Citizens from EU member states and so-called EFTA states may take up employment in Germany without restriction in accordance with the so-called freedom of movement law. Their status is equal to domestic employees. In most cases, access to the German labour market for international qualified 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 check is carried out on the basis of the form "Declaration of employment".
- The professional qualification of the international qualified worker must enable him or her to perform the job; in the case of the EU Blue Card, the employment must be appropriate in relation to the qualification.
If necessary, the Federal Employment Agency's approval is obtained by the authorities internally as part of the visa procedure. The BA must report back to the relevant authority within two weeks after the request. Once this period has expired, the approval is automatically deemed to have been granted. If a fast-track procedure for skilled workers is carried out in preparation for the visa application, the deadline is reduced to one week.
Tip: If the fast-track procedure for skilled workers is not an option for you but you would still like to have the requirements for the approval of employment checked before your potential skilled worker submits the visa application, you can use the pre-approval procedure. To do so, contact your employer service.
Persons who do not require the approval of the Federal Employment Agency
In certain cases, the residence permit for the purpose of employment is also granted without the approval of the BA:
- Highly qualified specialists with an academic education who apply for a settlement permit (§ 18c (3), sentence 3 AufenthG (German Residence Law))
- Applicants for an EU Blue Card, if a minimum salary of two thirds of the annual assessment ceiling is paid in the general pension insurance scheme.
Federal Employment Agency (BA)