So it’s off to Germany

The German labor market needs international professionals.

As a professional from the EU or an EFTA state, the freedom of movement for workers allows you to work in Germany. You do not require a residence permit or an employment permit. As a professional from a third country, you need these to be able to work in Germany. However, Germany has extended the opportunities for third-country nationals who want to work here, too.

1. Finding a job

To begin with, there is a job available in Germany. This applies to third-country nationals in particular, as having an employment contract or a concrete job offer is a prerequisite for your application for a residence permit.

Employland makes it particularly easy for you to find work in Germany because you, the professional, are our focal point. You publish an expressive profile and employers in Germany then apply to you - no need for tedious job searches, no need for countless applications.

We give you valuable tips on how to create a profile that stands out from the crowd and we also lend a hand when it comes to legal matters.

Register now for free.

2. Interview: Request visa (for third-country nationals)

Before employers hire you, they usually prefer to get to know you personally: They invite you to an interview, and generally also pay for travel costs.

Now you need a visa for finding work in Germany. Request it at the agency abroad (German embassy/consulate) in your country of origin.

The visa for finding work allows you to apply for a residence permit and employment permit directly from Germany later on. This is not possible with a tourist visa. In this case you would have to leave the country again before you can apply for a residence permit and an employment permit.

Exception: As a citizen of the EU/EFTA or a third country according to § 41 (1) of the Residence Regulation (AufenthV), you can enter without a visa.

3. Requesting recognition of qualifications

Do you really have to have your qualifications recognized? Yes - if you want to practice a regulated profession in Germany and you did not complete your training in Germany. No - if you want to practice a non-regulated profession.

Regulated professions in Germany include, for example, medical professions or legal professions, and also teaching professions in state schools. For so-called “sectoral” professions, whose qualification was obtained in the EU/EFTA, an automatic recognition is possible.

Everything is much easier for you with Employland: The employer that wishes to hire you usually tasks us with supporting you in securing the letter of recognition and also assumes the costs for this.

However, you can also request the recognition yourself from your country of origin. Your future job location dictates which certification authority is responsible for you. For information about how exactly you should proceed, read here.

4. Requesting residence permit and employment permit (for third-country nationals)

An employer would like to hire you - congratulations!

Employland, on behalf of your employer, also usually takes care of securing a residence permit and employment permit in the quickest way possible.

If you request the document yourself, you should now contact the German agency abroad that you are already familiar with. If you enter Germany with the visa for finding work, then you request the residence permit from the Aliens Authority in your German place of residence.

Your qualification and your profession, among other things, determine which residence permit is relevant for you.

Irrespective of your qualification, you can receive a residence permit if you are a member of a state according to § 26 (1) of the Employment Regulation (BeschV).

5. Searching for temporary accommodation

Exciting times ahead: Your life in Germany is getting ever closer; so you will need accommodation for the initial period after you arrive. (Finding permanent accommodation can take several weeks). More affordable options than a hotel include, for example, boardinghouses or hotel apartments, or an apartment or a room for temporary rent. Speak with your employer and ask them whether they can assist in finding initial accommodation for you.

For more information about temporary accommodation, refer to our blog.

6. Finding accommodation

Finding accommodation requires plenty of patience, especially if your new place of residence is in a large city. The easiest solution is to search for a permanent place of residence from your temporary accommodation in Germany. If you have relatives in your target location, it may make sense to spend the weekends there a few weeks before you start your new job, so that you can schedule appointments to view apartments, etc.

Also read our Tips for finding accommodation to ensure that you can move from your initial accommodation into your new home as quickly as possible.

7. Moving in: Registering residence, electricity, water, Internet

When you move into your new accommodation, be aware of the compulsory registration: Within a week after moving in, you have to register your place of residence with the registration office. Some municipalities have a deadline of two weeks. You should also try to have your electricity provider, Internet access and water supply (if necessary) taken care of in good time. For more information about the important steps involved in moving in, read here.

8. Taking out health insurance

Everyone who works in Germany must take out health insurance; this is prescribed by law. Choose a health insurance company that you would like to be insured with and communicate this information to your employer. You share the contribution costs with your employer, who deducts your share from your salary and transfers it to the health fund.

One health insurance provider in Germany with experience insuring foreign employees and providing consultations in various languages is DAK.

9. Requesting a social security number

The social insurance is mandatory in Germany. Your employer deducts the contributions from your salary and pays this into the social insurance for you. They need your social security number to do this. You do not usually have to do much to get this number. Your employer registers your employment with your desired health insurance company. The health insurance company forwards this information to the German pension fund, which then sends you your social security number by mail.

If this is not the case and you do not receive your number, then you have to apply to the pension fund for a social security number in writing. This requires a certified copy of your identification and proof of your employment contract.

10. Opening an account

A checking account is the most important bank account you will have in Germany. Payment transactions, including your salary payment, take place here. To open a checking account, you need your identification or passport. Proof of German residence (registration certificate) is also sometimes requested. You can go to a branch of your chosen bank and complete the applications for the account together with a bank clerk, or you can open an account online from the comfort of your home. For more details, read here.