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When the Sky Meets the Earth exhibition in Bikini Berlin / shoot by Chia-Ju

Do you need a visa to work in Germany?
If you are a citizen of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, you do not need a visa to Germany, and if your nationality is one of the following: United States of America, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, you can apply the Residence permit after entering Germany.

If you are a citizen of other countries, then you required to apply and obtain a visa for work purposes before moving to Germany.

There are two ways to proceed the employment visa application
A. With Work Permit (this way can be shorter)
Your employer can apply for the priority check firstly by submitting required documents to the Local Employment Agency, in which district your employer has its registered office. .

The Local Employment Agency will make the priority check to see whether preferential applicants are available on the EU/EEA labour market, and make sure the conditions of employment offered to the foreign workers are not worse than those of comparable domestic employees.

Once your employer receives the work permit from the Local Employment Agency, he/she passes it on to you together with the work contract and related documents. And then you can visit the German embassy and submit your application for a working visa.

Reference : German Work Permit (ZAV Pre-approval)

B. Without work permit
You can apply directly to the German representation, provide your the Certificate of Enrolment together with work contract and other related documents, they will send the papers to the Local Employment Agency for the priority check. This process will take longer time due to lots of back and forth documentation, communication work.

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When the Sky Meets the Earth exhibition in Bikini Berlin / shoot by Chia-Ju

Documents for Working VISA Application
Required documents may be different from each country, please check the website of German Embassy

- Valid passport (reference: passport requirements)
- Two copies of data page of your passport
- Two fully completed application forms: file is available on the website of the German Embassy
- Personally signed declaration (this may depends on the policy of German Embassy in your country)
- Two passport photographs (reference: photo requirements)
- Working Contract or/and employment offer letter : information about your company, list your monthly payment, duty and holidays.
- Certificate of German/English language skills (2 copies and original)
- Two CV : list your working experience, education background and related experience
- Two times of motivation Letter : explain your motivation and plan for working in Germany.

- Working Permit : Approval of the German „Bundesagentur für Arbeit“ (If applicable)
- Proof of qualifications (for example graduation degrees, job references, e.t.c.), plus 2 copies each
- Visa fee: €56 to €100 for the initial issuance; €49 to €96 for each extension; a maximum of €28.80 for Turkish citizens.

Usually on request, shortly before the visa is issued
- Intended date of entry : flight ticket (or other tickets of your transportation)
- Proof of health-insurance : in original plus 2 copies

According to the information on German embassy, the whole process may take 6–11 weeks, but it’s always case by case. Some people receive the VISA within one week, and some people wait for several months. What we can do is prepare all the required documents, and if there are other related documents would help your application, please bring them to the embassy and submit together with the VISA application.

From my personal experience, it took me around two months to prepare working contract, working permits and VISA. It’s shorter than I expected, thanks to the working permit which employer applied before I visited the German Embassy, so I strongly suggest that work together with your employer or office manager to make the priority check in advance!

More Useful Information
- Visa for Germany from Make It In Germany
- List of Local Employment Agency (Agentur für Arbeit)

Good Luck :)

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