Skilled workers from all over the world working in Germany

Visa requirements and duties of employers

When recruiting abroad, there are some obligations on both sides. Find out here what you need to consider as an employer.

Legal and administrative regulations apply to the recruitment of international qualified professionals. An important point which you need to take into account as an employer is the visa requirement. Whether your future foreign employee needs a visa to enter and work in Germany depends on their country of origin.

Nationals of EU/EEA Member States and Switzerland

Anyone from EU/EEA Member States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) and Switzerland is entitled to enter Germany and work here without a visa.

Third-country nationals (neither EU/EEA States nor Switzerland)

People from so-called third countries (countries outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland) generally need a visa or residence permit to enter and take up employment in Germany.

Citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or the United States of America are an exception to that rule. They may enter Germany without a visa and apply for a residence permit once in the country.

Your duties as an employer

As an employer in Germany, you are subject to legal regulations which must be followed when hiring an international qualified professional. According to Section 4a (5) of the German Residence Act (AufenthG), your general obligations include the following aspects:

  • Checking whether the international professional currently possesses a valid residence title which allows them to be employed in Germany.


In the case of a temporary residence title, inform your employee that it must be extended in time for further employment in your company.

  • Keeping a copy of the employee's currently valid residence title in electronic or paper form.
  • Notifying the competent foreigners authorities in the event of early termination of employment. The foreigners authority must be informed within four weeks from the time of knowledge of the termination to assess whether the residence title's validation period needs to be shortened.

Information on the web

  1. Federal Employment Agency (BA) Information on admission to the labour market

Do you have any questions?

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