For the last couple of decades, Germany has been one of the most preferred countries for foreigners to seek employment, and there are several valid reasons behind this.

Firstly, the German government encourages skillful workers from all parts of the world to be employed in Germany and provides a wide range of career options. Secondly, the improvements in the German economy and immigration policies increase the living standards of the international community in the country. Lastly, Germany’s geographical position at the center of Europe makes it advantageous for foreigners to travel all over Europe conveniently.

In this article, you will be introduced to the types of work visas for Germany and the necessary steps to take to obtain your work permit. Read more and take your notes to learn the tips for getting a work visa for Germany.

What are the Types of Working Visa in Germany?

The type of work visa you need to apply for depends on the type of job you’re seeking or have already been hired. Below, you can find the types of working visas in Germany.

Work visa for qualified professionals

Foreign nationals whose academic and professional qualifications can be recognized in Germany can apply for a work visa for qualified professionals. Moreover, the job offer you receive from a German employer must match your qualifications; otherwise, you need to receive a license to perform in the chosen profession.

Visa for IT professionals

Qualified and experienced IT professionals can obtain a work permit to work in Germany so long as they have a specific job offer in the IT sector.

EU Blue Card

EU Blue Card is an advantageous type of work visa that highly skilled workers are eligible to obtain. Applicants must have a specific job offer with certain criteria, and only limited occupations are considered for this type of work visa.

Visa for jobseekers

Job seekers in Germany can temporarily stay in the country with a jobseeker visa to seek employment.

Visa for the recognition of foreign qualifications

The recognition visa allows applicants without full recognition of their qualifications to stay in Germany and complete the process.

Visa for vocational training

A vocational training visa allows applicants who wish to complete their professional training in Germany.

Who Needs to Apply for a Work Visa for Germany?

EU/EEA country or Switzerland citizens can work in Germany by requesting the issuance of a permanent residence card thanks to the freedom of movement in the EU. Additionally, citizens of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America may also obtain a residence permit once they’re in the country.

However, any third-country national, that is, an individual coming from non-EU/EEA countries or Switzerland, is required to apply for a German work visa to gain permission to enter the country. If you’re a third-country national, there are certain requirements you need to meet to be eligible for the type of work visa you need to get. Firstly, you need to have a particular work offer or contract proposal from a German employer. Secondly, you need to prove your qualifications for the job you’re hired for and receive their recognition by the authorities.

What Are the Necessary Documents to Submit for a German Work Visa?

One of the crucial factors when applying for a German work visa is to prepare the necessary documents with extra caution, as one missing or incorrect document may cause your application to fail. Below is a list of the general required documents to submit for a German work visa.

  • Proof of academic and professional qualifications recognized by and comparable to a German degree (e.g., university degree)
  • A valid and concrete work offer from a German employer
  • A valid passport and photo
  • Visa application form

Steps on Applying for a Germany Work Visa

Now, where and how should you start your German work visa application? Below, we state the necessary steps for applying for a work visa in Germany.

Step 1. Receive a job offer in Germany

To be able to start with your work visa application, you must look for a job in Germany that meets your qualifications and background. German Federal Employment Agency (BA) provides free-of-charge service for foreign nationals to look for a job and browse the demanding occupations in Germany.

Once you’re hired and your German employer initiates the contract proposal, you can start your application and provide the necessary documents.

Step 2. Prepare your documents

As for the next step, the set of required documents should be prepared along with the official job offer in Germany. It is critical to make sure you’re eligible to apply for a work visa and provide all the documents asked in the application. Moreover, please note that the original documents must be delivered as solid proof.

Step 3. Make an appointment at the German embassy

Now that you have received a job offer in Germany and prepared the mandatory documents, it’s time to start your application by making an appointment at the nearest German embassy in your current place of residence. To find the list of German embassies near your home country residence, you can visit the Federal Foreign Office.

When visiting the embassy for your appointment, you need to bring the required documents and the completed visa application form, which can be found online at the Federal Foreign Office.

Step 4. Pay for the visa application fee

To complete your work visa application, you need to pay the visa application fee, which is a fixed amount of EUR 75. The fee must be paid at the German embassy in which you made your appointment, and the fee can be paid in the local currency of your country, provided that it is the same amount in euros.

Step 5. Wait for your approval and apply for the residence permit once you arrive in Germany

Once your application is approved and you arrive in Germany, you need to register your home address in Germany at the Residents’ Registration Office and apply for the residence permit for skilled worker status. The fees for the residence permit can go up to EUR 100, depending on your circumstances.

Obtaining a German work visa involves some steps and procedures. Luckily, the German government provides options for foreign nationals with various academic and professional qualifications to obtain a work visa for the country. If you think it’s your turn to try, start by looking for a job in Germany in which you can show your utmost performance and prove your skills.


We hope that this article on how to apply for a work visa in Germany was helpful. The Germany Page has more resources if you’re interested in studying and working in Germany. You can also sample some of these Open Courses in Germany to explore your study options.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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