Working in Germany: the official website
for qualified professionals

Visa to work

Before entering Germany

Visas to work usually have limited validity and must be applied for from the German mission abroad in the applicant’s country of origin before entering Germany. One important requirement that your international qualified professional must satisfy when applying for the visa is to submit a signed work contract. They must have this at the time they apply.

Tip: An applicant from a non-EU country is entitled (subject to certain conditions) to sign a work contract before they obtain a visa. Often, a work contract is a prerequisite for obtaining a work visa and must generally be submitted to the respective German embassy or foreigners’ authority. You can note in your work contract that it only takes effect once a valid visa has been obtained. You will find more information in “Regulations for admission to the labour market”.

You can find out what kinds of visa there are and what requirements have to be met, as well as further information about the subject of visas on the Make it in Germany page for qualified professionals in the section “Visa”. 

After entering Germany

Once in Germany, the foreign recruit must then apply for a Residence permit. This is issued by the foreigners’ authority together with the permit to work in Germany. You will find more information about work permits in “Regulations for admission to the labour market”.

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