Working in Germany: the official website
for qualified professionals

Professional athletes and coaches

Not only doctors and engineers but also the so-called “special occupational groups” have access to the German labour market. Skilled qualified professionals that require a specific qualification profile or have an existing public interest. Professional athletes are part of that specific occupational group.

As a citizen of the EU, the European Economic Area or Switzerland you neither require an entry visa nor a residence permit in order to work as a language teacher in Germany.

As citizen of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Korea and the USA you may enter Germany without a visa and obtain a residence permit after entering the country.

If you are a professional athlete or coach and come from a foreign country, you will initially require an entry visa that you must later convert into a residence permit. This residence permit allows foreign athletes and coaches, respectively to practice their sport professionally in Germany for a specific time period. As a professional athlete or coach from a non-EU country you must apply for your Visa at the responsible German mission abroad before entering the country. The application must be approved by the local Foreigners Authority (Ausländerbehörde) of the intended place of residence in Germany. However, the approval of the Federal Employment Agency (BA) is not required. The following requirements must be met in order to obtain a residence permit:

  • The athlete or coach must be 16 years of age and is intended to practice his sport in a German sports club or comparable sports establishment, provided such participates in competitive sports.
  • The sports club or establishment pays the athlete or coach sufficiently in order for him to earn a living (at least 50 percent of the income threshold of the statutory pension insurance).
  • The responsible central association for the sport and the German Sports Federation by mutual agreement confirm the athlete’s athletic qualification or the coach’s professional competence.

Information on the internet

Federal Employment Agency (BA)

Information regarding the access to the German labour market (German, English, Arabic)

Guidelines regarding the employment of foreign employees in Germany (German, English) (PDF)

Information and advice on finding a job (German, English)

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