Visa Guide: Germany

Tech, job, and lifestyle-wise, Germany and it’s incredibly unique cities are hot for opportunity. German companies are seeking your skills and want to help you get in. There’s a huge demand for tech talent across a variety of industries and companies of all sizes. The consistent high growth and low unemployment make this the perfect country to land a job in Europe. Berlin’s booming startup scene is promising and might be the career change you’ve been dreaming of. The progressive lifestyle and diverse culture Germany provides is drawing young talent from all over the globe.

A German company on your resume and an opportunity to make a great salary in a beautiful new city isn’t too bad of a deal.

If you’re thinking about making a big move, we’re here to help you out in starting the process.

Here’s what to know about Germany’s visa process:

You’re in luck! Germany has some of the best government supported programs for granting foreign talent visas. There are some wonderful options available.

1. Job Seeker Visas

This one is pretty interesting and allows you some flexibility once you actually get over there to figure out exactly what you want. This visa is technically a ‘Long Term Residency’ visa that grants you six months to look for a job. Once you’ve found a job, you’ll be granted a German work visa or permit to settle in. You cannot actually begin your job, however, you will need to secure your German work visa to start work. This visa does require education and experience, so this is best for a young professional ready for a bigger step in their career.  

You will have your appointment and get your decision from your closest German embassy. Here’s how to find the closest one to you.

2. German Working Visa:

Congrats! You’ve found a job in Germany. If not, search for one here. You can apply for this visa while you’re already in Germany on a visiting or job seeker visa if you’re from the EU, the USA, Australia, Canada, South Korea, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland. If you’re from somewhere else, you must apply for a working visa with a job offer while in your home country to get permanent status.

Luckily, there’s actually 3 ways you can do this for different permits:

1. Be a general employee: This one is based on the needs of the government and you need official vocational qualification. You will need a solid job offer in a qualified field.

You’ll need to submit two copies of:

2. Be a specialist: This program is meant to attract highly qualified professionals to Germany. You need to be either a graduated specialist or someone with extensive experience in your field with a job offer above 86,000 euros per year. Professors with extensive careers also qualify.

You’ll need two copies of:

3. Be Self-Employed: If you plan on doing your own thing, Germany welcomes you as long as you can prove business viability and an economic benefit to Germany. And handle your own capital. If you can, you have 3 years to make it work and your stay may be indefinitely extended based on your success.

You must prove you:

  • Have relevant business experience
  • Can financially fund the project through a bank loan or your own means

3. Internship Visas:

If you can find an internship with a German company, you’re in! All you need to do is get letter confirmation and send in the following documentation. You will be granted residency for the duration of your internship and if you’re offered a full-time position, you may then apply for a work residency visa.

This will only take 3 weeks and cost about 60 euros!

Germany’s visa system is relatively simple, quick, and open compared to other nations in Europe. And the job market is booming for English speakers. If you’re looking to build on your career with international experience or beef up your resume post graduation, look for a job or internship in one of Germany’s many growing tech hubs.

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