Immigration to Germany – Everything you need to know about Moving to Germany

Germany has been deemed as the fifth most favorable country to move to. This is due to its well-performing economy, education system, and employment opportunities. People from all over the world want to have a chance of moving to Germany. This article will focus on information about how to move to Germany and general immigration to Germany.

To immigrate to Germany, you will need a valid reason. There are several ways that foreign nationals can move to Germany. This includes the following reasons, which will be explained in more detail below.  

  • Germany immigration for employment
  • Germany immigration for education
  • Germany immigration for entrepreneurs
  • Germany immigration for family reunions
  • Germany immigration residence permits

General Requirements for Immigration to Germany

Even though there are many ways which people can use to immigrate to Germany and each of them has some specific requirements, there are still similarities in a few of them. To be eligible to move to Germany, you must fulfill the following criteria:

Prove financial stability

Each different immigration purpose has a financial threshold which applicants need to fulfill, but nevertheless, applicants must prove that they are able to finance themselves in Germany. Even if you will be working in Germany, you must have the initial funds to cover your expenses until you get your salary.

Have health insurance

You will not be able to immigrate to Germany without a valid health insurance coverage. The recommended way is to get German health insurance, since you cannot be sure whether German authorities will accept foreign health insurance. Find more information about Health insurance for Freelancers, Employees and Expatriates in Germany.

Have at least basic proficiency in German

To be able to live in Germany, you will need to know German. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages has three levels of language proficiency, A, B and C. Each one has two parts. So the language proficiency is divided in A1/A2 or basic, B1/B2 or proficient in the language, and C1/C2 or advanced language skills. To be allowed to immigrate in Germany, you will need to enter the exams and pass them up to either A1 or B1. If you want to get a permanent residence, you will need a higher proficiency of C1 or C2.

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Get a German Visa

Citizens of these countries are required to apply and get a visa before entering Germany. All other nationals do not need a visa to enter Germany. They may apply for a residence permit after entering Germany without a visa.

Germany Visa types:

Germany Immigration for Employers

Germany has reported a shortage of skilled workers and highly qualified people. They are constantly on the look for engineers, IT professionals, medical workers, and other qualified professionals. To encourage such people for Germany immigration, foreign immigration authorities have relaxed the stringent requirements to go to Germany and work.

Because of this, one of the most demanded immigration to Germany is through finding a job in the country.  The steps to moving to Germany for work are the following:

Besides this, to get the residence permit for working in Germany, the employer and employee must prove that:

  • There was a shortage of employees that are from Germany or the EU, so the position could not be filled by them
  • That the employee will have the same conditions as any other German employee in terms of salary and working environment
  • That the employee meets all educational and work experience requirements for the job position
  • That the company hiring the employee meets all requirements of the German country (registration documents and certification)

As an employee in Germany you will get the chance to work as long as your residence permit allows it. If your employer wants to continue your working relation even after your work permit is getting close to expiration, you can apply for an extension or after a certain period of time, you could also apply for permanent residence.

If you are an unskilled worker, however, it will be much more difficult to immigrate to Germany on the basis of employment.

Germany Immigration for Education

Many people are not aware of this, but Germany, offers free education. This means that unlike places like the U.S, which have enormous tuition fees, universities in Germany either have very low fees or do not charge anything at all. Because of this, Germany is a popular place to immigrate for education purposes.

To immigrate to Germany for completing a university degree, you must obtain a visa to study in Germany. The article outlines the requirements that you need to meet and the process of applying to get such a visa.

If you get your education visa for Germany and complete your degree, you can remain in Germany to search for a job for a limited period of time. If you can find a job during that time, you are allowed to stay in Germany. It is reported that up to 54% of students who complete a degree in Germany stay in the country and find a job.

Germany Immigration for Entrepreneurs

If you are an investor with an interest in Germany, then you are in luck. Entrepreneurs and investors who create economic opportunities in Germany are allowed to immigrate there. There is, however, a certain threshold of investment that you need to make. As of the writing of this article, that amount is 250,000 Euros. In addition, you will need to get a Self Employment Visa which falls under the category of Germany Working Visa. To get the visa you must prove the following:

  • That you have the required funds to make the investment
  • That your investment will benefit the German economy
  • That your investment is demanded in the country

If you maintain your status as an entrepreneur in Germany, you will also be allowed unlimited extensions of your residence permit after three years, which means that you can enter and leave the country whenever you want.

Germany Immigration for Family Reunions

There are instances when people move to Germany for various reasons, but have to leave their family behind in their home countries. All spouses and children under 16 years old are allowed to apply for immigration to Germany to join their spouse or parents.

To be eligible for the family reunion immigration, spouses must prove that they are married and children have to provide birth certificates. For children under 16 years old, it is not necessary to have German language skills since they are assumed to be able to learn it quickly. However, for children over 16 years old, there must be sufficient proof of German language proficiency and the ability adapt and integrate.

As for spouses, they will need to have at least an A1 German proficiency to qualify. If the spouse already in Germany was allowed to work, the same will apply to the other spouse who is joining. So the visas for spouses are bound by the same conditions.

German residence permits

When you get one of the visas for immigration, you will also get a residence permit. The residence permits can be temporary and permanent. Temporary residence permits allow foreign nationals to stay in Germany for a specified period of time and then return to their home countries. Permanent residence permits mean that the foreign national can stay in Germany as long as they want to, can leave and return to the country whenever they want to. However, a permanent residence permit does not mean that you get a German citizen. That is another process entirely. In general, Germany has two temporary residence permits and one permanent.

Standard Residence Permit

This type of residence permit is used for all purposes of immigration noted above as well as for others, such as completing training courses, for former Germans who want to return to Germany, and those who go to Germany for political and humanitarian reasons. The standard residence permit is valid for some time and can be extended.

European Union (EU) Blue Card

The EU Blue Card is given to foreign national workers (who are not citizens of EU countries) who have high qualifications and want to work in Germany and apply those skills. High qualifications mean that the person has an undergraduate or graduate degree in any given field. To qualify for the EU Blue Card, you will need to have already found a job in Germany, and the minimum annual salary must be 50,800 Euros.

The EU Blue Card grants its holders the right to stay in Germany for four years, with a possibility of changing their residence permit into a permanent settlement.  To qualify for permanent settlement the person must show enough German proficiency, meet certain financial requirements, as well as must have worked in Germany for more than 33 months in their place of employment which requires the skills gained with the highest qualifications.

Settlement Permit or Permanent Residence Permit

The permanent residence permit in Germany is called the Settlement Permit. This is given to those who have had either a standard residence permit or an EU Blue Card for at least 5 years and meet certain language requirements.

 

Germany Job Seeker Visa

Germany is not only a beautiful country, it is also one of the most powerful countries in Europe. With high growth and low unemployment, it is the perfect place to go if you are looking for a job. The country offers free education to its residents and is considered to be a highly safe and attractive living and working environment.

Germany is also one of the countries that is seeking highly qualified employees to work in well-paid positions, and encourages all young and skilled people to come visit and look for places to work. So if you have decided that you would like to work there, the first things you need to do is get a Germany job seeker visa.

What is a job seeker visa?

The job seeker visa for Germany is a Long-Term Residency Permit, which allows you to stay in the country for six months and look for a job. If at the end of the six months you have found a place of employment, you will be given the Germany work visa or a Germany work permit and you will be allowed to work and live there. Please note that having a job seeker visa does not allow you to start working immediately in Germany. It only means that you can visit the country and look for a job during your stay.

In order to obtain a job seeker visa for Germany, you need the following:

  1. Be eligible to apply
  2. Compile all the necessary documents
  3. Fill out an application form and book your visa appointment

Eligibility of applicants

There are several criteria that you need to fulfill to be eligible to apply for the Germany job seeker visa:

  • Hold a Bachelor of Master’s Degree from a German university or an equivalent foreign degree
  • Have a minimum of 5 years of experience in your related field of study
  • Show proof that you have sufficient funds to cover your stay during the time you are in Germany
  • Have travel or medical insurance for your entire stay in Germany or until you get your Work Permit

If you checked all of the criteria, then you’re one step closer to getting your visa.

Documents for Application

The next step is to prepare your set of documents which will be attached to your application. The documents ensure that your application is not immediately rejected on grounds of not fulfilling the requirements, so make sure you have all of them.

Checklist of documents you need to obtain a Germany job seeker visa:

  • A valid passport (issued in the past 10 years and valid for at least 12 months after your scheduled return)
  • A copy of your passport’s data page
  • 3 passport pictures based on biometric specifications
  • A cover letter where you explain the objective of your visit, how you plan to find employment, and your alternative career plans if you cannot find a job
  • Diploma of your degree (or any other proof of academic qualification from a German or non-German university) as well as any certificates of previous work experience
  • Your detailed Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Proof of accommodation in Germany (where you will be staying during your visit)
  • Proof of financial means to cover the costs for the time of your stay in Germany by showing one of the following documents:
  • Proof of personal status in your home country, such as birth certificate, marriage certificate, and others (translated in English)
  • Proof of your health insurance

In order to fulfill the requirements, you have to prepare two sets of these documents and take them to your application centre.

Note that having all of these documents does not guarantee you will be granted the visa. The decision is entirely up to the consular officer.

The German embassy/consulate reserves the right to ask for additional documents. This applies –among others- for certain professions (e.g. Nurses, Medical Doctors, Pharmacists, Teachers)

Application form and appointment

After you have gathered the necessary documents, the final step is to fill out an application form from your German Embassy office for the job seeker visa. After you have submitted the form, you will be booked an appointment for an interview. Your background and documents, application form, and interview will determine whether you will be granted the Germany job seeker visa.

In conclusion, if you are determined to find employment in Germany, make sure to follow these steps, prepare a good application, and you should be on your way to making contact and networking with potential employers in Germany.

You cannot work in Germany with a job-seeker visa. Once you have found a job, you must change it to a residence permit for employment. For more information, please read Getting a German Work Permit