Immigration. Travel. Living.

How to obtain a work visa to Germany in 2021 – Full guide

A work visa does not authorize work and is not a substitute for a contract with an employer. It allows you to enter the country for employment.

Types and features of German work visas

There are some changes to German legislation In 2020. It has come into force aimed at attracting labor from non-EU countries. The FRG government has come to the opinion that more people are needed to develop the economy. The main feature of the new law is the abolition of checking for the fact of unemployment in a particular profession. Before, the work visa to Germany was available for workers with higher education only. Now, it is enough to have a diploma from a technical school or college. The only requirement is knowledge of the German language.

In total, there are several types of German work visas:

  • EU Blue Card. Allows you to work in all European countries. Requirements – graduation from the university, the presence of an employment contract with the employing company, and the lower salary threshold from 39,600 € (for IT specialists, mathematicians, and representatives of the engineering field) and 50,800 € for other applicants. 
  • Permanent residence for valuable personnel. The condition applies to scientists known for their work, researchers, professors.
  • Permission for highly qualified specialists. Obtaining such a work visa to Germany is possible if you have the appropriate skills and a salary of 86,400 € annually.
  • General employment. The most demanded type of German work permit. There are no strict requirements for education and specialty. Also, the profession must be in demand at the time of the request. To apply for a visa, you must confirm your qualifications and have an employment contract on hand.
  • For job search. As an option – obtaining a work visa to Germany for future employment. If approved, a person can stay in the country for six months, after which it is necessary to re-register or obtain a residence permit.
  • There is also a more detailed classification of German work visas by categories – for a doctor, housekeepers, and nannies, artists, for an internship, for doing business, etc. For accurate information, you need to contact the German Consulate or the Visa Center (VC).

How to obtain a German work visa?

You can obtain a work visa to Germany independently. To do this, you will need to go through the following steps:

  1. Finding a place for employment. The basis for a trip to the country is a labor agreement signed by the parties. If it is not possible to personally come for the document, you can sign it by courier post service.
  2. Getting permission. The employing company performs a set of works to check employment opportunities in a particular profession. 
  3. Recording for an interview. These issues are handled by the German Consulate or Embassy. You can sign up by calling the organization in your city.
  4. Entering data into the application form. The decision to issue a work visa to Germany depends on the correct filling. The form must be printed out in advance, and then filled in with a ballpoint pen. 
  5. Collection and preparation of documentation. When filling out papers in English, a translation and apostille will be required. An exception applies to laminated papers. Copies are made for them with a subsequent apostille. Each of the papers is transferred in 2 copies.
  6. Payment for services. At this stage, the full price of a German work visa (75 €) is paid, as well as additional fees (if any).
  7. Waiting for a decision. It is impossible to control the readiness of the permit by phone – only via the Internet using a special bar code.
  8. At the final stage, it remains to come to the Consulate or EC to obtain a German work visa. Readiness data is usually sent by mail or by phone call. You must bring your passport with you. It is allowed to involve a third party, but if he has a power of attorney (notarized).

Documents for obtaining a work visa to Germany

person in orange long sleeve shirt writing on white paper

One of the main stages of registration involves the collection of a package of documents required for obtaining a German visa for employment. It includes:

  • Application form. Filling in German is recommended. English is allowed but subject to translation and compliance with the requirements mentioned above.
  • Notification with a signature on the study of the Law of the Federal Republic of Germany (paragraphs 53 and 54) on the presence of foreign citizens in the country.
  • Photo (three). It should be done according to general visa rules. Two photographs are for application forms, and the third is sent separately.
  • International passport and copies of pages with records.
  • Employer contract or invitation. The presence of the following information is required – the name, contacts of the employer, address, salary, time of employment, type of work, etc.
  • Confirmation of knowledge of the language. This is not necessary, but if it is available, the likelihood of obtaining a work visa to Germany increases.
  • Confirmation of the qualification level, an indication of training places, positions held with dates. All documents must be translated, certified, and apostilled. To ensure that the diploma is accepted in Germany, you can consult the ANABIN database. If the document does not have H ++ status or there is no Entspicht mark, it is required to send a petition to the ZAB for recognition of the paper.
  • Insurance policy. Must be valid for at least the first three to four weeks. After that, the contract can be extended. Coverage from € 30,000.
  • Besides, consent to the processing of data, information on the availability of a place to stay, a receipt for payment of the full cost of a German work visa, etc. is required. The Consulate has the right to expand the requirements for the package of documents. This nuance must be clarified in advance.

The cost of a work visa to Germany

Upon receipt of the permit, you must pay the consular fee. Its size is 75 €, as for a national visa.

Terms of getting a German work visa

The registration of a work permit takes up to two to three months. Sometimes the deadline can be extended due to the need to provide additional documentation and an interview. Delays are also possible in a situation where the Consulate is overloaded with applications for the issuance of long-term visas to Germany. To avoid delays, it is advisable to prepare in advance for registration and collect the necessary documents.

The reasons for a refused German work visa

  1. Lack of documentation. In the absence of any certificate, it must be conveyed at the first request.
  2. Fake detection. In such a situation, a person may be included in the “blacklist”, after which it will be almost impossible to travel abroad.
  3. The absence of any data in the questionnaire, controversial points, or errors. In this case, you have to re-feed the papers.
  4. There is no contract with the employer or it is not executed correctly.
  5. Violations of stay in the country in the past, for example, deviation from the terms of stay in Germany or another Schengen country.
  6. The reason for the refusal to issue a work visa for employment in Germany may be suspicions from the employees of the Consulate, insufficient funds, a threat to national security, etc.
  7. After receiving a notice of refusal from the person, the person has the right to appeal the decision through an appeal. It is necessary to indicate the case number, contacts of the applicant, and explanations for each of the “problem” points. Supporting documents must be attached to the appeal.


It is easy to get a work visa to Germany in 2021. Due to a change in the policy of the German government in terms of attracting workers from non-EU countries. However, the registration procedure remains complex and requires a responsible approach. A small mistake is enough to get rejected.

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