Working Legally in Germany
It is necessary for expats to obtain a work permit to work legally in Germany. There are few exemptions to this rule. The exceptions include citizens of EU countries and Swiss citizens, who are allowed to work in Germany without a work permit.
Who Must Make the Application?
The application must be made by the expat’s employer. The employer must show that no qualified German or EU citizen is available for the job and that the expat has the necessary qualifications and skills for the job.
Types of Work Permits for Expats in Germany
There are several types of work permits for expats in Germany, including:
- EU Blue Card: for highly skilled workers and specialists from outside the EU who have a university degree and a job offer with a minimum annual salary of €55,200.
- Temporary Employment: for employees who are to work in Germany for a limited period of time.
- ICT Card: for employees who are sent to work in Germany by their company.
- Highly Qualified Professionals: for employees who have a university degree and a minimum annual salary of €80,400.
- Freelancers and Self-employed: for individuals who wish to start their own business in Germany.
Work Permit Application Process in Germany
The procedure to apply for a work permit in Germany involves the following steps:
- The employer submits a job offer and applies for a work permit on behalf of the employee.
- The German Federal Employment Agency assesses the application and the job offer.
- If the application is approved, the expat can apply for a visa at the German embassy in their home country.
- The visa processing time varies depending on the type of visa and the embassy, but it usually takes around two to four weeks.
- After arriving in Germany, the expat must apply for a residence permit at the Foreigners Authority.
Work Permit Documents in Germany
The following documents are required to apply for a work permit in Germany:
- A job offer from a German employer
- Proof of education and qualifications
- Proof of health insurance
- Proof of financial means to support oneself
- A police clearance certificate from the home country
- Passport or national ID card
Work Permit Costs in Germany
The costs involved in applying for a work permit in Germany include:
- Application fee for the work permit and visa, which varies depending on the type of visa and the embassy
- Health insurance, which must be taken out before the visa application is submitted
- Travel costs to and from the German embassy for the visa application
Reliable Information on Working Legally in Germany
Expats can go to the following websites for reliable information on working legally in Germany:
- German Federal Employment Agency (https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/en)
- German Federal Foreign Office (https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en)
- German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (https://www.bamf.de/EN/Willkommen/willkommen-node.html)
- German Embassy in the expat’s home country (https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/aussenstellen/aussenstellen-node)