Germany has a fast-growing economy, a range of job opportunities in various sectors and offers competitive salaries. This makes it an attractive option for overseas job seekers.
The country on the other hand is looking for skilled workers in various sectors and also offers competitive salaries for those wishing to work here.
There are various visa options for citizens of non-EU countries to come and work here.
Before you come to Germany for work, you must apply for a work and residence permit. For this you must have a job offer from a German employer. You can apply for your work and residence permit at the German embassy or consulate in your country.
Your application must include the following:
- Job offer letter from the firm in Germany
- Valid passport
- Annexure for an employment permit
- Certificates of academic qualification
- Certificates of work experience
- Approval letter from the Federal Employment Agency
If you intend to bring your family to Germany with you, the following conditions apply:
- Your children must be below 18
- Your income must be sufficient to support you and your family
- You must be able to provide housing for your family
Requirements to get a work permit for Germany
Recognition of your qualification from German authorities: When you are applying for jobs in Germany, you must not only submit proof of your professional
and educational qualifications but also get the recognition for your professional skills from German authorities. This is required for regulated professions like doctors, nurses, and teachers. The German government has a portal where you can get recognition for your professional qualifications.
Knowledge of German language: Some degree of proficiency in the German language will give you an edge over other job seekers who have no knowledge. If you have the right educational qualification, work experience and have basic knowledge of German (B2 or C1 level) then you have good prospects of finding a job here. But for specialized jobs such as research and development, knowledge of German is not required.
EU Blue card
You are eligible for the EU blue card if you have a graduate or undergraduate degree from a recognized university and are moving to the country on a job that pays the stipulated annual gross salary.
You can get the EU Blue Card if you have graduated from a German university or are a highly qualified student in the area of either mathematics, IT, life sciences or engineering or are a medical professional. Your salary needs to be on par with German workers.
Difference between Work permit and EU Blue Card
Salary requirement: There is no specific salary requirement for the work permit, but for the EU Blue Card the gross salary for your job must be more than 55,200 Euros i.e. the salary offered must be 1.5 times of the normal salary offered to a local citizen.
Educational qualifications: While the minimum qualification is a Bachelor’s degree for the work permit, higher qualifications are required to be eligible for the EU Blue Card.
Permission to change jobs: While you can change jobs after 2 years while on the EU Blue Card, you will have to be employed with the same company on which you got a work permit till its validity.
Permanent residency application: While you can apply for permanent residency after living for five years on the work permit, you can apply for a PR visa on the EU Blue Card after 21 to 33 months.
Duration of permit: The work permit will be initially issued for one year and should be extended while the EU Blue Card has a validity of three years.
If you are looking for self-employment opportunities in the country, then you need to apply for a residence permit and permission to start your business. This visa is required if you are coming to Germany temporarily and for business purposes.
Before approving your visa, the authorities will check the feasibility of your business idea, review your business plan and your previous experience in business.
They will check if you have the capital to start your business and if your business has the potential to meet economic or regional needs in Germany. And your business should be beneficial to the German economy.
The Jobseeker visa was introduced to solve the problem of skills shortage in several areas. With this visa, you can come and stay in Germany for six months and look for a job.
Eligibility requirements for a Jobseeker visa
- Minimum of five years of work experience in a job related to your area of study
- Proof that you have 15 years of regular education
- Proof that you have enough funds for a six-month stay in Germany
- Proof that you have accommodation for the six months you will be in the country
Advantages of the Jobseeker visa
The Jobseeker visa gives you a unique opportunity to go to Germany and gives you six months to land a job in the country. If you find a job within these six months, well and good, you can change the visa to a work permit. However, if you do not find a job in a six-month period, you will have to leave the country.
However, if you do find a job in the six-month period, you must first apply for a work permit visa to start working in Germany. You can do this while you are in Germany by converting your Jobseeker visa to a Work permit visa or go back to your home country and apply for a work permit based on the offer letter.
Language requirements for work permits
The good news is that IELTS is not required to qualify for a German work visa.
However, the English language requirements can vary based on the type of job you are applying for. For instance, if the job requires travelling to other countries, then a certain level of English proficiency is required.
However, a basic knowledge of German will improve your prospects of finding a job here.
Work visa options
If you already have a job offer in Germany and are a graduate or post-graduate, then you can apply for an EU Blue Card before you move to the country. But the easiest way to get a work visa in Germany is to apply for the Jobseeker visa.
Applying for the jobseeker visa
Steps to apply for the Germany Job Seeker Visa
Step 1: Gather all the required documents- You will have to submit the list of required documents along with your application.
Step 2: Get an appointment from the embassy-Get an appointment from the embassy one month ahead of the date you intend to apply for the visa.
Step 3: Submit the online application- Fill the online application form and submit it with the required documents.
Step 4: Attend the visa interview- Attend the visa interview at the embassy or consulate at the designated time.
Step 5: Pay the visa fees.
Step 6:Wait for the visa processing– Your visa application will be examined by a visa officer or the home office in Germany. The waiting time can be between one to two months before you know the outcome of your application.
Features of the German Jobseeker Visa
- You do not require a job offer from a company in Germany to apply for this visa
- The validity of the visa is six months.
- If you can find a job in Germany during these six months, you can change the visa to a work permit.
- If you fail to find a job within these six months, you must leave Germany.
Germany implemented new immigration laws in March 2020, these were some of its implications on the jobseeker visa:
Non-requirement of formal education: With this change non- graduates with vocational or professional qualifications will be able to find work in Germany as long as they are able to speak German at the intermediate level.
German language requirement: The government here has come to realize that it is important for foreign workers to have at least an intermediate level knowledge of the German language.
This is because German employers are looking at hiring people who can speak German because local German businesses conduct their businesses in German unlike large multinational corporations who use English.
The skill requirements in Germany are in technical and vocational fields which cater to the local market. If foreign jobseekers want employment in these sectors, they need to know German at the intermediate level to succeed.
Keeping the eligibility requirements and the latest immigration rules, JSV applicants who have no knowledge of the German language are less likely to succeed. Applicants who are not graduates but are looking for vocational jobs still need to have the qualifications and experience to succeed.
Apart from this JSV applicants should have enough funds to sustain their stay in the country for six months and will not be able to immediately bring their family with them.