Residence Titles for Employment

Residence Titels for Employment

The parliament has decided on numerous facilitations for the immigration of skilled workers, which will come into force in March/June 2024.

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If you do not reach the required income threshold or do not meet the qualification requirements, you have the following options for obtaining a residence permit for employment:

Residence permit as a skilled worker (with recognized degree), § 18a and 18b AufenthG

You are considered as skilled worker if you

    • have an academic degree or a two a year vocational training
    • if your education is comparable to a German degree,

The recognition of a higher academic qualification can be evaluated on the website ANABIN. In the case that your degree is not listed in this database you can apply an individual examination at Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen (Central Office for Foreign Education).

The responsible authority to recognize a vocational training can be checked at

As a skilled worker (with a recognized qualification), you can obtain a residence permit for employment if you

    • submit an offer for a job that requires a professional qualification (no unskilled work)
    • the Federal Employment Agency has confirmed that the salary for the specific position is in line with local standards or the collective agreements.

If you are abroad, your employer can obtain a pre-approval from the Federal Employment Agency before you apply for a visa in order to speed up the process or use the “accelerated skilled worker procedure” (Beschleunigtes Fachkräfteverfahren).

Residence Permit for Employment without prior recognition of your qualification

Have you completed at least two years of vocational training abroad and your training is recognized by the country in which you trained?

You must first have this confirmed by the Central Office for Foreign Education (currently being established).

You can then obtain a residence permit for “persons with practical work experience” (Sec. 19c AufentG, Sec. 6 BeschV) to work in your profession if you

    • have two years’ experience in your profession and
    • receive a gross annual salary of €40,770 or the employer is bound by a collective agreement.

If you do not yet have any professional experience, you can obtain a residence permit to carry out a recognition procedure (Sec. 16d AufenthG) if

    • a German employer guarantees to initiate a recognition procedure after entry (“recognition partnership”) and
    • you have German language skills at A2 level.

If you have not yet found an employer, you can in future (not before June 2024) receive an opportunity card for job search (Section 20a AufenthG). In addition to a professional qualification recognized abroad, you will also need

    • German language skills at A1 level or English language skills at B2 level
    • 6 points awarded for your qualifications, language skills, professional experience, age and previous stays.

Residence permit for employment for certain nationals regardless of qualifications

As citizen of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, United Kingdom and USA you can apply for a residence title for employment without proofing a professional education (§ 26 Abs. 1 Beschäftigungsverordung). In this case an individual examination of the labour market by the Bundesagentur für Arbeit is required (“Vorrangprüfung”).

As citizen of the mentioned countries you can file the application to the immigration office during your (legal) stay in Germany or at the German Missons abroad.

As citizen of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegowina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbien you can apply for a visa for employment without proof of a professional training (§ 26 Abs. 2 Beschäftigungsverordnung), if you

  • have a a concrete job offer,
  • apply at the German Mission in your home country,
  • there is a shortage of workers for this position (“Vorrangprüfung”) by Bundesagentur für Arbeit,
  • have not received social welfare during your stay in Germany within the last two years.

If you do not have one of the mentioned citizenships you cannot get a residence title for employment without proofing a recognized vocational training.

Residence Title for Vocational Training

You can get a visa or residence permit for a Dual Vocational Training if there is a shortage of workers for this education (Vorrangprüfung), § 16a AufenthG. It is required that the living costs are covered by the salary or a formal obligation of a third person.

The German missions and immigration offices have discretion if a residence title for employment can be grant.  They might take your age and language skills into account .

Our expert in this field is Specialist Lawyer for Immigration Law Sven Hasse.