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German Employment Visas and Visas for Temporary Work Assignments

Citizens of non-EU countries need a visa to enter Germany for employment

As a rule, citizens of non-EU countries must apply for and receive an employment visa before coming to Germany to work. After having entered Germany with an employment visa, such employees may begin working immediately. However, they must also apply for a residence/work permit with the local German foreigners authority.

Citizens of select non-EU countries may enter Germany without a visa and apply for a residence/work permit after entry

There is an exception to the general visa requirement for citizens of certain “favored countries,” including the United States, Australia and Japan. Citizens of these favored countries need no visa to enter Germany for employment purposes. Instead, after entering Germany visa-free, citizens of these countries are permitted to apply to the local German foreigners authority for a residence/work permit. However, citizens of favored countries who have entered without a visa may only begin working after receiving an approved and valid residence/work permit.

Nature of the intended employment affects visa eligibility

Germany also regulates the type of work that foreign citizens may perform. Again, however, there is an exception to the general rule. Citizens of certain countries, including the United States, Australia and Japan, may perform any kind of work in Germany.

Furthermore, depending on the individual circumstances, the German Labor Department may have to approve the intended employment. It is therefore important that, prior to applying for a residence/work permit, a careful review is conducted to determine if it will be possible to obtain a residence/work permit for the intended employment.

Your attorney for German employment visas for high-wage jobs

Your German immigration attorney for all matters related to German employment visas in the high-wage sector, residence permits and Blue Cards is Attorney Thomas Schwab. He has helped numerous business clients obtain the necessary visas and residence permits and set up their businesses in Germany. You can reach him via e-mail ( or by phone (+49 69 76 75 77 80).




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