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Labor Market Germany, Talent Recruitment

3 Kinds of Work Visa in Germany and How to Get Them

For freelancers with a job offer or recently arrived jobseekers there is a need for a German work visa. But don’t worry, the application for your German work visa doesn’t have to be complicated. A move to a foreign country is never easy and you need to bear a lot of things in mind. Starting with accommodation, to an internet connection, a phone, finding new friends,…  However, the most difficult part is usually the application to get your German work visa. Germans love their rules and there is no legal grey area. In general, you’ll need to put together lots of documents for your visa application. And on top, there’s a chance that the person in charge of your case might ask for more information. So better bring enough copies of everything and if you have additional documents that might help, even better. For instance, a reference letter from your last employer or an extra copy of your resume, be proactive about this. All visa applications have one thing in common. They require a processing fee. The exact amount may vary based on visa type and where you apply. As a rule of thumb, 100€ in cash should suffice. Card payments are slowly becoming more common in Germany as well. Your central point of contact is the Ausländerbehörde or immigration office. In the beginning, check the website of the local immigration office in your city for the most recent information.

Obtaining a German work visa with a standing a job offer

Congrats to securing a job offer in Germany! This will simplify the process for you. Interviewing, finalizing an offer and signing a contract is more than half the work already. Still left on the to-do list: Visit the Kreisverwaltungsreferat, the German regional administration office, to approve your German work visa. In this case, we advise to bring along the following documents for your visa application:
  • A copy of your passport
  • A copy of your CV
  • Your diploma and university transcripts
  • Your employment contract from your employer
  • A completed form form your German work visa application. A quick look online or a friendly HR department will help with this. Bear in mind that a signature by your future employer is mandatory.
Once you got this out of the way, head online to make an appointment. Usually, slots fill up quickly and weeks or months in advance. Without an appointment you will need to pay the immigration office a visit and wait.

German work visa without a standing job offer

Unfortunately, not everybody moving to Germany will have secured a job beforehand. Luckily though, the Germans are aware of this and offer a certain type of German work visa for active jobseekers. This type of work visa is usually valid for up to 6 months. During this period you are allowed to apply to any vacant job in the country. Nevertheless, you still need to get a different type of German work visa once you received a job offer. To qualify this visa type, jobseekers need to meet following requirements:
  • Financial resources that cover your expenses in Germany
  • Bachelor’s degree from a university in Germany, or foreign equivalent
  • > 5 years of working experience in your field
  • Proof of health insurance
Anybody matching this profile can proceed with the visa application by providing the following:
  • A valid passport
  • 2 biometric passport photos
  • Your CV
  • Your university transcripts
  • A copy of your diploma
  • A cover letter laying out your ambitions in Germany. This should include your plan for finding a job in Germany, and an assessment of the worst case scenario
  • Any useful professional certificates
  • Proof of accommodation in Germany (e.g. rental agreement)
  • Personal documents regarding your status (e.g. birth certificate, marriage certificate,…)
Especially in medical professions (nurses, medical doctors, pharmacists) additional  documents may be required. But the shortage of skilled labor in this area should overall increase your chances of approval. We advise to prepare 2 copies of each document. Simply bring both sets with you to your interview at the immigration office. After approval, this type of German work visa grants you access to pursue all professional opportunities.

German work visa for freelancers

Many people decide to set their own schedule and work as freelancers. You can continue to do so when you move to Germany and there is a German work visa for you, too. Again, you’ll need to do the right paperwork and put together a visa application. You will need to provide a lot of documents here and each one is very important. Following the rules here will help your application to get proved. You will need the following:
  • A copy of your passport
  • Two recent biometric passport photographs
  • Your CV
  • Diplomas and transcripts from colleges and universities
  • Your visa application form
  • A cover letter including portfolio of your previous work and letters of intent from prospective clients
  • Recommendation letters from previous clients or employers
  • A business plan for your freelance work
  • Financial statements to prove your ability to cover your expenses
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Payment for your visa application fee (90 EUR)
Getting a German work visa includes some paperwork and touching base with administrative officials. They will be your primary points of contact. If you have any doubts, Universal Hires can streamline this process for you and guide you through with ease. Contact us in case you need support with your German visa application.

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Lisa Meier

Lisa Meier has more than ten years’ experience in providing strategic advice and legal guidance on international trade, administrative and legal matters to foreign companies, associations, and governments doing business in Germany. She advises companies in a broad range of industries on successfully navigating the German economic environment.

Lisa brings a wealth of knowledge to Universal Hires’ marketing and client success team. In her free time, Lisa spends time exploring the unique city-life of Berlin and all the diversity that the East of Germany have to offer.

About Universal Hires

Universal Hires is Germany’s leading staffing provider. With expertise in recruitment and employer of record services, the company levarges its market entry support.

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