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Visa requirements and duties of employers

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 or not your future foreign employee needs a visa to enter and work in Germany depends on their country of origin.

Nationals of EU/EFTA states

Anyone from EU Member States and the states known as EFTA states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) is entitled to enter Germany and work here without a visa.

Nationals of non-EU/EFTA states

People from non-EU and non-EFTA states, referred to as third countries, 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 pf 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 permit which allows them to be employed in Germany.

Tip: In the case of a temporary residence permit, 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 permit 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.
Information on the web

Federal Employment Agency (BA)

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