Last modified 10/07/2023

Getting a work permit in Germany :

Germany is one of the strictest countries regarding immigration laws. So, foreign citizens who want to immigrate and work in German territory must know that they need a work permit. Citizens from any country within the European Union are the only ones that do not need to apply for those permits.

Now then, for immigrants to get a work permit in Germany, they must first get a resident permit. Also, immigrants must get a job in Germany to be able to apply for a work permit. Then, the company that hires immigrants must register them in Germany’s Employment Agency, and submit a letter or work contract to immigration authorities.

We must say that immigrants might get a job and have the support of a prospective employer, but that does not guarantee they will get the work permits they long for. For this reason, we recommend immigrants get a work contract from a company located in German territory and get a work permit before they travel to Germany.

Work permits in Germany are issued by immigration authorities, not by employment agencies or other authorities there. Sometimes, before granting work permits, the appropriate authorities must approve a residence permit and some national employment agency’s permit.

Immigrants travelling to Germany to study, but who find a qualified job during their stay, do not need to apply for a work permit, because laws indicate that student immigrants can work in German territory for up to 90 days. But, local authorities will define the amount of hours that immigrants should study the German language (60 hours) and history, geography and society courses (30 hours).

About work permits in Germany, we must say that they vary according to the kind of work immigrants will do, for instance: unqualified work permit, qualified work permit, highly qualified work permit and independent work permit.

It is not a good idea to travel and work illegally in Germany, because, as in any developed country, there is a risk of being abused by bosses or being caught by immigration authorities and being deported. Remember illegal workers are not protected by their rights, meaning they can work without being paid at all.

Finally, there is a problem in many Latin American countries regarding swindlers who offer counseling services for work permit applications in Germany. Most of these unscrupulous people only want to recruit women for prostitution.

For that reason, we advise foreign citizens interested in immigrating and working in Germany to not provide any personal information, let alone documents, to any intermediaries, especially if they do not know the German language.

Image: Suat Eman /

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