Labour Market Make a Career

Overview of Visa and Work Permit for Germany (Non-EU-Citizen)

Germany’s labour market needs immigration.

Without it, Germany will not be able to maintain its long-term growth and well-being.

Today, for example, there are not enough skilled workers in the healthcare and handicraft sectors. Companies in the countryside are actually unable to recruit candidates for a number of jobs. Also highly skilled engineers and computer scientists are wanted.

A survey conducted in 2018 by the management consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the online job exchange StepStone surprised with their results. The study asked 366,000 people worldwide in which countries they would like to work. Germany is more popular with foreign employees than almost any other country.

According to the survey, about one in four participants can imagine working here. Germany is considered very attractive because it sets technology standards and offers good working conditions.


Often I’m asked about visa and how to get a work permit. And to be honest, I’m aware of some of the legal paragraphs but I wouldn’t call me an expert. Therefore, I have worked on an overview of the most important types to get a work permit and visa.

For you, whom I guess to be a resident of a Non-EU-Country, I have added  some resources you should look up if you are seriously interested in working in Germany. You’ll find these at the bottom of this post. And now let’s have a look at the visa and work permits:

 

Blue Card for Academics

For whom it’s meant: All academical experts with a recognized university degree or one which can be compared with a German working degree
Conditions: You have a proof that you have a job in Germany which corresponds to your qualification and which pays you an annual gross salaray of at least 52,000 Euros.  After 33 months of being employed you’re entiteled to a permanent residence permit (with no time limit). If you have a B1 in German, you’ll get it already after 21 months.
Action Steps:  Seek a job and once you have one, apply for the Blue Card at your Ausländerbehörde (if you’re in Germany).

Blue Card for MINT-Academics/ Medicine

For whom it’s meant: Academics in Medicine or on of the MINT-Subjects. MINT is the German abbreviation for Maths, Informatics, Natural Sciences (such as Physics, Biology, Chemistry etc.) and Engineering.
Conditions: You have a proof that you’ve got a job in Germany which corresponds to your qualification and which pays you an annual gross salaray of at least 40,560 Euros.  After 33 months of being employed you’re entiteled to a permanent residence permit (with no time limit). If you have a B1 in German, you’ll get it already after 21 months.
Action Steps:  Seek a job and once you have one, apply for the Blue Card at your Ausländerbehörde (if you’re in Germany).

Graduates of Vocational Training Courses (outside Germany)

For whom it’s meant:  For qualified skilled workers with a vocational qualification that was not acquired in Germany.  Only occupations where there is a bottleneck in Germany. For example, the health care sector, e.g. nurses, nursing staff and in the technical trades such as Mechatronics, Heating, Air-conditioning and many, many more.
Conditions: Three conditions must be fulfilled: you have a profession sought in Germany. Your vocational Training has been recognized equivalent to a German qualification  and you hold a written job commitment in hand.
Action steps:

  • You first have to clarify whether your profession is wanted in Germany (resources at the Bottom of this post)
  • You need a firm job commitment from a company in written form.
  • You must submit an application for an equivalent assessment called recognition. A German authority will check whether your vocational qualification is equivalent to a German one.
    Maybe you don’t get full recognition. In this case you get the the opportunity to attend an advanced training course in Germany.

Absolvents of German universities

For whom it’s meant: Absolvents of German Universities who have finished their German Degree and want to stay in Germany.
What it is: 

  1. Jobseeking-Visa & Work Permit:  You get an Aufenthaltserlaubnis for up to 18 months to find a Job that corresponds your degree. In the meantime you can can take any Job. Any job that feeds you. Apply for it at the Ausländerbehörde of your place of living.
  2. Blue Card/Work permit:  Once you’ve found a Job, you can choose between two different types of Erlaubnis. One of them is the Blue Card. Ask the Ausländerbehörde which suits your personal situation most.

Conditions: above
Action Steps: Apply at your Ausländerbehörde.

Students

For whom it’s meant: Persons who have been accepted by a German University.
Condititons: You’ll get the student visa for up to 2 years, and it can be extended. You have to prove that you have enough Money to make a Living. You are allowed to work for up to 120 full or 240 half days.
If you have not yet been accepted but interested and you meet the requirements for doing an University Degree you may be entiteled to a residence permit to apply for a course of study. You  may come to Germany and stay for 9 months, but are not allowed to work.

For Trainees / Apprentices

For whom it’s meant:  Persons who want to participate in vocational training, usually for 3 years.
Conditions: You meet the requirements for a training occupation, and you have a written confirmation. You need the permission of the Agentur für Arbeit that there is no German applicant available for this training position. In addition, you must prove that you can finance your livelihood.
Action steps:

  • Find out about training occupations that are needed in Germany (Check the whitelist)
  • Check whether you meet all requirements (including at least B1).
  • Apply for an apprenticeship.

Non-Skilled Persons

For whom it’s meant: Not specified  (Residence Act, section 18 (4)
Conditions: Nearly impossible to fulfill the conditions as there is huge legal barrier. Even if you might have found an employer. Because you need an approval of the Federal Employment Agency. To be precise, your prospective employer must prove that there is not other German, recognized Refugee or EU-Citizen suitable for the vacancy.
Action Steps: If you ask me, there is no chance for such a visa.

 

Further Visa and Work Permits in Germany

There are further types of visa depending on your personal Situation:

  • Visa for an internship
  • Visa for research
  • Visa for self-employement
  • Visa for the recognition of professional qualifications
  • Visa for taking an examination

Check the details for these visa in the resources below. It’s a bit complicated, understanding each and every details of the legal rules.  As I’m no attorney I researched the links below and don’t assume any guarantee .

Resources to research

My recommendation is to first to do the  Migration Check of the Employment Agency. It’s a first big step to get Information regarding your personal situation.

If you want to find out in which qualifications there is need in Germany, check the whitelist in English language or German language.

You are looking for all the specific details of getting a work permit in Germany? Then the Agentur für Arbeit, the employement Agency, is one great source for information. They provide an English Version of the rules, though I find it really difficult to read. But give it a try.

You want to get your qualification recognized in Germany? Then check all the Details on the portal www.anerkennung-in-Deutschland.de.

And of course, all the details regarding visa, work permit and more can be found on the huge Portal: www.make-it-in-Germany.de

 

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