Studying & Working Working in Germany

Hamburg Welcome Portal English – Studying & Working – Job Search – Working in Germany

If you are a citizen of the EU, you don’t need a visa to enter Germany and don’t need a residence permit to live and work in Germany. The same applies if you come from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.

Citizens of other nations must apply for a visa in their home country before travelling to Germany. You have to submit your application to the German embassy or consulate general.
To work and live in Germany permanently, you have to apply for a residence permit.

Since 1st August 2012, foreign graduates with a German or other recognised university degree or a foreign degree comparable to a German degree are eligible to enter Germany to seek employment. Holders of a jobseeker’s visa may stay in Germany for up to six months to seek employment whilst in the country. To obtain a jobseeker’s visa, these conditions must be met:

  • proof of a university degree and
  • the applicant has to support themselves for the duration of their planned stay.

While seeking employment, jobseekers are not permitted to work, neither on a self-employed basis nor otherwise.

As soon as you have found a suitable job, you can apply for a residence permit in Germany. You can ask for a visa at the German embassy or consulate responsible for your area. There you will receive detailed information on the application requirements.

More information on admission to the German labor market can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.