Working in Germany: the official website
for qualified professionals

Who needs a visa?

Do I need a visa to work in Germany? What are the visa requirements to attend a higher education institution or receive vocational training in Germany? These are just some of the questions asked by people considering moving to Germany for a job and who are looking to plan their next career move. In short, the right visa for you is determined by your country of origin and your professional qualifications. 

Nationals of EU and EFTA member states

Persons entitled to freedom of movement have unrestricted access to the German labour market. Such persons do not require a visa or a residence permit to enter and obtain employment in Germany. This also applicable to nationals of EFTA states, such as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.

Third country nationals (non-EU/non-EFTA states)

Nationals of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America can enter Germany without a visa. However; they are required to apply for a residence permit prior to obtaining employment. Citizens of these countries can contact their local Foreigners’ Authority directly and may also do so, even when they are already living in Germany. Persons looking to obtain employment shortly after entering Germany are advised to submit an application for the relevant visa prior to entering the country.  

All other third country nationals must submit a visa application to the nearest German Embassy or Consulate prior to entering Germany.  

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