7 easy steps to get your work visa in Germany

Alright, so sorry for the delay. Honestly this should have been one of my first posts since I always receive so many questions regarding it.

buuutttt without further ado, here are the steps to follow to gain that golden German dream.

Step 1: Arrive with the intent to thrive

So you have decided you want to live in Germany, fabulous! Wilkommen bb. Lucky for you, initial entry into Germany comes with a 90 day automatic visa (Schengen Visa) to valid passport holders of these countries.

Step 2: Find a cozy set up

Almost tied with step 1, step 2 can be as much of an adventure. For me I initially came to Germany as an aupair- super great for initial transitioning- but if you are here so then you need to find a flat or Wohngemeinschaft (roomies) asap. There are many great websites you can look at to apply for places, and naturally groups on Facebook I would recommend checking out as well.

Step 3: Register in your new city

This task is a bit more tedious, but as long you have your documents, patience and someone who can help you with German you are golden.

In Germany it is very important that you register your living situation to the city. Even when you’ve been here long term, every time you move residence you have to go to your local Bürgerbüro and notify them of changes. You will need your passport, apartment contract and appointment.

Step 4: Search for your job ( in 90 days)

Now the pressure is on. Thankfully the Schengen Visa has allowed you some time to kill if you havent already got any previous job leads, but you still have the clock ticking. My first recommendation would be to set up a Xing account- a German counterpart to your linkedin. Also, make sure you have a good German resume organized, this makes a huge difference when applying ( will shortly make a post regarding how to do this)

Check out websites, network, look around the city etc.. but remember it can be difficult when you first arrive matching job credentials here, so if your 90 days are ticking down don’t worry about having to settle for something less than your dream job. Upward mobility is an easily accessible theme here.

Step 5: Apply for your new visa

Congrats! you have a flat, you have a job, what shall we do next? apply for that visa baby!

First you will need to make an appointment with your local Ausländerbehörde to go and submit your application. Then you will need to get your paper work sorted out. This includes your Arbeitsvertrag (work contract), Antrag auf Aufenhaltstitel ( application for visa), and a Stellebeschreibung (Job description). Along with this, naturally you need your passport and a set of biometric photos for when your visa is printed. When you arrive they will usually hand you a form to fill out while waiting where you give your family background and information about health insurance.

The hand over of documents is pretty simple. Much similar to the DMV, you go and you wait for ages and ages until your number is called. You will go to a designated room and hand over your documents. Sometimes they will ask you a few questions, just to verify your information. If you don’t speak German, I would recommend bringing someone along to make sure the process goes smooth. Truuuusttt mee after waiting an hour you really don’t want to be turned around and have to make a second trip ( this has happened to me a few times unfortunately)

After you have submitted your documents you will recieve a confirmation letter and a temporary residence permit which will allow you to stay during the duration your visa is being processed ( If you have to leave the country DONT forget to take this along for reentry!)

Step 6: Wait for it….

Depending on if you’ve applied for a Qualified/ Unqualified or Blue Card the processing time can last up to a couple of months. Since your documents are being processed you are allowed to stay and live in Germany without any issue, however traveling out of the country is not really recommended. I mean the border usually doesn’t give much problems if you have documentation to prove you’re in the visa processing phase, but its best to avoid anything that could jeopardize the situation with immigration.

Normally you will receive a letter in the mail saying when your visa is finished processing and available to pick up. Before then, they will give you a contact number for your local Arbeitsagentur so you can call and check the status ( aka yes or no it is ready). Other than that, you just have to chill and enjoy your remaining free days.

Step 7: Pick up visa and party

Hurray! the mail has been received and it is time for you to go pick up your documents so you can head on into the German work world.

You will not need an appointment this time, but it is always recommended to try to get there as early as possible to beat the never-ending Ausländerbehörde crowds. Once arrive, you get your number and wait ( agaaaainnnn) until you are called. They will give you your documents and send you over to the Kassenautomat where you will hand over your passport to have the visa stamped and you pay. In my experience it was usually only around 60€ or so, but this varies, however your job will either pay or reimburse you for acquired visa fees. So, no worries.

 

All in all, it’s a rather easy and straight forward process. In my experience, everything you need in Germany can be accomplished if you are willing to do enough paperwork..boy oh boy do they love paper work.

Please comment below with your questions or if you have any additional points I missed, I would love to hear them.

As always, I’ll do my best to help out

xx A

 

Resources for Munich:

KVR|Kreisverwaltungsreferat

Bürgerbüro

Visa application forms

 

Housing websites:

Wg Gesucht

Immobilien Scout 24

Immowelt

 

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10 thoughts on “7 easy steps to get your work visa in Germany

  1. Hey Aspen,
    I have come across that video on YouTube of Hayley and you. I have to say I really share your feeling of how hard it is to make friends in Germany. I am German though and have just moved from Berlin to Hamburg. Still, I really struggle making new friends in Hamburg. Anyways, if you ever feel like visiting Hamburg I’d be happy to show you around and grab a coffee or even go for an early-morning run. 🙂
    It’d be great to hear from you!
    Linda

    Like

    1. Hello Linda!
      So nice to hear from you (: Really is that so? Even up there? i have always heard the German culture in general is reserved, but Munich is the most difficult place compared to the other major cities.
      I have yet to go to Hamburg, so perhaps I may take you up on this offer in the near future.
      Until then, lets stay in contact and best of luck in your move
      xx A

      Like

      1. Hey Aspen,
        I’d say people are definitely less reserved here than in Munich and there is also a much bigger alternative scene here – even comparable to that of Berlin. Still, I could totally relate to your feeling. Might also be due to the fact that I’m now working and not studying anymore, which always makes it more difficult to meet new people. But as you’re saying, often the problem isn’t meeting new people, it’s making it into their circle of friends and being considered an actual “friend”.
        Anyways, I’ll be happy to welcome you here anytime. In the meantime, let’s stay in touch via instagram. 🙂
        Have a great weekend!
        Linda

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  2. Hi Aspen!
    Thank you so much for making this post ! This will definitely be so helpful for me during my job search 🙂 I just had a few more questions-
    I was wondering, what is the name of the specific residence permit/ work visa you have?

    I am also just a bit confused still if the german government has to prove the job you received a contract for cannot be filled by an EU citizen before they grant you stay to work in Germany?

    Lastly do you know if the contract has to say you are making a certain minimum salary in order to be approved?

    Thank you so much ! X

    Like

    1. HI Caitlin! alright so, there are general work permits ( what I have ) which are given to people who are classified as unskilled workers aka you do not have the degree to match the job you are working. There are the EU Blue cards and permits for skilled workers.
      What you are confused about is the latter two, both of which require a certain ( quite high) salary in order to be eligible for. Most people are granted the general work visa ( which is very easy to get!) and this does not have a set salary requirement. It tends to vary, the rules of how that works I am not certain on. Some jobs I made under 2000 a month some over and still got it.
      Also, don’t worry about them looking to prove the job cannot be filled. Technically thats what they are doing when the visa is being processed, but what I have always done is put in the skills section of my application “native english speaker” and this tends to help quicken the processing time.
      hopefully that helped, let me know if you have any more questions
      xx A

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  3. Hi Aspen, Thank you so much for this informative blog! I was wondering if you have any online resource you can recommend for finding a (work permit) job in Munich or Germany in general? Hoping to move to Germany within the next year. It’s a little scary but you inspire me!

    Like

    1. Hey Myles!
      Oh thank you so much, I’m glad to be of help. As for job hunting, look on Linkedin and Xing as well as Monster.de or jobsinmunich.com
      I find these to be the most helpful and lots of jobs posted for english speakers if thats what you need!
      Best of luck

      xx A

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  4. Can I ask what you work as? I am in Austria and it is veryyyyyy hard to get a visa as a non tech/It/ engineer here so I might be looking at Munich 🙂 I am fluent in German, have a bachelors degree in history, and have 2 years experience teaching in an Austrian high school (had to leave because the visa is limited to two years and am au pairing now) but am open for anything.

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    1. HI there! currently I am an Executive Assistant, although I mainly speak english at work, German still is really helpful to have. It sounds like you have a great CV. What type of job are you interested in?
      xxA

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      1. Hey! Depending in to situation I might be moving to Munich/Germany pretty soon. I am pretty open for anything. I would love to do more English teaching (for adults or kids), maybe work in a kindergarten, or could do something in translation. I have a lot of customer service and food service experience so I would also be interested in working in a hotel or hostel or cafe.

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