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Apply for a residence permit for employment

You have a foreign nationality and would like to work in Germany?

Then you need

  • a residence permit for the purpose of employment and
  • beforehand, in most cases, a national visa to enter Germany.

Exception: EU nationals have access to the labour market due to their right of free movement. They can be self-employed or employed under the right of settlement or the freedom of movement for workers.
This also applies to other nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) and to nationals of Switzerland.
You must obtain a work permit from the competent employment agency before taking up employment.

You will receive this type of residence permit for a limited period of time. You can have it extended upon application.


  • You fulfil the passport and visa requirements.
    For the passport requirement, it is sufficient if you have a substitute identity card.
  • Your livelihood is secured without recourse to state funds.
    Your livelihood is considered secure if you
    • Income in the amount of the simple social welfare standard rate plus
    • Costs for accommodation and
    • any health insurance contributions.
  • There is no interest in deportation against you.
  • Your stay does not endanger or impair the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • You fulfil the factual and personal requirements for labour migration.
  • You have a job or a concrete job offer.
  • if necessary, at the request of the Aliens' Registration Office: The Federal Employment Agency approves the residence title.
  • if required: Professional recognition and professional approval for your professional qualification

Note: You will only receive a residence permit if you have a concrete job offer. Your admission is based on the requirements of Germany as a business location and the conditions on the labour market.

In certain professions or in the case of nationals of certain countries, admission to employment is at the discretion of the competent authority. It may admit you in individual cases if there is a public interest in your employment.

Responsible department

  • for the issuance of a national visa before entering the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany: the German mission abroad (embassy, consulate)
  • after entry: the foreigners authority
    Foreigners authority is
    • if you live in a city district or in a large district town: the city administration
    • if you live in a town or municipality belonging to a district: the district administration office (Landratsamt)


Before entering Germany, you must apply for a national visa in your home country.

The representation of the Federal Republic of Germany involves the competent foreigners authority.

In the visa procedure, you must provide information about your job in Germany.
This enables the authority to check whether the Federal Employment Agency has to approve your employment.

After entering Germany, you must apply for the residence title in writing to the foreigners authority before your visa expires.

Notice: The Foreigners' Registration Office will obtain the approval of the Federal Employment Agency if this is required.

Note that you must apply for an extension before your residence permit expires.

You will receive the residence title in the form of a cheque card with additional electronic functions.

You can find more information on this under"Apply for an electronic residence title (eAT)".



Required documents

  • Proof of fulfilment of passport and visa requirements
  • Proof of secure means of subsistence
  • Proof that you meet the material and personal requirements for labour migration
  • Proof of a job or job offer
  • Proof that there is no interest in deportation against you
  • Proof that you do not endanger or impair the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany


  • First residence permit EUR 100.00
  • Extension up to three months: EUR 96.00
  • Extension for more than three months: EUR 93.00

Detailed information

The Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) provides a Verzeichnis der Vertretungen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland im Ausland (list of addresses of German diplomatic missions abroad) on its website.


  • Your husband or wife and children who are not yet of age have a right to family reunification. They are also allowed to pursue gainful employment.
  • Highly qualified persons can obtain a settlement permit immediately after entry in special cases.
  • If you want to pursue self-employment, you can obtain a residence permit under certain conditions.



Action before the administrative court

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Ministry of Justice Baden-Württemberg released the full description on 04.08.2023. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.