, our team of sympathetic immigration lawyers have the required knowledge, expertise and experience to assist you to move to Germany, whether you are an individual migrant or a foreign company/organisation seeking to enter the German business scene.

        We are here for you for every step of the process, starting from helping you decide which visa/permit option would be most suitable given your circumstances, to advising you on the required documentary evidence, to completing your visa/permit application on your behalf.

        You may choose from any of our below packages and/or ask for more customisable services as required in your immigration situation:

        • The Advice Package: Comprehensive advice from our professional immigration lawyers, tailored to suit your needs and situation.
        • The Application Package: Advice regarding eligibility and application process from a dedicated immigration lawyer, followed by actual assistance in completing and submitting your application form.
        • The Fast Track Package: A premium service offered in case you have a tight deadline for submitting your visa/permit application, where your case becomes a top priority for our lawyers.
        • The Appeal Package: Preparation of your appeal case by experienced and knowledgeable lawyers, and full legal representation in any hearings/tribunals on your behalf.

        To know more about the services we provide and how we can help you, please contact us on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or through our online form today, to speak to our team of legal advisers and immigration consultants.

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        Advice Package

        Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.

        Application Package icon

        Application Package

        Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.

        Fast Track Package icon

        Fast Track Package

        Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.

        Appeal Package icon

        Appeal Package

        Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.

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        The Advice Package

        During this untimed Advice Session with our professional immigration lawyers in London, you will receive our comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.

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          The Application Package

          With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.

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            Request the Application Package
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            The Fast Track Package

            Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.

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              Request the Fast Track Package
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              The Appeal Package

              By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.

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                Request the Appeal Package

                We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone. Learn more

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                  Related pages for your continued reading.

                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  We help both individual immigrants as well as foreign businesses and entrepreneurs moving to Germany. Depending on your situation, you will be assigned an immigration adviser having the relevant expertise and experience in the required area.

                  Germany does not allow dual citizenship in general, but there are particular circumstances when a dual citizenship might be permissible. Speak to our expert immigration advisers at Total Law to discuss your situation further.