IHK Berlin

Employees from Third Countries

Please note, the Skilled Immigration Act (Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz) will enter into force on 1 March 2020. 
The new law expands the possibilities for qualified professionals to come to work and train in Germany. Further information can be found on the website of Make it in Germany.
Employees from third countries (i.e. non EU/EEA states) who wish to work for an employer in Germany need to possess a residence permit authorising them to engage in such work.
In general a residence permit is issued, if:
  • a concrete job offer has been made to the applicant
  • no adverse consequences for the labour market arise from the employment of foreign staff and
  • there are no privileged employees (i.e. Germans, EU citizens, citizens of EEA states) available for the job
  • the foreign worker is not employed on less favourable terms than those which apply to comparable German workers
Additional information on the granting of residence documents to those entering employment is to be found here.
Workers and employers who are potential migrants can also find out through the migration check service of the employment agency whether it is generally possible in their circumstances to obtain a work permit.
Highly-qualified personnel
Highly-qualified personnel may be able to apply for the so-called ‘EU Blue Card’. This is a residence permit for highly-qualified individuals with a (German or foreign) university degree, whose salary is to exceed a certain threshold. Additional information is available here.
Application procedure
Applications for entitlement to work and/or for the issuing of a residence permits for foreign workers should be submitted to the Foreigner's Authority (or the German diplomatic mission abroad) before entering the country. The application contains the following documents:
Important links: