IT Specialist Visa Germany

Those looking to live and work in Germany in IT may apply for one of a few specialist industry visa routes to do so. Rather than apply for a standard German work visa, IT specialists benefit from fast-tracked visas allowing them to legally work and receive a residence permit in the country.

The Total Law team understands the difference between all of the IT specialist visa types on offer and can help you apply for the right one successfully. Get in touch with our UK office today to talk through your options on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or fill out the contact form online.

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    IT specialists visa Germany: Overview

    Germany is considered the business hub of Europe, and as an economic powerhouse of the European Union (EU), certainly presents a myriad of opportunities for those working in the fast-paced IT sector.

    However, professionals who aren’t citizens of the EU or European Economic Area (EEA) can’t just move to Germany and commence work there, instead having to go through visa application procedures to gain entry to the country and permission to reside there while in gainful employment. IT specialists also need to complete this process but benefit from industry-specific residence passes once a visa has been granted.

    Visas are waived for nationals of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea (South) and the United States of America – who may enter Germany visa-free but will need to apply for a residency permit thereafter.

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    Visa and Residence Permit Requirements for IT specialists in Germany

    There are two main routes to visa for IT specialists to work in Germany. These are the EU Blue Card and the Work Visa for Qualified Professionals. Each has their own eligibility criteria, as follows:

    • EU Blue Card
      • The applicant must hold an academic degree in IT
      • The qualification held must be formally recognised in Germany
      • The applicant must have a specific job offer in Germany in a sector related to their degree
      • The applicant’s offered role in Germany must pay a minimum salary. This is reviewed annually and as of 2023 was €43,800
    • Work Visa for Qualified Professionals
      • The applicant must hold a qualification in IT (these does not need to be an academic degree, but may be if they do not otherwise meet the EU Blue Card criteria)
      • The qualification held must be formally recognised in Germany
      • The applicant must have a specific job offer in Germany
      • (If the applicant is aged over 45) The applicant’s offered role in Germany must pay a minimum salary. This is reviewed annually and as of 2023 was €48,180.

    Those who obtained their professional qualification in IT through non-academic means will find that the work visa suits their needs best.

    Once a visa has been successfully granted (if required), the individual will need to apply for a residence permit. The eligibility criteria for this are as follows:

    • The applicant must have a least three years of professional experience in the IT industry (completed within the last seven years)
    • The applicant is able to demonstrate their qualification in IT (usually through the presentation of certificates)
    • The applicant is able to speak, listen, read and write in the German language to at least the B1 level (intermediate) as set out in the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

    The language requirement may be waived in some circumstances, but legal advice will need to be sought and a specialist process enacted. Contact Total Law for more information on +44 (0)333 305 9375.

    How to apply for a visa for IT specialists, Germany

    Those who must apply for a visa to live and work in the IT sector in Germany should follow the below process as a standardised route; but note that complexities may arise throughout.

    If the IT specialist does not need to apply for a visa, they may skip to the last step of this process.

    Receive job offer

    A visa for IT specialists will only be issued if the applicant has a job offer in place at the time of application. This means that the recruitment process must happen for an appropriate job in Germany and the offer received in writing ahead of any visa application taking place.

    Compile documents

    Both the prospective employer and employee must compile documents to demonstrate their eligibility for the visa ahead of time. All documents must be translated into German by a certified translator if they do not already appear in German or English.

    Book visa appointment

    In most cases, the employer will arrange a visa interview for the prospective employee at their geographically local German Embassy or Consulate, but if not, the employee must book it themselves. Visa appointments must be booked in advance and how soon this can happen is dependent on the local diplomatic office’s workload.

    Attend visa appointment

    The applicant must attend a visa appointment in person with all of the supporting documents requested. In most cases, this appointment will involve an immigration officer examining and filing the supporting documents, questioning the applicant on their intentions while in Germany and taking biometric data.

    Receive visa decision

    Both employer and prospective employee should be notified of the German immigration authority’s decision on the visa in writing. This is usually by post but may be by email or even phone if the employer has an existing relationship in place with the relevant authority.

    Move to Germany

    Once a visa has been granted, the applicant may enter Germany on any date within its validity period.

    Attend local authority and apply for residency permit

    Within the first three months after entry to the country, the applicant must attend their local immigration office in Germany and apply for a residence permit. They should take with them all documentation required for the visa as well as any further paperwork related to their stay once it has been granted. Unless the applicant is found to be ineligible, the residence permit will be issued the same day.

    As an IT specialist, we have the expertise to streamline your visa application process. Contact Us

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      Duration of a German Residence Permit for IT specialists

      A standard residence permit for Germany lasts four years, unless its validity is otherwise stated. However, a residency permit of this type is dependent on the individual’s professional status – so the visa holder’s job in Germany comes to an end before the permit expires, it will be deemed invalid.

      Providing the visa holder continues to meet the eligibility requirements for their work visa, they may extend their residency permit after the four-year term.

      Processing Time for IT Specialists visa

      All visa applications are judged on an individual basis and so processing times vary. Generally speaking, however, EU Blue Card and work visa applications should take no longer than 90 days to process – but usually around one month.

      Unless the applicant is found to be ineligible, a residence permit will usually be granted in-person at the application appointment for it.

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      Application Fee for IT Specialists Visa

      All German visa applications are processed upon the payment of a non-refundable application fee. How much this costs depends on the visa type being applied for. Visa fees are updated periodically, but as of December 2023 are:

      • EU Blue Card

        • Initial issue (up to one year validity): €100
        • Initial issue (over one year validity): €110
        • Renewal at any point (up to three months validity): €96
        • Renewal at any point (over three months validity): €93
      • Work Visa for Qualified Professionals
        • Initial issue (up to 90 days validity): €81
        • Initial issue (over 90 days validity): €76

      Once the applicant has received their relevant visa, they must attend their local immigration office to apply for a residency permit. This costs €50 for up to one year validity, or €80 for over. It can be extended for three months at a time for a fee of €30.

      We can make your German visa application process smooth and hassle-free. Contact Us

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        How Can Total Law Help?

        Total Law are a firm of immigration specialist lawyers who know the ins and outs of visa application and appeals processes worldwide. We work with people from all over the globe to help them receive relevant visas to live, work, study and even retire in the destinations they desire. No matter where you’re from or where you’re planning on heading, we can help.

        What’s more, we know how stressful the visa application process can be. That’s why the Total Law team operate free of jargon and work through every case as an individual to maximise your chances of success and minimise the difficulty levels of everything.

        Call the Total Law team now for a free chat with no obligation on number +44 (0)333 305 9375 or fill out a contact form online, to discuss your application prospects and get started on the whole process.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  In most cases, a residency permit must be able to prove that they can read, write, speak and listen to the German language to at least a CEFR B1 level. This is considered intermediate. In some instances, this requirement may be waived; but you will need to seek specialist advice to do so. Call Total Law for details on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to see if such a waiver may be an option for you.

                  If you are a citizen of an EU or EEA state, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea or the USA, you need not apply for a work visa at all. If you are a citizen of any other country (known as a ‘third country’), you may apply for the German Work Visa for Qualified Professionals; providing your qualification is recognised by Germany.

                  There is a process for professionals to go through to have their qualifications granted overseas formally recognised in Germany. This is a separate process to visa and residency applications and involves the relevant trade or industry bodies in the country.

                  For an EU Blue Card application, the applicant’s job offer must be demonstrably related to their IT qualification. For a Work Visa for Qualified Professionals, there is no such requirement, although the visa application is most likely to be accepted if it is.