Germany is diverse and cosmopolitan - a leading industrial nation providing a stable and secure living environment. New rules make it much easier for qualified professionals from outside the European Union to come to work in Germany.
For both skilled workers and academic professionals there are a variety of opportunities to obtain employment in Germany. Access to the labour market for unskilled and low-skilled workers remains limited.
Citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and the US may enter Germany without a visa and apply for a residence/work permit after arrival. It is important to note, however, that employment may not be taken up until the permit has been issued. Citizens from these countries may choose to obtain a work visa from their local German mission, prior to entry, entitling them to take up employment from day one.
- The Blue Card EU provides an accelerated pathway to permanent residence. The scheme is geared at qualified academic professionals being employed by a company in Germany in their field of qualification and with a designated minimum remuneration (2020 threshold: €55,200 per annum). Professionals with a background in mathematics, IT, the natural sciences or technology as well as medical doctors may qualify for a Blue Card with a remuneration starting at €43,056 (2020 threshold). Applicants need to demonstrate that they hold a German or a recognised or a comparable academic degree.
- Simplified rules on access to the labour market also apply to academics, highly qualified professionals, Board of Director and senior management executives, corporate specialists on company secondment, company exchange and similar.
- Skilled workers holding a vocational or professional qualification recognized by the competent German authority as equivalent to a German qualification and having secured employment in Germany may be granted access to the labour market. IT experts with distinctive practical expertise but without formal qualification may also be considered.
- Researchers, visiting scholars, scientists and their technical or scientific support staff either in salaried positions or on scholarships may be granted a residence permit for research at either accredited or publicly funded research facilities.
- Students may obtain a visa to do a study-related work placement.
- Visas are also available for both a) academic professionals holding a German or a recognized or a comparable academic degree and b) skilled workers holding a vocational or professional qualification recognized by the competent German authority as equivalent to a German qualification seeking employment in Germany. These visas are issued for a maximum of six months and enable the holder to look for employment and convert the visa in a residence permit once employment has been found.
- Working Holiday/Youth mobility visas are available for nationals Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Uruguay, Israel, Japan and New Zealand (and other countries). This programme aims to let young people gain insight into culture and daily life in the Federal Republic of Germany. The intention is to promote increased mutual understanding and the applicant’s primary aim should be to visit Germany. The conditions of the work permit as well as the age limit depend on the nationality of the participant.