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Immigration and work permit

If foreign nationals shall become employed with or assigned to a German branch or subsidiary, German immigration law requirements have to be observed. The requirements have to be checked in each individual case from an immigration expert.

Generally, EU nationals no longer need a German work permit. Foreign nationals of non-EU member states intending to work in Germany need a work and residence permit, which is regularly granted as an electronic permit (so called 'elektronischer Aufenthaltstitel').

Some nationals are privileged (US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Japan, Israel), and they do not need to apply for a visa when entering Germany for working purposes. They can directly apply for their German work and residence permit in Germany within a certain time after entrance. However, they are not allowed to start working before they have registered their German address and at least a preliminary permit is issued by the immigration office. 

All other nationalities (Visa-nationals) have to apply for an entry visa for working purposes (D-Visa) at the Germany embassy/consulate in the country where one officially resides abroad.

German immigration law provides various different work permit types, depending on the type of employment (assignment vs. local hire), salary level, qualification of the employee, nationality etc. In 2012, Germany also implemented the EU Blue Card for high qualified individuals.


Last Reviewed - 16 December 2018

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