Immigration Law in Germany is rather complicated with many various visa and permit types. Procedures to obtain a visa can be lengthy too. Make sure to work with a professional agency to assist your employees throughout the immigration procedure.


As a general rule, non-EU nationals are obliged to obtain an entry visa prior to arriving in Germany. This procedure can take months, depending on the applicant status, nationality, kind of a visa etc. Nationals of USA, Canada, South Korea, Australia, Japan, New Zealand , nd Israel are allowed to enter Germany without a valid entry visa and apply for a work/residence permit in Germany.

All non-EU nationals are required to retain throughout the whole time in Germany a valid residency permit and an appropriate work permit, if they intend to work in Germany regardless of the status of the job (self-employed, expatriate contract, local hire). The procedure of obtaining the permit can be lengthy and various documents are required for the application.

All dependent family members and spouses of a main applicant, can apply for a residence permit. Spouses holding a valid residence permit are entitiled get employment. However, self-employment is not allowed.

It is advisable to bring important documents in a hand luggage as opposed to being shipped with other household goods. It may take up to 3 months to get belongings delivered to a new home. The immigration procedure however, should be started shortly after your arrival to Germany.

There is a variety of different permits depending on such conditions as:

  • annual salary
  • education of the applicant
  • position and responsibility
  • type of the job
  • type of the employment contract
  • etc.

The different permits include:

  • Work Permit
  • Blue Card
  • Specialist Work Permit
  • Student Visa
  • Trainee Visa
  • Intra-Company Educational Program
  • Intra-Company Mobility (ICT-Card)
  • International Personnel Exchange Program
  • etc.

Residence Registration (Anmeldung)

All people living in Germany are obliged to register their residence upon moving in. This procedure is done at the local Town Hall and there are several documents required to be presented to the public officer (Confirmation from the landlord, passport or EU-national ID, birth and marriage certificates). Every time a resident changes the address, and moves to a new place, a re-registration is required.

Read more about the obligation of the residence registration in our blog post.