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.
Before submitting your visa application, please check here whether your foreign professional qualification needs to be recognized in Germany.
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. However, in cases where an employment is intended to begin directly after arrival in Germany, a visa (which includes the work permit) has to be issued in advance, since it is not possible to start working in Germany before having the obligatory work permit.
Citizens of other countries are required to apply and obtain a visa for work purposes prior to entry at the German Embassy in Washington, the Consulate Generals in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York or San Francisco.
All German Missions require that you schedule an appointment in order to apply for a visa. Appointments have to be booked via our free online appointment system.
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. Consulate Finder
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' Authority (Ausländerbehörde) 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' Authority and –if applicable- by the Work Office (Arbeitsagentur), the Embassy or Consulate General will issue a residence permit in the form of a visa, which will include the authorization to work in Germany. The Aliens' Authority requires all residence permit holders to register upon their first arrival. A final residence permit will be granted in German after arrival.
What do I need to fill out?
- Residence Permit Application Form PDF / 485 KB
- Declaration of Accuracy of Information PDF / 175 KB
- Visa Photo Examples PDF / 550 KB
- Visa Fees
- Information on Data Protection
Required Documents (Original + 2 copies of each document)
Please Note: Although the information on this website has been prepared with utmost care, we can not accept any responsibility for inaccuracies contained herein.