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Do I need a visa?

Do I need a visa? Find out if you need a visa to enter Germany.

Do I need a visa to work in Germany? What are the visa requirements for studying or taking up vocational training in Germany? These are just some of the questions asked by people considering moving to Germany for work and those planning their next career move. In short, the right visa for you depends on your country of origin and your professional qualifications.

Citizens of EU/EEA countries and Switzerland

As a citizen of an EU country, you are entitled to freedom of movement and have unrestricted access to the German labour market. You do not need a visa or residence permit to enter Germany and take up employment. The same applies if you come from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland (EFTA countries).

Third-country nationals (non-EU/non-EEA countries)

Citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the USA can enter Germany for the purpose of employment without a visa. In this case, the necessary residence permit must be applied for in Germany before taking up employment. Only if you are a citizen of one of these countries can you apply directly to your local foreigners authority, despite already living in Germany. However, if you intend to take up employment shortly after arriving in Germany, it is advisable to apply for the relevant visa before entering the country.  

All other third-country nationals who wish to come to Germany for the purpose of employment must submit a visa application to their local German embassy or consulate before travelling to Germany.

Further information on the visa requirement or exemption can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

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If you have more than one nationality, you should first check whether one of these nationalities is eligible for priority entry into Germany.

Do you have any questions?

Let us advise you on your opportunities to work and live in Germany. Our experts will support you with questions regarding job search, visa, recognition and learning German. 

You can find out more about the various contact options by clicking on one of the icons in the bar below.

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