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Germany Visas

Germany Visas

Germany Immigration & work visas

  • Germany Immigration

With the largest economy in Europe, and often at the head of digital developments in industry, Germany consistently suffers a shortage of IT staff. The German Federal Association for Information Technology (Bitkom) found in early 2016 that around 60% of German businesses are short of IT staff; a total of 43,000 unfilled vacancies. Software specialists in fields such as cloud computing, data analytics, and app development are in particular demand.
Germany and the UK together account for half of Europe’s IT industry, and IT staff are among the largest beneficiaries of the 75,000 work permits (formerly called green cards) issued each year by each of these countries.

Immigration guide to Germany

Our detailed immigration guide to Germany provides information on everything from how to apply for a residence permit, to options for entrepreneurs, students, and families wishing to migrate to Germany. If you are a German employer or agent you may wish to consult this guide as well. Alternatively, feel free to contact us using the details below.

Email: info@uscispassportsvisa.com

Further Information, help, and advice

www.uscispassportsvisa.com has over 32 years of experience helping people immigrate to countries all over the World. Whether you wish to visit, work, study, or hire workers in Germany our specialist team of immigration experts & Lawyers will help you with one to one advice, information, and representation when applying for your German visa or work permit.
For more information and advice on German immigration law and visa applications please contact us on info@uscispassportsvisa.com

  • Immigration guide to Germany

Our detailed immigration guide to Germany provides information on everything from how to apply for a residence permit, to options for entrepreneurs, students, and families wishing to migrate to Germany. If you are a German employer or agent you may wish to consult this guide as well. Alternatively, feel free to contact us using the details below.

Individuals, Employers, agents, workers, entrepreneurs, and students with inquiries for our services or hiring a lawyer for your visa should contact us on info@uscispassportsvisa.com  for processing.

Sections

The Germany immigration guide is split into the following sections:

  1. Introduction to immigration to Germany
  2. Basic requirements
  3. Entrepreneur visa
  4. Children and spouses
  5. Germany van der Elst visas
  6. How to apply for permanent residence
  7. Studying in Germany
  8. Working Holiday Makers

 

  1. Introduction to immigration to Germany

From 2005 Germany has been making a greater attempt to encourage highly skilled workers to move to Germany. While low skilled workers will still find it difficult to gain permission to work in Germany, rules for highly skilled workers have been relaxed. The professions most in need are IT professionals, natural scientists (biologists, chemists, physicists) engineers, professors, and scientific personnel in high technology areas. Because of the great difficulty of obtaining work permission for unskilled workers, we only cover the procedure for skilled workers.

The German Immigration Act, which came into force on 01 January 2005, provides for highly qualified persons to be granted permanent residence and permission to work from the outset, rather than five-year work permits as was previously the case. They must have a concrete job offer and get permission from the German Employment Agency. The law also makes an attempt to reduce bureaucracy. Most applicants must report to the German embassy in their home country to apply for and receive work and residency permission.

Family

Under the 2005 act, family members who enter Germany with highly skilled workers who have obtained a visa, or family members who join them later in Germany, can obtain the right to work in Germany as well, making it easier for families to decide to move to Germany.

Students

Foreign graduates of German universities have a 18 months to look for a job if they wish to stay in the country, while degree holders from outside of Germany may enter for up to 6 months on a Jobseeker’s Visa to look for work. According to a 2015 study from Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees approximately 54% of foreign students choose to stay and work in Germany after they graduate. Many degree courses in Germany are taught in English, and thousands of vacancies in fields from IT to scientific research exist in Germany for English speakers.

Self-employment

Options for self-employment in Germany include the Entrepreneur Visa, which allows migrants with a viable business plan and significant capital to establish a new business in Germany. There is no fixed investment requirement for this visa, but a minimum of EUR 250,000 is usually recommended.

Schengen visas

It should also be noted that Germany is a member of the Schengen Agreement. With a Schengen Visa, you can enter one Schengen country and travel to other Schengen visa countries freely. For more information please see our dedicated Schengen visa page.

  1. German Working (Employment) Visa Requirements

To qualify as for a German work permit, the basic requirements for the employee and the German company are as follows:

  • The potential employee has to be employed on equal terms as a German employee.
  • German or other European nationals are not available to fill the position.
  • Usually the employee must have a university degree or comparable qualification. For some positions there are special requirements.
  • The German company must be registered at the Labor Authorities in Germany and apply for a Corporate Registration Number.
  1. Entrepreneur visa

Ernst & Young asked 500 businessmen worldwide to list the most sought-after investment locations. In their survey, Germany was number one in Europe and ranked third overall, trailing only behind China and the USA.

This type of visa is issued on the basis that:

  • There is a demand for your services in Germany.
  • The business is judged to be likely to have a positive impact the German economy.
  • You have sufficient funds to set up the business. There is no fixed sum for this requirement, but a minimum of EUR 250,000 is usually recommended.

Some advantages:

  • You have the same rights as German citizens, whatever type of company you are establishing.
  • You do not need a German associate or guarantor.
  • After the business has been established for three years, you and your family may receive unlimited residence permits. These will allow you to enter Germany any time you wish.
  1. Children and spouses

Certain individuals are able to work freely without having to apply for a work permit. This includes foreigners married to a German citizen who resides in Germany.

In general, spouses are given the same rights as the spouse already in Germany. Therefore, if the spouse in Germany has the right to work, the spouse who comes to join him or her will also have that right.

Children have the right to join their parents in Germany until they are 16 if both parents (and the parent who has custody of the children) have a residence permit. Minors over the age of 16 also have the right to join their parents in Germany if they speak German or if the authorities believe that the child will be able to integrate in Germany. The same applies if the child moves to Germany together with its parents or the parent having the right of custody, and either parents (or the parent having the right of custody) possess a residence permit.

In Germany same-sex couples can form a partnership or civil union similar to marriage. The foreign partners in this type of relationship also have the same basic rights as those of married spouses.

  1. Germany van der Elst visas

There is a ruling from the European court relating to the right of a European Economic Area company to provide its services across the EEA without the need for obtaining additional work permits. This is known as the ‘van der Elst’ ruling, and visas issued further to the ruling are often called van der Elst Visas.

Some EEA countries have disregarded this ruling; Germany, however has acknowledged and accepted it.

The effect of the ruling is that any non-EEA employees who have been in the EEA in the employ of the service provider for more than 12 months need not obtain additional work permits; they only need to apply for a van der Elst visa.

Uscispassportvisa.com is happy to assist with applications for van der Elst visas for Germany. Such applications are made to the German Embassy in the candidate’s country of residence, and need to be supported by a copy of the service provider’s contract with its client in Germany. For more information or help with a van der Elst application please contact us.

  1. How to apply for permanent residence

In order to work in Germany prospective migrants need only obtain a German residence permit, which gives them the right to work and live in the country, rather than separate residence and work permits. Citizens of the US, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and some other countries may apply for their residence and work permit while remaining in Germany as visitors. Citizens of these countries, however, are not allowed to work in Germany until after their work and residence permit application is approved.

Citizens of most other countries are required to apply for and obtain a residence and work permit prior to entering Germany at their German embassy or consulate.

The application procedure is as follows:

Stage 1: The residence permits application (which also provides access to the labor market) for the candidate is received by the German embassy in the country where the candidate lives.

Stage 2: The Embassy passes the application to the immigration office (the Auslaenderbehoerde) in the place where the job is to take place for initial approval. The immigration office, in cooperation with the local employment office (the Arbeitsamt) that issues the permission, makes its decision.

Stage 3: If the candidate’s application has been approved, the Embassy provides an entry visa to the candidate.

Stage 4: Upon arriving in Germany, the foreign national and any accompanying family members must apply for their work and residence permits at the local foreigner’s authority.

  1. Studying in Germany

With low tuition fees and internationally recognized Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees now established, Germany is an attractive place of study for foreign students. A student may stay for a maximum of nine months. Foreign students are allowed to work, however, they need to have very good language skills in German and can work for up to 90 days each year, or 180 half days. Foreign students may work in Germany for up 18 months after graduating; however the job must be related to their field of study.

The process is the following:

  1. If you plan to study in Germany, the first step is to gain admission to a German university. During this time prospective students can apply for a Student Applicant Visa which allows them to enter Germany in order to take admissions tests and fulfill other requirements for their university application. This visa is issued for an initial period of 3 months, but can be extended.
  2. Once they have been accepted onto a course at German university students then submit an application for a student visa to the German Embassy in their home country. You must also submit verification from your university that you have been accepted.
  3. The German Embassy will then forward the visa application for an opinion to the foreigners’ authority in the town of the university.
  4. The German Embassy will issue the visa for entry once the foreigners’ authority has given its approval.

 

  1. Working Holiday Makers

Germany has concluded bilateral agreements on working holiday visas with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan. The programme gives young people between 18 and 30 the opportunity to gain insight into the culture and daily life in Germany. They can stay up to 12 months. Holiday jobs can be taken on to help finance the trip, but each job cannot last for more than 90 days. Please note that working holiday visas should be applied for well in advance of the trip.

NB: We process working holiday makers’ visas within 5 business days, Contact us for process.

Further Information, help, and advice

Uscispassportvisa.com has over 32 years of experience helping people immigrate to countries all over the World. Whether you wish to visit, work, study, or hire workers in Germany our specialist team of immigration experts & Lawyers will help you with one to one advice, information, and representation when applying for your German visa or work permit.
For more information and advice on German immigration law and visa applications please contact us on info@uscispassportsvisa.com

                
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