With a Germany Work Visa, you can live and work in Germany. You can get employed by a German employer and can go on to build a career you will thank yourself for in time.

The EU Blue Card gives the same utility as the Germany Work Visa. The Card just has more benefits that you can enjoy.

Do you need a Germany Work Visa?

Here are instances when you need a Germany Work Visa.

  • You want to live and work in Germany.
  • You aren’t a permanent resident or a citizen of Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Norway, or the EU.
  • Your current visa doesn’t permit you to work in Germany. E.g., the German freelance visa or tourist visa.

Here’s when all you don’t need a Germany Work Visa.

  • You are a permanent resident or citizen of Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, or the European Union.
  • Your current visa permits you to work in Germany. Eg. The German student visa.
Visa options to work in Germany
The EU Blue Card

If you are a university graduate, you can apply for an EU Blue Card instead of a work visa. Here’s why the Blue Card is better than a work visa:

  • You can obtain your German permanent residence faster i.e., 33 months. In case you have a B1 certificate for language, you can obtain your German permanent residence in 21 months.
  • You can move to other member nations of the EU (barring the UK, Ireland, and Denmark) with more ease. Holding an 18-month EU Blue Card, you can move to another member nation of the EU and apply for the Blue Card from where you are going.
  • Visa can be obtained faster as no permission from the ZAV is needed if your salary exceeds €55,200 in 2020. Thus, the application process becomes faster.
  • You can obtain a Blue Card for 4 years. If it was a work visa, it can be valid only for 3 years.
  • After 2 years, you can get employed with any employer without updating your visa. So, you save a lot of time. In the case of a work visa, you have to update your visa at every instance you change jobs.
  • You can stay away from Germany for a longer time. With a work visa, you are allowed to leave Germany only for 6 months prior to your visa becoming invalid. With an EU Blue Card, you can stay away from Germany for 12 months.

However, you must be aware of the special requirements of Blue Card. They are:

  • You need to have a high income. You must make at least €55,200 annually in 2020 (taxes extra). If there’s a dearth of skilled workers in your field, you need to make a minimum of €43,056 annually in 2020.
  • You require to hold a university degree that has got recognition in Germany. Your degree needs to be listed as equivalent in the Anabin database. In EU countries other than Germany, you can get a Blue Card without any degree and with experience of 5 years. In Germany however, you must have a degree.

Using these instructions, you can apply for a Work Visa/the EU Blue Card. The processes for both visas are quite similar.

Working Holiday Visa

Citizens of Japan, Israel, New Zealand, and Australia, who are aged between 18 and 30 years are eligible to apply for a Working Holiday Visa in Germany.

This visa allows you to work in Germany for a period of not more than a year. This type of visa is easier to obtain than EU Blue Cards and Germany Work Visas.

You can file an application for Germany’s Youth Mobility Visa, or from your country of origin. If you are Korean, you must file an application from Korea.

Youth Mobility Visa

Citizens of Canada aged from 18 to 35 years old can apply for a Youth Mobility Visa. This visa is much like the Working Holiday Visa. It allows you to work in Germany for a period of not more than a year. You can apply for this visa in Germany or Canada.

Youth Mobility Visas are easier to obtain than EU Blue Cards and Germany Work Visas.

Freelance visa

Freelancers, business owners, and people who are self-employed have to apply for a German Freelance visa. The process is totally different from other visas.

Work Visa

If you belong to any other category, you must apply for a Germany Work Visa. The visa allows you to work in Germany as an employee.

Requirements for Germany Work Visa
  • You need to have a job offer in Germany that’s guaranteed.
  • Your employer must be have his/her base in Germany, or you are a citizen of Andorra, Japan, Monaco, the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Israel, the Republic of Korea, or San Marino. If you are a national of these countries, you are allowed to work for employers based in another country.
  • You must have the qualification suitable for the job.
  • You must be permitted to do this job in Germany. If you require specific qualifications to do your job in Germany, you must give proof that you have them.
  • You must procure approval from the ZAV. The ZAV is tasked with the verification of the fact that the job opening can’t be filled by an EU citizen. If you apply for an EU Blue Card, you don’t require this.
  • You must have a place to stay and German health insurance. These must be there before you apply for the work visa. In Berlin, you must show your lease or your Anmeldebestätigung when you are attending your visa interview.

You are not required to speak German to procure a Germany Work Visa. Also, you aren’t expected to have a university degree to get a Germany Work Visa. If you are seeking a job seeker visa, you must have a university degree.

Main steps in Germany Work Visa process
  1. Apply for the visa from your home country or from Germany (if you can arrive in Germany).
  2. Find a job in Germany, preferably even before arriving in Germany.
  3. Obtain approval from ZAV if you need to.
  4. Open a bank account if you require one to manage earnings and payments in Germany.
  5. Find a place to live, which will be easier if you have found a job in Germany before arriving in the country.
  6. Register the address of the place where you stay in a process called Anmeldung.
  7. Get German health insurance, which is essential to get a work visa.
  8. Make your visa appointment at your local Ausländerbehörde or German consulate.
  9. Collect all required documents.
  10. Attend your visa appointment.
  11. Get your work visa.
How much does it cost to get the Germany Work Visa?

The Germany Work Visa costs around €90. Certain nationalities will find the prices lower than that.

How much time does it take to procure a Germany Work Visa?

When you apply from Germany, it takes 8 to 12 weeks. Sometimes it can take up to 16 weeks. Around the same time is taken when applied through German embassies.

Can I change jobs when I am in Germany on a work visa?

A Germany Work Visa is tied to the job you do in Germany. In case you get a new job, you must update your visa. This you must do at the Ausländerbehörde. However, if you have an EU Blue Card valid for a minimum of 2 years, you are allowed to change jobs and don’t need to update your visa.

If I lose my job in Germany, what will happen to my work visa?

If you lost your job, you must notify the Ausländerbehörde at the earliest. While the validity of your visa will remain, the Ausländerbehörde could shorten your visa.

The Ausländerbehörde will provide you 3 to 6 months’ time to find another job, or to leave Germany. But rest assured that losing your job won’t need you to leave Germany immediately.

How will my staying out of Germany affect my work visa?

You, as a Germany Work Visa holder, are permitted to leave Germany for a period of not more than 6 months. However, you can make a request for special permission in case you want to stay away from Germany for a longer period.

If you hold an EU Blue Card, you can stay away from Germany for a period of not more than 12 months. In case you leave Germany any longer without taking special permission, your visa will become invalid.

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