Work visa in Germany

visa trabajo alemania

If you already have an employment contract with a German company, congratulations, you’ve made it through the hardest part, but you still can’t relax. Unfortunately, there are still several steps to climb to establish yourself in the European country.

The visa will be indispensable to enter Germany and settle there legally while you obtain the residence permit, since it proves that your motivation to stay is the same as when you entered the country and that your intention is not to stay illegally.

Requirements for work visa in Germany

  • Be a “highly skilled” worker.
  • Binding job offer or employment contract.
  • Duly certified academic degrees.
  • Original certification issued by the Central Placement Office of the Federal Employment Agency (ZAV) processed by the hiring company. (Optional)
  • Passport valid for at least 6 months after the time for which the visa is requested.
  • Resume translated into German with emphasis on your work experience and academic qualifications.
  • Certificate of criminal record.
  • Proof of identity and residence.
  • Medical insurance not less than 90 days and coverage not less than €000.
  • Duly completed national visa application form and residence permit application form.
  • Proof of payment of the corresponding fee.

Who are highly skilled workers?

These are professionals with higher education, the minimum being a university degree or 2 years of professional training.

Is this all?

In addition to gathering the above documentation, you must request an appointment and attend an interview whose main objective is to verify your identity and your language skills (at least B1, except for health professionals, who require B2).

Additionally, you must take into account that, for the granting of the visa, it is necessary the approval of the German Employment Agency, which will check if it is a job that is in demand in the country and if the prioritization of the offer to Germans and members of the EU has been complied with. Therefore, if you have the certification issued by the Central Placement Office of the Federal Employment Agency (ZAV), you can skip this phase of your visa review and therefore speed up your application process.

Benefits Work Visa

  • Obtain a temporary residence permit.
  • Working legally in Germany.
  • After 5 years contributing to social security, opt for an indefinite residence permit.


The current application fee is €75.


The application process takes 10 to 12 weeks.

Can I enter as a tourist?

If you enter as a tourist and want to start working in Germany, you will have to leave the country while you are completing your visa process and re-enter. All this because you need the visa to be able to apply for the residence permit, which is the one that will finally allow you to stay legally in the country for long stays.

In any case, it is always best to be honest about the reason for your trip while you can. For this purpose, it is very useful to have a work search visa, which allows you to enter the country without having an employment contract and to obtain a residence permit for work without leaving the country.

Work residence permit in Germany

Once in Germany, you will need to exchange your work visa for a temporary residence permit, which will allow you to stay for longer stays (more than 3 months) in the country.

Step by step

  1. Go to your local Einwohnermeldeamt (registration office), register and apply for the form for the residence permit for work purposes.
  2. Request an appointment on the website of your local Ausländerbehörde (immigration office) for a residence permit for work.
  3. Go to your appointment with:
  • Passport with visa.
  • Two passport-size photographs.
  • Copy of the civil registry of birth.
  • Copy of the civil registry of marriage (if applicable).
  • Proof that you have health insurance.
  • Residency registration obtained in the
  • Proof of financial support.
  • Proof of residency.
  • Employment contract.
  • Completed residency application form.
  • Completed work permit application form.
  • Criminal record certificate (just in case).