Your German work visa is your gateway to a job in Germany, where you can enjoy an average monthly net salary of €2,645. Unless you're pursuing a job seeker visa, having a job offer from a German employer is usually a requirement. To help you navigate this process, we've outlined the main types of German work visas and provided straightforward step-by-step instructions for securing one.
Germany's visa requirements vary from country to country. Some non-EU nationals don't need a visa, only a residence permit, while others require both.
Germany offers several types of employment visas, depending on your educational background and career history. The 5 main types of work visas in Germany include:
If you don't have a job offer in Germany yet, don't panic! With a job seeker visa, you can stay in Germany for up to 6 months to land a job that matches your qualifications. The visa will act like a temporary residence permit.
Note: A job seeker visa in Germany cannot be extended.”
To apply for the job seeker visa in Germany, you must fulfil the following requirements:
The EU Blue Card is for highly skilled workers with a university degree and a job offer that offers a high income.
This visa comes with several benefits. For instance, you can get a settlement permit after the first 33 months or after 21 months if you know B1-level German.
Requirements for EU Blue Card Germany:
With this type of residence permit, you can live in Germany for the duration of your work contract, plus 3 additional months, or a maximum of 4 years.
You're eligible for the German skilled worker visa if you have vocational training or a higher education degree. Unlike the EU Blue Card visa, there's no minimum gross salary requirement for this employment visa.
Requirements to apply for a German work visa for qualified professionals:
Your visa is valid for 3 months. Your residence permit will be valid for the duration of your employment contract, meaning that if you change your job you have to renew it.
Germany offers a special visa for those working in the IT sector.
Requirements to apply for IT specialists' work visa in Germany include:
Your work permit is valid for your contract's duration.
If you aim to open your own business or work as a freelancer, then the German self-employment visa is for you. The requirements vary:
Both visas are valid for 3 years.
Besides the abovementioned requirements, you need certain documents for every German visa application.
The application process is generally the same. But depending on your country of residence, there might be slight differences. We advise you to check the website of the German embassy or consulate in your country.
Once your visa is approved and you've arrived in Germany, you must apply for a residence permit. You should apply as soon as possible because it might take around 8 weeks to get an appointment at the German immigration office. Your residence permit, once approved, will include the necessary work authorization.
A German work visa typically takes 8 to 12 weeks to process. It's essential to consider the embassy or consulate's workload when applying and do so well in advance.
If you're applying for an EU Blue Card with a salary exceeding €58,400, you can expedite the process as you don't require approval from ZAV (Federal Employment Agency).
During our interview with Renjith, an expat who applied for an EU Blue Card from India to work in IT, he shared he was eligible for a fast-track process. Once he secured the appointment, the visa processing for him and his family took only 1 week!
A German work visa costs approximately €75. However, fees can change, so check your home country's German embassy or consulate website. Additional costs like document translation and health insurance may apply.
Getting a German work visa can be difficult because you need to have a job offer or a signed employment contract and approval from the governmental organization ZAV (Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung). On the other hand, getting a German work visa can be straightforward if you have in-demand skills and a job offer.
To get a work visa in Germany without a job, either apply for a job seeker visa or a freelancer or self-employment visa.
Remember that if your visa gets rejected, your money won't get reimbursed.
The long-term German work visa is typically valid for one year, but the actual length of your residence permit aligns with your employment contract's duration. You can extend the permit if your employment status remains unchanged.
Yes, you can switch jobs while on a work visa in Germany. Secure a new job offer, notify the Ausländerbehörde, and ensure you meet visa requirements for the new position. You may need to apply for a new visa if the new job differs significantly.
If you lose your job in Germany, it's important to notify the Ausländerbehörde (local immigration office) promptly. Your residence permit will typically remain valid for a few months, but the specific duration may vary depending on the regulations of the province where you reside. Additionally, you can apply for a job seeker visa, providing additional time to search for a new job.
Good luck with your visa application and life in Germany!
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