Reason for Residence: Employment
When will I obtain a residence permit for employment?
Usually, you can obtain a residence permit if the following prerequisites have been met:
- the occupation you wish to take up requires a vocational training qualification and you possess this qualification,
- you can show that you have a job offer,
- you work under equal conditions as Germans,
- no privileged person can fill your position,
- the granting of a residence permit for your occupational group is envisaged by legal regulations, and
- the Federal Employment Agency approves of your employment unless such is not required.
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How do I show that I have a job offer?
In this stage, employers are commonly referred to as “sponsors”. Right, you need a job sponsor. There are two things needed: One will be a job description and the draft of employment contract in writing. Normally, the office expects a form to be filled out. If you want to improve your chances have your employer-to-be hand you a signed contract – signed exclusively by your future employer. N.B. Do not even think of signing that employment contract before it has not been approved by the labor agency. Because, if you should do so then you might be in for trouble! Following German law, signing that contract makes it binding for you and your employer. An employment contract closed or signed prior to re-quired permission by labor agency is forbidden by law. So why have your employer-to-be sign it? He will bind himself with his signature… (See also "Contracts" on another page of this FAQ!) The second detail, next to labor contract, will be a letter from your employer-to-be showing how he had first tried a privileged person.
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Are they any exemptions to the prior approval of the Federal Labor Agency?
Yes. The most important exception is that your job offer will normally not have negative impact on the German labor market because the work you are to do requires an individual performance, which nobody else – at least not easily – can replace. Typical examples are guest scientists, artist or professional sportsmen in a federal league.
At home, I only learned to fill shelves in a supermarket; i.e. no real skills. I don’t like it anymore at home and want to come to Germany. Will I get a residence permit?
Well, to be honest, better not book a flight. The chances that you will receive a residence and work permit are virtually zero. Germany has already enough to do with its “army of dissatisfied”, the unemployed. The authorities are not allowed to grant residence for persons without qualifications (§39 IV AufenthG).
I have achieved a vocational training at home and I was laid off after working a while. I decided to leave my country and come to Germany. Will I be allowed to live here?
You have much better chances to obtain the permission to stay than unqualified persons. You will be allowed to stay and take a job if there is a public interest for you to fill your wished position. A public interest will usually be presumed if there is a need for your qualification – be it only regional (§18 AufenthG). Let us say, Frankfurt/Oder needs qualified English teachers then you, being an English teacher, will receive a permit. If you, as a butcher, want to work in Berlin, where there already hundreds of butchers laid off, do not reckon on receiving a permit. However, if you are a trained butcher following e.g. Judaic tradition, then you still may receive a permit if there is no one else that can fill the position.
My husband is offered a job in Germany which means I want / have to move with him on a residence permit. Does this mean I will automatically have permission to work there? If not, what is required so I can look for a job there? What is a trailing spouse entitled to in Germany?
No, just because your husband has a job this does not at all mean that you get a permission to work just because of his status. However, take a look at what your permit says! The permit must clearly say if or not you are allowed to work. Anyhow, you are not barred from searching for a job and then applying for one. When applying, you will, however, not be preferred against Germans or Europeans! Generally, the normal rules are applicable. In other words, start reading this section again. Keep in mind, you will not have to leave Germany first to apply for a work permit even when you require a visa to enter Germany. Since you are already here, you need only to apply for a work permit with the required documentation – no more, no less.
How long does it take to get a permit?
That varies from city to city and nationality to nationality and if applied from Germany or abroad. As a rule of the thumb, you have to reckon one month – when inside Germany.