Residence Title for Employment

Residence Titel for Employment

Update January 2023:

The German Government has presented a draft of a reform of labor migration law announced in the coalition agreement. According to this draft, the following simplifications will be made compared with the regulations described below:

  • Persons with a foreign qualification are to be able to obtain a residence permit in Germany in future even without recognition of the qualification, if the qualification entitles them to work abroad and proof can be provided of at least 2 years of professional experience in this occupation,
  • Workers without formal qualifications shall be able to obtain a residence permit for a maximum of 6 months per year upon presentation of an employment contract in shortage professions,
  • A points based immigration system is to be introduced, which will enable a residence permit to be issued even without a specific job if a certain number of points is reached. Points are to be awarded for professional qualifications, work experience, German language skills, age, previous stays of at least 6 months within the last 5 years and proof of a “mentor” to help with integration.

A draft bill is expected from the German government in the next few weeks, which must then be debated and passed by the Bundestag. Changes are possible during the legislative process. The new regulations are expected to come into force in 2024. Until then, the issuance of residence permits for employment will only be possible under the conditions outlined below.

We will provide information on current developments here.

Until the new regulations come into force, the following requirements apply for the granting of a residence permit for employment:

Um eine Aufenthaltserlaubnis zur Erwerbstätigkeit erhalten zu können, benötigen Sie in der Regel, eine in Deutschland anerkannte Berufsqualifikation in einem Ausbildungsberuf oder einen akademischen Abschluss.

Please check if you qualify for an EU Blue Card first. If you do not reach the required income limit or have a non-academic education you can get a residence title for employment in the following cases:

Residence Titel for academics or with vocational education

A residence title for employment can be issued

  • if you have an academic degree (Secction 18b) or a two a year vocational training (Secction 18a),
  • if the degree or vocational training is comparable to a German certificate,
  • if you have a job offer in this field.

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

In addition to recognizing the qualification, the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency) must confirm that the working conditions (in particular the wage) are usual and appropriate for the postition. The examination is initiated by the immigration authority or Embassy. The employer can already contact the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency) before submitting the application to accelerate the process.

Residence Permit for Employment without Vocational Training

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 Required Adaptive Measures

You can get a residence title for 18 months for further professional training or exams if
an authority which is responsible for evaluating your professional education states
that adaptive measures are required to recognize your eduction (§ 16d AufenthG).

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.

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