Migration and work
Are you planning to work in Germany or want to move there to live with your family? Do you want to study at a German university? The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) and the Federal Employment Agency (BA) will support you and explain what conditions you need to meet in order to be able to live and work in Germany. From entering Germany through to topics such as working or studying and education in Germany – you will find comprehensive information here.
Migration to Germany
The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) provides all of the important information on migrating to and working in Germany in the “Migration to Germany” section of its website. You can read here about the entry rules that apply to migrants who want to come alone or with their families to work or study in Germany. There are different rules for migrating to Germany depending on the country from which you come.
You can familiarise yourself with the entry rules for coming to Germany in the section “Entering Germany”. Here you will find information on applying for a visa, the costs and processing time and other links, e.g. a list of German representation abroad.
EU citizens can enter Germany without a visa. Nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA: Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) have equal status with EU citizens who have an unrestricted entitlement to freedom of movement. Nationals of Switzerland also enjoy freedom of movement within the EU.
Subsequent entry of spouses as part of labour migration
The BAMF provides information about the rules for foreign nationals who want to move to Germany to be with their spouse in the “Subsequent entry of spouses” section of its website.
Working in Germany
The BAMF provides information on what opportunities are available for immigrants to take up work in Germany and how they are regulated. You are required to meet different conditions depending on the country from which you come.
EU citizens / EEA citizens / Swiss citizens
EU citizens, EEA citizens (European Economic Area, i.e. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Swiss citizens have unrestricted access to the German labour market.
Citizens of third countries
Citizens from all other countries, so-called third countries, require a residence title for the purpose of working in Germany. Important conditions are professional qualifications, a valid passport and a secure livelihood during the stay in Germany.
The BAMF hotline “Working and Living in Germany”, tel.: +49 30 1815-1111 is available to answer your questions in German and English about entering and residing in Germany, searching for jobs and the recognition of foreign vocational qualifications.
- Click here to access all the content in the “Working in Germany” section of the website
- You can download the brochure “Studying and Working in Germany” free of charge here
- The flyer “The EU Blue Card” is available to download here
- Click here for the brochure “Welcome to Germany” that has been translated into various languages
Studying and education
Germany is an attractive location for education and university study. International students are the third largest group of all foreign nationals moving to Germany. In the “Studying and education in Germany” section of its website, the BAMF provides information on the opportunities available for interested people, especially those from third countries and also from countries within the European Union, the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. Nationals of third countries generally need a visa, for example, while German language skills are often also a requirement.
- More information on “Studying and education in Germany” from the BAMF is available here
- Brochure “Immigration of International Students from Third Countries”: click here to download the brochure free of charge
- Here you will find the brochure “Studying and Working in Germany” to download free of charge
Information for ethnic German resettlers
Immigrants who are recognised as ethnic German resettlers from the successor states of the former Soviet Union and from other Eastern European states automatically receive German nationality. The BAMF provides information on the acceptance and certification procedure, arrival in Germany and participation in special integration courses in the “Ethnic German resettlers” section of their website.
In Germany, there are special acceptance conditions for Jewish immigrants. The BAMF provides information on the legal conditions, special rules for victims of National Socialist persecution and the acceptance procedure for Jewish immigrants, from making an application right through to entering Germany.