Reason for Residence: High Professional

Education is key! Germany needs specialized workers urgently. If you are a highly-qualified individual, the following questions and answers may shed some light on topics that are relevant for you as well. You still have to meet certain criteria and not all professions are needed. Just remember: many paths lead to Rome or in this instance - to Germany. 

Being a highly qualified person, I want to live in Germany. I hope I will be accepted.

You welcome? Not really. Wink Germany will only virtually roll out its red carpet for you! You have even the chance to immediately obtain a settlement permit (§19 AufenthG). This is new under German law. Of course, there must be grounds to assume that will not be relying on welfare.

Who is actually highly qualified? I have best grades in all my exams. Does that count as an example?

Generally, the following people shall be considered as highly qualified:

  • scientists with special technical knowledge,
  • teaching personnel in prominent positions or scientific personnel in prominent positions.
Oh goody! I want a settlement permit from the beginning. How do I get it?

First of all, meet all the general prerequisites. Then these requirements must be true:

  1. The Federal Labor Agency must agree to grant a settlement permit unless this is exempted by an international treaty.
  2. It must seem clear that you will integrate into the German way of life and that making a living is assured without welfare (Arbeitslosengeld II, Sozialgeld).
  3. In few cases, also the agreement of the regional authority might be necessary.
And what after meeting all above requirements?

You cannot demand it, but you can generally expect immediate permanent residency.

How long will the application take?

You will have to expect around two months than usual until they processed the application. It takes longer because the office is considering to grant you the most valuable status a foreigner can obtain: permanent residency. They will therefore test your application more diligently. When you are in hurry, apply that the first give you a "normal" employment permit that you can start working until they have processed your main application.

What happens if they deny my high qualification? Will I not be able to work in Germany at all?

Relax! If they do not consider you as highly qualified, they will at least consider you as "normally" qualified and you will be allowed to work nevertheless. Do not forget you can appeal the denial of your high qualification without jeopardizing your residency status.
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