Germany Work Visa

There are different types of work and residence permits such as:

  • Work and residence permit (temporary residence title)
  • EU Blue Card (temporary residence title)
  • Permanent residence permit (permanent residence title)
  • Intra company transfer program permit (temporary residence title)

If you are allowed to enter Germany without a visa and you are planning a long-term stay or to work in Germany, then you have to apply for a work and residence permit within three months after entry. If you are entering Germany with a national visa you have to apply for your work and residence permit in Germany if your stay exceeds the visa duration. This application is submitted in person at the relevant authorities in Germany.

Within 14 days of moving into your permanent accommodation, you must register the address at the local town hall. Each subsequent change of address must also be registered with the relevant local authority. This rule applies to everyone, including German nationals. This is also a mandatory step prior to applying for the work and residence permit upon arrival in Germany at the immigration office. If you are staying temporarily in a hotel or serviced apartment you have to register yourself within 2 months. Please note that not all hotels/serviced apartments allow a registration at their address.

German Immigration Overview

EU nationals/EEA nationals/Swiss nationals:

EU nationals are entitled to freedom of movement, having unrestricted access to the German labour market. Nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA: these are the Member States of the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) have equal status to EU citizens being entitled to unrestricted freedom of movement. Nationals of Switzerland and their family members also enjoy freedom of movement within the EU. In Germany, however, they must apply for a special, purely declaratory, residence permit for Swiss nationals (section 28 of the Residence Act).

Non-EU nationals:

Non-EU nationals require a work permit/national work visa, in order to be legally entitled to work in the country.

Entering Germany:

If you, due to your nationality, require an entrance visa, then you must consult with the diplomatic missions of Germany prior to entry. There you can apply for a visa with the necessary documents and indicate your intended purpose of stay.

Exceptions from the visa requirement apply to nationals from Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the United States of America. It is essential you enter Germany with the correct type of visa.

Schengen Visa:

A Schengen visa entitles the holder to an accumulated stay of up to 90 days within a period of six months and is valid within the Schengen Area. There are different types of Schengen Visas such as business, tourist, medical treatments and visit visas.

National Visa (long term /work/study):

If you plan to live and work/study in Germany, you will need a German national visa. The national visa is subject to the prior approval of the responsible aliens office in Germany

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