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Visa for professionally experienced workers

Do you have a foreign qualification and extensive professional experience? Learn about the requirements for this type of visa here.

If you are an experienced professional and would like to work in a non-regulated profession, there are good career opportunities in Germany. In this case, you can obtain a residence permit for qualified employment in Germany under Section 19c (2) of the Residence Act [AufenthG]) in conjunction with Section 6 of the Ordinance on the Employment of Foreigners (BeschV). The formal recognition of your qualification in Germany is not necessary for this. 
To find out if you need a visa to enter Germany, see the “Do I need a visa?” section.

What are the requirements for a visa for professionally experienced workers?

  • Qualification: You have a vocational qualification or higher education degree that is recognised by the government of the country in which it was obtained. It is important that your vocational qualification required at least two years of vocational training. To support your visa application, you will need a positive result for this qualification, which you can apply for online at the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB). If your qualification is a higher education degree, you can also apply to the ZAB for confirmation of state recognition in the country in which it was obtained.


If you completed vocational education and training at a German Chamber of Commerce Abroad (AHK) that meets the requirements of the Vocational Training Act (BBiG), this qualification will also be accepted. For this purpose, please contact the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB). You can also ask the German Chamber of Commerce Abroad that issued your qualification whether it meets the requirements.

  • Professional experience: You can provide evidence of at least two years of qualified professional experience within the last five years. Your professional experience must qualify you adequately for the job you want to do in Germany. In other words, it must be related to the profession you wish to pursue in Germany.
  • Job offer: You have a concrete job offer in a non-regulated profession in Germany. In contrast to regulated professions, non-regulated professions are those whose practice is not protected by law. Most vocational training occupations in Germany are non-regulated. To find out which professions are regulated, visit the Federal Employment Agency (BA) website. You can prove that you have a job offer by presenting an employment contract with an employer in Germany. In addition, your employer’s “Declaration of Employment” will usually be required as part of the visa process.
  • Minimum salary: Your potential job in Germany guarantees you a gross annual salary of at least €40,770 (in 2024). Your contract should include details of your future salary. Alternatively, it is sufficient if your employer is bound by a collective agreement and pays you in accordance with that agreement. However, if you are older than 45, the job you intend to take in Germany must enable you to earn a gross annual salary of at least €49,830 (as of 2024) or you must be able to prove that you have adequate pension provision.
  • Approval of employment: The Federal Employment Agency (BA) has approved your employment. In this context, the Federal Employment Agency will assess whether your conditions of employment (salary, working hours etc.) correspond to those of domestic employees. BA approval is usually obtained from the visa section during the visa process; no action is required on your part. For this, the Federal Employment Agency requires the form “Declaration of Employment”, which needs to be completed by your employer.

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A special provision applies to experienced professionals in the field of information and communication technologies: No proof of formal professional qualification (professional qualification, higher education degree or AHK qualification) is required.

Do you meet the above-mentioned requirements? Then find out about the entry and visa process.

At a glace: Visa for professionally experienced workers

From the preparations to the application forms: this step-by-step guide shows you how you can receive the visa for professionally experienced workers.

What opportunities does a visa for professionally experienced workers offer?

As long as you are in employment and can cover your living costs, you will usually be able to extend your residence permit. You may be granted a settlement permit after five years in Germany. In this context, the general provisions under Section 9 of the Residence Act (AufenthG) apply.

Do you want to live in Germany with your family? This residence permit enables you to do so. To find out what you need to consider and what the requirements are, see the “Family life in Germany” section.

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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