Immigration to Germany: Important Information One Must Know


In a stark contrast to some other European nations, Germany supports immigration of skilled workers and since 2005, it has made permanent residency application to all highly-skilled workers rather than offering them a five-year initial visa as was the case previously. In fact, The German Immigration Act, the supervisory rule of law was changed in 2005 to address the talent shortage of highly skilled workers, the ones who are in IT or in scientific research, in the sprawling nation.

Family Members of German residents having a visa and skilled highly enough can apply for work permit legally. This is applicable to close family members who later want to join their families in Germany, too.

Foreign graduate students passing from a German university can stay 18 months in the country after their graduation. Students having degrees considered valid from universities out of Germany can stay up to 6 months on a Jobseeker’s Visa.

Businessmen who could invest roughly about EUR 250,000 and create job opportunities through their initiatives can also apply for permanent settlement visas in Germany.

Additionally, Germany being a member of the Schengen Agreement, people having a Schengen Visa can stay and roam in Germany freely. However, this is applicable to countries that are a member of this agreement.

The Entrepreneur Visa

The Entrepreneur Visa is granted to people the experience and services of who is in high demand in Germany. If your investment can create a positive impact on the German economy, or you have sufficient funds (a minimum of EUR 250,000) to establish a business, then there are very good chances of obtaining an entrepreneur visa.

The Entrepreneur Visa holders have equal rights as any other German citizens. No German associate or guarantor has to be named or proved to get this visa. There is a gestation period of three years after establishing the business in Germany, and once the business is established for these three years, the founder can get unlimited residence permits allowing him/her to stay or enter in Germany anytime wished.

Visa for Spouses and Children

People who marry German citizens get equal rights as that of the permanent citizen whom he/she has married, meaning that if the spouse is permitted to work, the foreign national who married him/her could also stay and work in the country.

Children below the age of 16 can go to stay in Germany if both parents (and the parent having custody of the children) have a permanent residence permit. 16+ minors can also join their parents in Germany provided they speak German. This is also applicable to children moving into Germany whose both parents or a parent having the custody have permanent residency in the country.

The same-sex community has same rights as those of straight individuals in Germany and they are treated similarly to married couples in Germany.

Germany van der Elst Visas

The ‘van der Elst’ ruling states that a European Economic Area (EEA) company does not need to obtain additional work permits in Europe. While many EEA countries do not allow this ruling to be effective; Germany does accept it.

Additionally, any non-EEA employee residing in the EEA under an employer or service provider for more than 12 months need not obtain additional work permits provided they apply for the ‘van der Elst visas.

Permanent Residence in Germany

To stay and work in Germany, separate residence and work visas are not required. The employees should only apply for resident visas and they are automatically granted work permits for working in the country.

Legal residents of the US, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and other designated nations mentioned in the 2005 immigration Act can apply for their residence and work permit while being visitors in Germany. Residents of other countries must apply to the German Embassy or Consulate before entering Germany.

The Application Procedure for Immigration to Germany

Stage 1: The potential immigrant must fill up the residence permit application providing access to the labor market as well. It should be received by the German embassy in the home country of the probable immigrant.

Stage 2: The Embassy send this application to the immigration office known as the Auslaenderbehoerde in the location of a job for the potential immigrant. The immigration office now checks the application along with the employment office called the Arbeitsamt of the selected location by the potential immigrant and makes a decision.

Stage 3: Once the application is approved, the Embassy offers an entry visa to the candidate.

Stage 4: The immigrant and their family members can apply for work and residence permits after arrival in the country at the local foreign national authority.

The Student Applicant Visa

1. The basic requirement for student applicant visa is to gain admission to a German university. Student Applicant Visas allow prospective students to enter Germany to take admissions tests and go through numerous other requirements related to the university application process. Preliminary student application visas are granted for 3 months, but these can be extended in case of a valid and applicable requirement.

2. Students can apply for student visas to the German Embassy in their own country once they are accepted onto a course at a German university. The verification certificate offered by a registered and valid German university must also be attached to the application.

3. The German Embassy will then take an opinion to the foreigners’ authority in the given town or city of the university.

4. If the foreigners’ authority approved the application, the German Embassy will issue the visa for entry into Germany.

Holidaymakers who wish to Work in Germany

German working holiday visas are offered to young people between 18 and 30 from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan. These visa holders can stay up to 12 months in Germany and seek holiday jobs lasting not more than 90 days to get help to finance the trip. Working holiday visas can be obtained via the local German Embassy.