If you attended a higher education institute or received qualified vocational training outside Germany, you may be able to obtain a residence permit according to The German residence Act. This employment VISA allows you to be employed in Germany as a qualified professional.
This VISA type only applies to third-country nationals for the purpose of entering the German labour market. EU citizens are entitled to freedom of movement, and thus do not need to apply for a VISA.
Requirements for a German Employment VISA
In order to obtain a German work VISA for qualified professionals, there are a few requirements that need to be fulfilled;
- Ensure that you have a valid job offer or employment contract.
- Your qualifications need to be either recognised or comparable in Germany.
- If you are looking for employment within a regulated profession, such as doctors and lawyers, it is mandatory to get your foreign professional qualifications recognised and obtain a professional practice permit (Berufsausübungserlaubnis) before a residence permit can be issued. Your practice permit will provide you with the legal authority to exercise the profession and permission to use title associated with it.
- Ensure that your qualifications enable you to perform the job which your German employer has given you a job offer for.
- If you are over 45 years of age, your annual gross salary must be at least 45,530 EUR (2020). If not, adequate proof of pension provisions is required.
Duration Of The Work VISA For Qualified Professionals
The VISA, or residence permit, for qualified employment is issued for the duration of your work contract. If you have an open-ended employment contract, the VISA is valid for a maximum of four (4) years.
If you have held this work VISA for at least four (4) years, you may be entitled to a permanent residence permit. This settlement permit allows you to permanently reside in Germany.
Applying For a Work VISA For Qualified Professionals
Your request for employment must first be approved by The German Federal Employment Agency (BA). This process verifies that your working conditions, such as salary and working hours, are equivalent to domestic employees. More details about these requirements can be found in the VISA application process.
If you are a third-country national and possess a higher education degree, see if you qualify for an EU Blue Card. This residence permit offers a valid VISA on a contract basis, but also offers attractive benefits such as permanent residence permit and benefits for family members.
German Work VISA and Residence Permit Application Process
This is a simplified VISA and entry procedure for immigrants from third countries for qualified professionals:
- Make sure you fulfill all the requirements
- Make an appointment with the German Embassy in your country, and prepare the necessary documents such as your passport, visa application form and recognized vocational or academic qualification.
- Complete the application process at the German Embassy, incl. payment fee of EUR 75
- After the issuance of the work VISA for qualified professionals, you can enter Germany. Make sure to have sufficient health insurance coverage.
- Make an appointment with the foreigners’ authority and apply for a residence permit with the purpose of taking up employment. They can provide a list with all required documentation. The fee for the residence permit application is up to 100 EUR.
Important note: Make sure you apply for your residence permit before the expiry of your entry visa.