Do I need a visa to work in Germany? What are the visa requirements to attend a higher education institution or receive vocational training? These are just some of the questions asked by people considering moving to Germany for a job and those who are planning their next career move. In short, the right visa for you is determined by your country of origin and your professional qualifications.
Citizens of EU and EFTA Member States
Citizens of EU and EFTA Member States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland) are entitled to freedom of movement and have unrestricted access to the German labour market. They do not require a visa or a residence permit to enter and obtain employment in Germany.
Third country nationals (non-EU/non-EFTA states)
Citizens 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. Those wishing 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 their local German embassy or consulate prior to entering Germany.