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Working in Germany

  • The offices of the German Consulate General and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany typically oversee work visa requests, according to area of origin. Available work visas programs to Germany differ by country of origin. Workers from Schengen Agreement countries need only a passport to gain entry to Germany. Workers from countries not involved in the Schengen Agreement must obtain a work permit as well as a residence permit to work in Germany.

    Germany operates a working holiday exchange program with Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Workers between the ages of 18 and 30, in most cases, may gain approval through this exchange program to work while visiting Germany on holiday. Workers must maintain a valid passport from the country of origin, and the passport may not expire during the stay in Germany. Working holiday visa applicants must maintain funds to live in Germany as well as a return ticket or money to purchase a return ticket.

    Many visa services incur fees. Germany accepts only cash or postal orders as payment for visa services. Fees for residence permits differ from working visa fees. Children incur a prorated fee. German Consulate General offices do not accept credit cards or personal checks as acceptable methods of payment.

    German government officials check to ensure all applicants meet the requirements to obtain a work visa. The travel and immigration officials will grant access to Germany only if an applicant meets every requirement, including a clean criminal record, necessary funds, and appropriate paperwork. Germany reserves the right to deny any applicant admittance to the country. A work visa approval does not guarantee work in Germany. German employers must demonstrate an inability to fill available jobs with German nationals before offering work to travelers.

    In addition to the ability to apply for visas in person, applicants may also file the necessary work permit paperwork online. Only applicants interested in application by post may use online services. Processing times for applications submitted electronically may take longer than traditional methods. Applicants must obtain a residence permit to live and work in Germany.

    Workers seeking permanent residence may file for citizenship in order to extend work stays. The German naturalization process grants newly appointed citizens all rights and responsibilities of full citizens of Germany. Applicants must possess a 10-year passport in order to claim permanent residency. Additional requirements for naturalization reside online.

    Contact the local offices of the German Consulate General or the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany to discover more information about obtaining a working holiday visas to Germany. A link to the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany – London is provided as an example.

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