Employment in Germany
All persons who wish to seek gainful employment in Germany are required to obtain a residence permit in the form of a visa. Where needed, a work permit will be included in the visa issued for this purpose.
Visa Country List
Where and how to apply?
Citizens of the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the Republic of Korea, as well as EU citizens may apply for their residence permit for work purposes after entering Germany without a visa. Citizens of other countries are required to apply and obtain a visa for work purposes prior to entry (an option also open to US citizens) at the German Embassy in Washington, the Consulates in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York or San Francisco.
Click on the Consulate Finder below to find out where to submit your application and to learn about any specific application procedures. Due to local particularities handling and processing may vary slightly among the German missions involved.
Except for rare instances, you have to submit your application in person. Upon submission of all required documents the application will be forwarded to the Aliens' Office (Ausländeramt) competent for your intended place of residence in Germany. Applications take about 1-3 months to be processed.
After the application has been approved by the Aliens' Office and –if applicable- by the Work Office, the Embassy / Consulate will issue a residence permit in the form of a visa, which will include the authorization to work in Germany. No extra work permit has to be obtained in Germany.
Scientists holding a scholarship by a German scientific organization may be granted a visa within a few days by the Embassy or Consular Mission.
- two fully completed application forms (pdf file)and required declaration in duplicate
- two passport photographs (strict requirements, see details)
- valid national passport and two copies of the data page (Please note these important regulations concerning your travel document/passport:
(a) its validity has to extend the duration of the visa you are applying for by at least 3 months
(b) it has to contain at least two blank pages;
(c) it must have been issued within the previous 10 years. If it has been issued before that, your passport can not be accepted. That even even applies in cases where the validity has been extended by the authorities of your home country.
- additional for non-US citizens: original of valid US alien registration card or valid US resident visa (type A, E, F, G, H, I, J, L, O, R) and two copies thereof
- employment contract or letter of intent from your future employer in Germany and two copies thereof
- your driver's license and/or utility bill in your name as proof of residence in the consular district where you plan to apply
- Visa fee. Please note: In individual cases, you may be required to provide additional documents.
Please Note: Although the information on this website has been prepared with utmost care, we can not accept any responsibility for inaccuracies contained herein.