Citizens from EU Member States and so-called EFTA states may take up employment in Germany without restriction in accordance with the Freedom of Movement Act. Their status is equal to domestic employees. In most cases, access to the German labour market for international skilled workers from third countries requires the approval of the Federal Employment Agency (BA).
In general, the approval is granted if the following conditions are met:
- There is a concrete job offer: the employment contract is usually accepted as proof.
- The working conditions are comparable with those of domestic employees. The assessment is carried out on the basis of the "Declaration of Employment" form.
- The international skilled worker's professional qualification must enable them to perform the job. In the case of the EU Blue Card, the employment must be appropriate to the qualification.
As part of the visa procedure, the competent authorities will obtain the Federal Employment Agency's approval by themselves, if need be. The BA must report back to the authorities within two weeks after the request. Once this period has expired, the approval is automatically deemed to have been granted, if not stated otherwise. If a fast-track procedure for skilled workers is carried out in preparation for the visa application, the deadline is reduced to one week.