Generally, international skilled workers from third countries must apply for a visa at the German embassy in their country of origin before entering Germany. When doing so, presenting a signed employment contract is an important prerequisite.
Tip: An applicant from a non-EU country can sign the employment contract (conditionally) before they have obtained a valid visa. You can note within the employment contract that it will only come into effect as soon as a valid visa is issued.
Depending on the level of qualification, the following types of visas may be suitable for taking up employment:
- Visa for skilled workers with academic training (EU Blue Card and Section 18b (1) of German Residence Act – AufenthG)
- Visa for skilled workers with vocational training (Section 18a of the German Residence Act – AufenthG)
- Visa for IT specialists without formal degree (Section 19c (2) of the German Residence Act – AufenthG in conjunction with Section 6 of German Employment Regulation – BeschV)
Under the "Types of Visa" section of the "Make it in Germany" portal you can find out which requirements apply to the respective types of visas and how the visa process works.
Once the international skilled worker has arrived in Germany, they have to apply for a residence permit. It is issued by the Foreigners' Authority along with the permit to take up employment.
Please note: The entry visa always serves a specific purpose. When applying for a visa, the correct intended purpose of stay must be stated. Entry for touristic purposes (Schengen visa) does generally not entitle its holder to take up employment in Germany and prohibits the issuance of a residence permit for the purpose of employment.
If your potential recruit is in possession of a visa or residence permit for the purpose of seeking employment, they are entitled to perform trial work for up to ten hours per week. This allows you to get to know the applicant better during a trial working day and to assess the profile of the skilled worker. If you wish to employ an international skilled worker with a job-seeking visa and sign an employment contract with them, they can apply for a residence permit for qualified employment at the competent Foreigners' Authority in Germany. It is important to note that the qualification of the international skilled worker must correspond to the occupation.
Federal Employment Agency (BA)