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Work Permit in Germany

Work Permit in Germany

Updated on Monday 14th September 2015

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Work-Permit-in-GermanyEmployment visas in Germany

EU, EFTA (European Free Trade Association) and Swiss citizens do not require a work permit if they have valid passports or identification documents and if they comply with the German employment regulations. Foreign citizens coming to work in Germany will benefit from the same rights, payment, social securities and work conditions just like nationals. The only restrictions for foreign workers are in the public sector and, in some German regions, for teachers and health staff.

Non-EU/EFTA citizens wanting to obtain a work permit must first apply for a German residence permit. They may apply for German employment permits or self-employment permits. The residence permit depends on the type of employment sought in Germany. The German legislation distinguishes employment that does not require qualification, general employment, highly specialized employment and self-employment.

 General and specialized employment permits in Germany

The general employment visa requires a vocational qualification and an employment contract with a German company. When applying for the residence permit and a general employment permit, a foreign individual must also attach the letter of intent issued by the company in Germany or a copy of employment contract together with the two copies after the vocational qualification.

Foreign specialists are allowed to live and work in Germany if they have special professional skills and experience. Among them university teachers and experienced managers are the most sought. Specialists must submit proof of self-sustenance, a copy after the employment contract signed with the German company and the documents proving the professional knowledge and experience.  

Self-employment in Germany

In order to work as a self-employed individual in Germany, one must have a significant impact on the country’s economy, must create a certain number of jobs and must have sufficient funds to start a business. Furthermore, self-employment implies a viable business plan and relevant experience in managing a business. The residence and work permits for self-employed individuals have three-year validity.

The documents to apply for a work permit in Germany are:

  • - an application form for a residence permit,
  • - two passport-size photographs,
  • - a valid passport or identification card,
  • - letter of intent or copy after the employment contract,
  • - copy after the vocational qualification, where applicable,
  • - proof of knowledge and experience, for highly-specialized individuals.

For complete details about the Employment Law and labor contracts please contact our lawyers in Germany.



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