Germany is one of the best countries to live and work according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Germany also ranks among the best 10 countries where skilled and unskilled workers can easily get a job.
The country is known as the land of invention and innovation due to the presence of multinational companies and corporate firms, thus, offering many job opportunities to non-Germans.
If you have plans to travel to Germany in search of greener pasture, you will need a work permit. The permit will enable you to work for up to two years with a possibility of an extension.
Obtaining this permit is not that difficult as most people think, if you have the right information. In this article, we’ll walk you through the different types of work permits and how to apply for one.
If you are from Switzerland or from any of the countries within the European Union EU), you don’t need a work permit to work in Germany. All you need is a passport for resident registration, and you are good to go. Sweet deal right?
However, if you are a non-EU national, you need a visa before you step into German soil.
When applying for the visa, ensure you apply for the correct one as a short-stay visa would not be converted to a long-stay once the visa has been awarded. In fact, you must provide proof that a German-based company or institution has offered you a job or admission.
Types of Work Permits in Germany
There are three different types of German work permit. The basis which these permits are awarded varies.
1). EU Blue Card
EU Blue Card is the second type of German work permit. It is much like the temporary residence permit but targeted towards highly skilled professionals. It is usually awarded for a longer period.
To be qualified for this type of work permit, you must possess a higher education degree; say a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Secondly, you must apply to roles that match your qualification. If you are a skilled professional in Engineering, IT or Mathematics, you stand a better chance of been award the EU Blue Card.
As an expert in Germany, you can earn up to €50,800 in a year.
The duration of the EU Blue Card is four years and you may bring your spouse along with you.
2). Temporary Residence Permit
A temporary residence permit is a type of permit that will allow you to stay on German soil for up to a year. If there is no major change to your situation and you can still fulfill the requirements, you would be allowed to extend the permit after a year.
The temporary residence permit is usually awarded on a specific purpose basis.
Below are the three different types of temporary residence permit:
The second type of temporary residence permit is the study permit. Here, an institution based in Germany must have offered you admission before a study permit would be awarded to you. The duration of the permit will correspond to the duration of the course you intend studying. As an international student, if you want to make money, you can take up a part-time job for up to 20 hours in a semester. Once you complete your academic program, you can extend the study permit by 18 months to enable you to search for a job.
The duration of an employment-based temporary residence permit is usually aligned with the duration of your contract. For example, if a German company has contracted you for a 2-year job, after the 2 years, you are expected to return back to your country, except the company applies for an extension of the permit on your behalf.
You can live and work on German soil if you are married to a German citizen or someone that has a permanent residency card. After 3 years of your stay, you would be qualified to apply for your own permanent resident card. However, you will need a B1-level German to apply for a permanent resident card.
3). German Permanent Residence / Settlement Permit
The last type of work permit in Germany is the German Permanent Residence or Settlement Permit. You need this type of work permit if you want to stay more than 4 years in the country. You can apply to obtain the Settlement permit if you have worked in Germany for up to 5 years, plus, you must show evidence of tax payments.
Possession of the temporary permit or the EU Blue card also qualifies you to apply for the German Permanent Residence permit. In addition, you will also need to pass a test that would be administered by the Immigration department of the German government.
Once you are awarded this permit, your spouse and children can visit Germany any time they wish.
How To Apply for any of the Work Permits?
The following is a step-by-step approach to applying for any of the above work permits:
- Get a job in the country
- Find out from your employers if you need a permit to stay longer
- Find out the German consular office in your country
- Arrange all the required documents according to the instructions
- Prepare for the visa interview
- Pay the necessary Work Permit fee
- Attend the interview and wait for their response
Required Documents to be awarded a Work Permit
The following are the required documents for you to be awarded a German work permit:
- A valid international passport
- Two passport photographs
- Two completed application forms
- Proof of residence: Here you can use your driver’s license or a utility bill
- Health insurance: The health insurance would be issued by the German employer and it must be valid from the date of the employment.
- An employment letter: The employment letter should clearly state the duration of the contract and the wages to be paid
- Copies of your academic certificates
- Proof of the work permits payment
- Proof of a clean criminal record
- Federal Employment Agency’s approval (if applicable)
- Your updated CV clearly showing your academic qualifications and work history
- A cover letter detailing your purpose and duration of stay
- Declaration of Accuracy of Information
There you have it! Before you board a flight going to Germany, ensure you apply for the appropriate work permit to avoid troubles with German Immigration Department. Good luck to you.