Work in Bavaria

You can see yourself living and working in Bavaria - now you need to know which provisions in employment and residence legislation apply to you for entering Germany. Here is an initial overview.

A woman smilingly hands a lady her passport at a counter.
There are various requirements to be fulfilled, which depend upon your country of origin, before you can travel to Bavaria and then also work here. © iStockphoto.com/Neustockimages

First contact point: MigraNet-Immigration Counseling

The immigration counseling of the Bavarian IQ-network offers individual support concerning issues such as visa, residence, access to the labor market and shortage occupations. It is addressed to individuals who are interested in working, studying or vocational education and training in Germany as well as to interested employers and multiplicators. You can reach us by e-mail, telephone or make an appointment for a face to face counseling session in German, English and Spanish. Other languages are also available on request.

Contact:
Tür an Tür Integrationsprojekte GmbH
Immigration Counseling
IQ-Landesnetzwerk Bayern
Wertachstraße 29
86153 Augsburg
tel.: +49 (0)821 90 799-66
(Tue.: 10-12 o´clock/Thu.: 13-15 o´clock)
fax: +49 (0)821 90 799 11
immigration(at)tuerantuer.de

For more information regarding the immigration counseling we recommend you to our homepage.

Hotline Working and Living in Germany

This hotline offers personalised information and advice, in German or English, on the following topics:

job search, work and careers; recognition of foreign vocational qualifications, entry and residence; learning German. The hotline is available from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. CET, Monday through Friday, under the telephone number +49 30 1815-1111.

You are an EU citizen, or a citizen of Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Iceland

As an EU citizen, you do not require a visa to enter Germany, nor do you have to request a residence or employment permit. You can work in Bavaria at any time. The same applies for citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

You are a citizen of Bulgaria, Romania or Croatia

Currently, citizens of Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia still need to request a special permit from the Central Placement Office of the Federal Employment Agency (Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung der Bundesagentur für Arbeit - ZAV) in specific cases in order to have permission to work in Germany. Exceptions are made primarily for people, who have been to university and wish to take a job corresponding to this qualification, as well as for family members entitled to freedom of movement. In addition, you will not need a work permit, if you intend to take up vocational training in a company in Germany.

You are a citizen of another country

For citizens of all other countries: You will require a residence permit that expressly allows you to work in Germany.

Under the German Residence Act, the following permits to stay in Germany are available (as of August 2013):

  • A visa
  • Aufenthaltserlaubnis (residence permit with time restriction)
  • EU Blue Card (settlement permit for highly qualified persons, with time restriction)
  • Niederlassungserlaubnis (settlement permit that gives you the right to work, without time restriction)
  • Erlaubnis zum Daueraufenthalt-EG (permanent residence permit that gives you the right to work, without time restriction; you can request it after living in Germany legally for five years)

Information about the individual residence permits can be obtained here.

The EU Blue Card

As of 1 August 2012, Germany has implemented a new residence permit, the EU Blue Card. You can obtain it if you have a

  • German university degree,
  • Foreign university degree which is recognised,
  • Foreign university degree that is similar to a German one

and

  • If you obtain a certain minimum salary in the employment position being offered to you.

You can find the salary requirements currently applicable here. Consent from Germany's Federal Employment Agency is often not required.

Contact partners and points of contact

German Foreign Office
Here, you'll obtain further information from the Federal Republic of Germany's representation in your home country and from the German Foreign Office
German Foreign Office - Visa provisions
Here, you'll find general information on visa provisions
German Foreign Office - List
Here, you'll find a list showing which foreign nationals require a visa to enter Germany.
Foreign Residents Office
If you already know which German city or community you wish to live in, then you can address your questions directly to the respective Foreign Residents Authority (each with jurisdiction for one city or one county district) (website in German)

As of 1 July 2013, Germany adopted further measures to facilitate immigration. For example, skilled workers from non-EU countries can also come to Germany, when 

  • the competent body has established the equivalent nature of their foreign vocational training (further information).
  • they have a job or have been given a binding offer of a job in Germany.
  • there is a shortage of skilled personnel with this trade or profession on the German employment market. These professions are listed in the so-called “Whitelist” of the German Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit).

Prior to arrival

If you wish to work in Germany, then you generally need a visa to enter the country. You can obtain one from the German representation (embassy, consulate general) in your home country.

You do not require a visa, for example, if you come from one of the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of Korea
  • USA

You can then turn directly to your respective Foreign Residents Authority (Ausländerbehörde).

When applying for a visa, you should be able to present a concrete employment offer. University graduates represent an exception: They can also request a visa while searching for employment.

After arrival

As soon as you've arrived in Germany, you'll have to request a permit from the local Foreign Residents Authority, such as a residence permit or an EU Blue Card, unless you arrived with a visa that fully covers the planned duration of your stay.

The Foreign Residents Office will handle consent from the Federal Employment Agency. That means you won't need to approach both agencies, rather only the Foreign Residents Office.

Migration check, leaflets and further information:

An initial point of contact to find out if you can work in Bavaria without any problem is offered by the Federal Employment Agency's Migration Check.

Further information on the subjects of "Working in Germany", visa requirements, residence permits and application documents can be obtained: