Generally, international qualified 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 (with restrictions) before he or she has 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 are valid for taking up employment:
- Visa for qualified professionals with academic training (EU Blue Card and Section 18b (1) of German Residence Act - AufenthG)
- Visa for qualified professionals 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)
Find out which requirements apply to the respective types of visas and how the visa process works on “Make it in Germany”, under the section “Visa”.
Once the international qualified professional has arrived in Germany, he or she has to apply for a residence permit. It is issued by the Foreigners’ Authority together with the permit to take up employment in Germany.
Important: 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 obtain employment in Germany. It excludes the issuing of a residence permit for the purpose of employment.
Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community