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During your first steps to move to Germany, it is fundamental to know what is visa and works permit requirements in order to be able as a foreigner to live, work, or study in Germany. Many factors are to be taken into account.

Visa for EU, EEA, and other citizens

EU nationals do not require a visa to enter Germany. All other foreigners require a visa to stay in Germany. A visa is not required for visits of up to 90 days in a 180‑day period for nationals of those countries for which the European Community has abolished the visa requirement.

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Work visa in Germany

Foreign nationals other than the European Union, European Economic Area and Swiss nationals may reside in Germany for work if they have a residence permit which explicitly authorizes them to do so. Australian, Israeli, Japanese, Canadian, South Korean, New Zealand and US citizens may obtain such a residence permit once they have arrived in Germany. However, they cannot start working until they have the permit. Citizens of other countries are required to apply and obtain a visa for work purposes before entering Germany.

Residence permit

In the German Republic, there are three residence permits for work purposes: General employment, Specialist professional, and Self-employed.

Foreign students and graduates in Germany

Foreign graduates with a German or other recognized university degree will be eligible to enter Germany to seek employment. Holders of a job-seeker’s visa may stay in Germany for up to six months to look for a job.

Foreign students that complete their studies successfully in Germany can extend their residence permit for up to 18 months in order to seek employment relevant to their qualifications while in Germany.

Third country nationals may also be granted residence permits for in-company training in Germany. This requires the approval of the Federal Employment Agency

Visa and work permit requirements are subject to change. Complete information can be found on the Official Website of the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany.

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