Work permit in Germany - a quick check

If you want to report for work as a foreigner in Germany, you might need a work permit. With our Work Permit Check you can get initial guidance on whether you as a foreign national need a work permit to be allowed to work in Germany and whether this work permit can be granted.

Your nationality is a determining factor for this question; for example, whether you are a European Union citizen or come from a non-EU state. Even so, for an interim period differences exist regarding the freedom of movement for citizens of the new member states within the EU. Also, for non-EU states there are different requirements for obtaining a work permit because of inter-state treaties and international contracts. Finally, differences result from the applicants' qualifications and especially the need for qualified personnel.

The Work Permit Check helps you to get an overview. In order to do so, you can use the following check list.

Nationality

Which nationality do you have?

I am ...
- a national of a EU member state,
- a national of Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway or Switzerland,
- a national of Andorra, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino or the USA,
- a national of another state.

EU-nationals

You are a national of a EU member state.

Which EU member state do you come from?

I am ...
- a national of Bulgaria or Romania
or
- a national of another EU member state.

This distinction will be necessary until the end of 2013 because special arrangements have been made regarding the new EU member states, insofar as they affect Bulgarian and Romanian nationals.

EU-nationality, not Bulgaria or Romania

You have the nationality of a EU member state, but not only the Bulgarian or Romanian nationality.

This means that you can enjoy the freedom of movement and therefore work in Germany without needing a work permit.

Bulgaria, Romania

You have the nationality of Bulgaria or Romania.

Here, multiple distinctions are necessary:

Do you want to perform unskilled work? (That is a job that does not require vocational training.)

Yes, I want to perform unskilled work.

No, I do not want to perform unskilled work.

Unskilled work

You are a Bulgarian or Romanian national and want to perform unskilled work as a job.

Do you want to perform unskilled work as a seasonal worker in agriculture and forestry or in the hotel and catering industry?
- Yes, I want to work as a seasonal worker in agriculture and forestry or in the hotel and catering industry.
- No, I do not want to work as a seasonal worker in agriculture and forestry or in the hotel and catering industry.

Result for YES: You are allowed to work in Germany without needing a work permit.

Result for NO: A work permit can principally not be granted for unskilled work. This is only possible in exceptional cases.

No unskilled work

You are a Bulgarian or Romanian national and do not want to perform unskilled work as a job in Germany.

Do you have a university degree?
Yes, I have a university degree.
No, I do not have a university degree.

Result for YES: You have a university degree: You can take up employment complying with your qualification without needing a work permit.

Result for NO: You do not have a university degree: A work permit can be granted to you on presentation of a specific employment contract.

Nationality: Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway or Switzerland

You have the nationality of Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway or Switzerland. You can work in Germany without needing a work permit.

Nationality: Andorra, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Monaco, San Marino or the USA

You have the nationality of Andorra, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Monaco, San Marino or the USA. A work permit can principally be granted to you.

Nationality: other non-EU states

You come from another non-EU state.

Do you have a university degree?
Yes, I have a university degree.
No, I do not have a university degree.

Nationals of non-EU states with a university degree

You come from another non-EU state and have a university degree

.

Do you have a place of employment where you earn at least 47.600 euros per year?
Yes, I earn at least 47.600 euros per year.
No, I earn less than 47.600 euros per year.

Result YES: If your income amounts to at least 47.600 euros per year, a work permit in the form of the EU blue card can be granted to you.

Income less than 47.600 euros

Your income amounts to less than 47.600 euros per year.

Do you have a university degree in a MINT profession (Mathematics / Informatics / Natural Sciences / Technology) or a medical profession and do you have a place of employment where you earn at least 37.128 euros per year?

- Yes, I have a university degree in a MINT or medical profession and I earn at least 37.128 euros per year. - No, I do not have a university degree in a MINT or medical profession; I earn less than 37.128 euros per year.

University degree in a MINT or medical profession

You have a university degree in a MINT or medical profession.

In this case a work permit in the form of the EU blue card can be granted to you, if the salary is customary for the area you are going to work in.

No university degree in a MINT or medical profession

You do not have a university degree in a MINT or medical profession; you earn less than 37.128 euros per year.

In this case the question is:
Did you get your university degree at a German university or a school diploma at a German school abroad?

Yes, I got my university degree at a German university or a school diploma at a German school abroad.
No, I did not get my university degree at a German university or a school diploma at a German school abroad.

German university or German school abroad

You are a national of another non-EU state with a university degree earning less than 37.128 euros per year, who does not have a university degree in a MINT or medical profession, but did get his/ her university degree at a German university or German school abroad.

Result: A work permit can be granted to you on presentation of a specific employment contract.

No German university or German school abroad

You belong to the group of nationals of other non-EU states with a university degree earning less than 37.128 euros per year, who do not have a university degree in a MINT or medical profession and who did not get their degree at a German university or German school abroad.

Result: A work permit can principally be granted to you, if the occupational activity is appropriate for a university degree.

Nationals of non-EU states without a university degree

You are a national of another non-EU state and do not have a university degree.

Have you completed vocational training in Germany?
Yes, I have completed vocational training in Germany.
No, I have not completed vocational training in Germany.

Vocational training in Germany

Result: If, as a national of another non-EU state, you do not have a university degree, but have completed vocational training in Germany, a work permit can be granted to you on presentation of a specific employment contract.

No vocational training in Germany

You are a national of another non-EU state and do not have a university degree; nor have you completed vocational training in Germany.

Are you a specialist in information and communication technology?
Yes, I am a specialist in information and communication technology.
No, I am not a specialist in information and communication technology.

Specialist in information and communication technology

Result: If, as a national from another non-EU state, you do not have a university degree, nor have you completed vocational training in Germany, but are a specialist in information and communication technology, a work permit can principally be granted to you.

No specialist in information and communication technology

As a national from another non-EU state you are not a specialist in information and communication technology.

Are you a skilled employee for nursing or care of the elderly?

Yes, I am a skilled employee for nursing or care of the elderly.
No, I am not a skilled employee for nursing or care oft the elderly.

Result YES: Being a skilled employee for nursing or care of the elderly, a work permit can only be granted to you if you are a Croatian national.

Result NO: If you are not a skilled employee for nursing or care oft the elderly, a work permit can principally not be granted to you. This is only possible in exceptional cases.

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