In this article, we will discuss how to immigrate to Germany in detail. And this article mainly covers educated and skilled migrants that want to immigrate to Germany. And by skilled migrants, I don’t necessarily mean just people with a university degree.
Actually, there are some skilled vocational professions in Germany that have a big worker shortage at the moment. And that also includes you if you fall into that bucket.
First of all, there is good news for people from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, or the US.
The good news is that you can actually apply for a visa or a residence permit in Germany when you’re actually inside the country.
But all other third-country nationals or anyone that’s not an EU or EEA citizen will have to apply for a visa or a permit from your home country.
Self-employment or freelance visa
The first visa that we’re going to cover is the self-employment or freelancer visa.
This is obviously for anyone who wants to immigrate to Germany and start their own business. And they also work as a freelancer.
The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to have German clients and customers to be able to be granted this visa.
There are a few requirements that you have to meet. But bear in mind really two things. The two main things that the German government cares about are that
- you will pay taxes in Germany and
- you will earn enough to not be reliant on social benefits within the country.
If you’re applying for a visa from your home country. Each German diplomatic mission in each country has slightly different requirements.
The best thing that you can do is check out your local German Embassy. They will probably have a dedicated page for this.
There are some requirements which are the same across all. These are the following requirement to get the freelance or self-employment visa that
you would need to have the business plan
- you would need to have proof of experience in your field, client references from existing customers, and clients
- You would need to prove that you have sufficient funds during the time in Germany.
- You would need to submit a portfolio of work if you are going for freelance professions. For example, if you’re a journalist or a graphic designer, or a web developer.
You would need to be able to prove that you can do what you say. If you also have relevant vocational or academic qualifications in that field. You would also need to submit those as well.
If you’re from one of the seven countries that I mentioned earlier then lucky for you. You can actually apply for this visa once you get to Germany. And then you have to go to the relevant foreigner’s office in the municipality that you’re residing in at that given point in time. The next visa is the job seeker visa.
Job seeker visa
The job seeker visa was set up for applicants from third countries.
It provides an opportunity to immigrate to Germany for a longer period of time. And then to be able to apply for jobs. Get interviews from within Germany rather than experiencing the difficulties of having to apply for a job remotely.
- The difference between a job seeker visa and a regular tourist or business visa is that the job seeker visa actually is valid for a period of six months.
- And it’s solely for the purpose of you to come to Germany and look for work.
- It doesn’t allow you to actually work. But it does allow you to legally reside in Germany for a longer period than what would normally be granted under a tourist or a business visa.
There are a few things that you need to get the job seeker visa. And again this has to be applied for in the country of your residence.
The application process does differ slightly from country to country. But you would definitely need the following for a job seeker visa.
- You would need travel, health, and insurance to prove that you’re covered for any health emergencies while you’re in Germany.
- You would need to show proof of at least a bachelor’s degree.
- You would need to include an updated CV. And a cover letter explaining why you want to apply for the visa.
- You would also need to prove that you have the financial means to cover your stay in Germany. Now bear in mind that Germany is most probably more expensive than your current country of residence.
The other thing to consider is you also need to have a set amount of work experience in the field. The German federal government actually states five years of work experience. But in reality, that’s not set in stone and it’s highly dependent on the field that you want to work.
People have been able to get job seeker visas with less than five years of experience. It really depends on how popular a particular field of work in Germany is. Next comes the EU blue card.
EU blue card
Now, this is actually a visa or a program that’s not specifically given to Germany. But is in fact across the whole of Europe with two or three countries which opted out.
The EU blue card allows you essentially to get permanent residency much quicker. Whereas the normal process usually takes five years plus.
With the EU blue card, you can get permanent residency as soon as twenty-one months after you’ve been granted it depending on your level of German language skills.
- The EU blue card was designed specifically for skilled migrants that have a minimum bachelor’s degree in their field.
- They have a job offer or assigned employment contract for an unconditional offer from a German employer.
- And also fulfill the requirements of having a minimum annual gross salary of above fifty-two thousand euro.
Now if you are in a field of work where there’s a worker shortage off in Germany. Then there is a slight exception to that rule. And that means that you could be eligible for a blue card.
If you have a job offer in one of those specific professions and then the salary requirement goes down to be forty thousand five hundred and sixty euro gross per year.
A Blue card is typically applied for by your employer. And as an employee, you need to submit the documents to your employer to help that process.
General residence permit
Last is the general residence permit had allowed NIF’s being offered a job by a German employer. And the German authorities granted a residence permit on the basis that the German employer is not able to hire an EU national or a German citizen for that role.
As I mentioned there’s a general rule when a job is advertised in Germany. They have to try and recruit a German citizen or an EU national first of all before they go to third-country nationals.
If you do get an interview and successfully offered a job. And if the employer is able to prove to the federal employment agency that they can’t hire a German or that or they’ve attempted to hire a German or an EU national.
They would then go down this route to get you a permit as soon as you’re able to start work in that position.
And for this case, you don’t necessarily have to be a university graduate.
The basic requirement is to have a vocational skill specifically certification in the job that you want to practice in Germany. It can be professional vocations but it can also be to the skilled technical positions as well.
For example hairdressers or personal trainers that have a vocational certificate to prove that you have the qualifications to work in that field. Here is the list of top job fields list released by the German government. You can view the details here: Top jobs in Government
If you fit one of those professions or those skilled jobs then that can also increase the chances of your application being approved.