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Work permit Germany

EU citizens

Since the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992, freedom of movement within the EU has been the cornerstone of EU membership. If you are a citizen of a fellow EU country or Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you are entitled to visit, live and work in Germany with no restrictions. You don’t need a visa or a work permit. You just need a valid passport or photo ID card. You will have to register with the local authorities, and this may require a kind of residence permit, but this is easy to obtain. Swiss nationals, although part of the EEA, need to apply for a purely declaratory residence permit from the Aliens Authority (Ausländerbehörde) in their place of residence.


If you are from outside the EU, then you will require a type of residence permit which allows you to work. These Germany work permits can be difficult to obtain and are subject to strict restrictions. In general, they will only be awarded to people who are taking jobs that could not have been filled by a German or an EU citizen. The type of Germany work permit you require will depend on the type of job and its salary expectations.

General Employment Permit

If you are coming to Germany to take up general employment, a job that is not highly skilled or qualified, then you need to apply for a residence permit which includes a Germany work permit or Germany work visa. You will need a secured contract with an employer before you apply. The employer will need to be able to prove that the job could not be filled by an EU citizen. You also need to be in possession of a vocational qualification that is recognised by the German authorities. This Germany work permit is awarded on a temporary basis and can be renewed as long as your employment situation stays the same.

Specialist Professional Residence Permit

If you are a university graduate or have other specialist skills, you can apply for this type of Germany work permit. You must have a firm offer of employment and be able to prove how you are going to support yourself financially while in the country. This permit is only valid as long as you are employed by the company.

Self-employed Permit

If you intend to come to Germany to start up a business, you will need to prove that your business is of value to German society and economy. You need a detailed business plan which demonstrates that your particular skills are in demand in that section of Germany. That your business will contribute to the local economy, by employing locals for example, and that you have sufficient funds to get started. These Germany work permits are usually awarded for 3 years to give you time to get your business off the ground.

EU Blue Card

If you have a university degree and have a job that will pay more than €50,800, then you can apply for an EU blue card. If you are from a shortage occupation such as science or engineering, this salary limit is lowered to €39,624. The EU blue card is valid for 4 years and you can apply for permanent residency after just 33 months. You are free to travel around inside the EU without a visa and even take up work in another country (subject to restrictions). Your family can come with you and will be able to work in Germany automatically. You should apply via the German embassy in your country and be able to provide all the necessary documentation. 

Germany Immigration – Mundialz

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