Ministry of Labour, Social, Family Affairs and Integration

Residence Residence Permit for Employment

If you want to live and work in Germany, you need a residence title with a work permit.

Residence Permit for Employment - Hamburg Welcome Portal

This residence title can only be granted if you have a specific job offer. Also, you usually need the consent of the German Federal Employment Agency.

Alternative residence titles may be the ICT Card, the EU Blue Card or the Residence Permit for Researchers. If you want to work self-employed, you need a Residence Permit for Self-Employment.

Please note, that you may start working in Germany only after you have been granted the appropriate residence permit. If your employment ends before your residence permit expires, you must inform the Foreigners Office without delay. This obligation ends after you have been legally employed and subject to compulsory insurance for two years, latest after three years of residence in Germany.

After five years, you may apply for a permanent residence permit.


  • Entry with a German visa for the purpose of employment. The German Mission Abroad in your home country is responsible for issuing visas.
    Exception: Nationals of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the United States of America can enter without a visa.
  • You can also be granted a residence permit for employment, when you have completed studies or a vocational training in Germany.
  • Offer of employment
  • Consent of the German Federal Employment Agency
    Note: Employers can inquire at the Federal Employment Agency in advance in order to speed up the process.
  • Proof, that you can finance your subsistence and have sufficient health insurance (Annex 6).

Nationals of the member states of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) do not need a residence permit for an employment in Germany. They enjoy unlimited freedom of movement.

You can apply for a residence permit for the purpose of employment at your relevant immigration authority or the Hamburg Welcome Center. (Note: For an application at the Hamburg Welcome Center, your gross annual income must exceed the minimum of 40,560 Euro.) You can find information about the necessary documents on our page forms.