You can employ third-country nationals as HGV, coach or bus drivers – even if they have no formal training in Germany – if the Federal Employment Agency (BA) has approved their employment. Approval is granted under Section 24a para. 1 of the Ordinance on the Employment of Foreigners (BeschV) and requires drivers to have the necessary licences and qualifications for employment as a professional driver. These include an EU or EEA driving licence for the relevant category and the initial or accelerated initial qualification under Directive (EU) 2022/2561. Proof of an EU or EEA driving licence and the required (accelerated) initial qualification is generally not necessary in the approval procedure. As an employer, you are responsible for ensuring that your employees have the necessary licences and certificates and for confirming this to the Federal Employment Agency as part of the declaration on the employment relationship.
In the approval procedure, the Federal Employment Agency only checks the conditions of employment, such as whether the foreign skilled worker’s salary and working hours correspond to the usual local working conditions for comparable work. This check does not involve a priority review. The visa application is checked for plausibility by the visa department.
If your future employee is over the age of 45, they must earn a certain minimum salary for employment in Germany or provide proof of adequate pension provision. In 2023, this minimum salary is €48,180.