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Working in Germany

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General information

There are two categories for work permits: General employment and self-employed.

Australian citizen should generally apply for a residence permit after entering Germany at the local immigration authority, without applying for a visa beforehand. This also applies to citizens of Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Korea and the United States of America. Please note that until the work permit has been issued you will not be able to work yet. If you want to start working immediately after your arrival in Germany, you should apply for a visa about 8-10 weeks prior to the intended departure.

General employment

Acceptance of foreign nationals in the general employment category is based on the economic needs of the Federal Republic of Germany. 

The two basic conditions are:

  • Vocational qualification
  • A concrete offer of a contract of employment 

Which documents do I have to submit with my application?

(Please provide 2 copies per document)

  • 2 completed and signed Application form long-term visa
  • 2 recent passport photographs (35 x 45 mm, front facial view, white background)
  • your national passport (validity of which has to exceed your stay by at least three months) - original plus 2 copies
  • letter of intent or contract offered to you by a company in Germany with detailed description of the employment - original plus 2 copies
  • proof of your professional qualification (for example: university diploma) - original plus 2 copies
  • proof of employment in Australia - original plus 2 copies
  • evidence of health/ travel insurance valid in Germany with validity until a German health insurance covers you (if applicable) -  including details about coverage (at least € 30,000 and including repatriation costs) - 2 copies
  • prepaid registered mail envelope with your address (if you request return by mail)
  • visa fee: € 75 by credit card (VISA or MasterCard) or equivalent in cash (AU$)

Please note that we can process only complete applications; if you hand in your application with one or several documents listed above missing, you will have to come again for a new appointment.

What else should I know?

  • If your spouse and/or children are going to accompany you, you must submit 2 complete sets of applications for each family member. Please provide the original and two copies of the marriage certificate and the children's birth certificate.
  • Upon your arrival the border authorities may examine whether the requirements for your entry continue to be valid. Entry may be refused by the border authorities although you are in possession of a valid visa. We advise you to carry with you documents giving evidence to the purpose of your stay.
  • Once you have obtained your visa please check carefully that all entries are correct and in accordance with your application. Please inform the visa section immediately if there are any mistakes.

Self-employment

To work on a self-employed basis, your proposed business must:

  • Have a beneficial economic impact
  • Fulfill the needs of the Federal Republic of Germany or specific regional or local needs
  • Be fully covered by your own financial means or a bank loan. Proof of financial mean/ bank loan required.

To ensure the sustainability of your business project, the following criteria will also be taken into consideration:

  • Viability of your business plan
  • Your relevant business experience
  • Amount to be invested in Germany
  • Impact of your business project on employment and skills
  • Contribution of your project to innovation and research

You will need the following documentation:

  • 2 completed Application form long-term visa
  • 2 recent passport photographs (35 x 45 mm, front facial view, white background)
  • Original of your Passport plus 2 copies
  • Detailed description of your business project, including an expectation of how your project meets the above criteria (2 copies)
  • Proof that you possess the necessary financial means for the business - original plus 2 copies
  • If you are over 45 years of age, you must also provide evidence of adequate pension provision - original plus 2 copies

As the necessary documentation may regionally differ you are advised to contact the Aliens authority at the place where you intend to take up residence prior to your visa application.

A residence permit for self-employed business purposes is valid for a maximum of three years. It can be indefinitely extended if your project is successful.

Artists

Artists who want to go to Germany with the intention to stay longer than 90 days and do more than 15 single performances within a period of 12 months need a visa for doing so.

Where can I apply?

  • All visa applications in Australia must be lodged in person. Your fingerprints will be electronically scanned as part of the application process.
  • Applicants who are residents of any states and territories of Australia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu or Nauru need to make an appointment and submit their application at the Consulate General in Sydney.

Which documents do I have to submit with my application?

(Please provide 2 copies per document)

  • 2 completed and signed Application form long-term visa
  • 2 recent passport photographs (35 x 45 mm, front facial view, white background)
  • your national passport (validity of which has to exceed your stay by at least three months) - original plus 2 copies
  • documents regarding your artistic activity (e.g. tour plan, contract with company/agent etc)
  • proof of financial means/ financing of stay
  • evidence of health/ travel insurance valid in Germany with validity until a German health insurance covers you (if applicable) -  including details about coverage (at least € 30,000 and including repatriation costs) - 2 copies
  • prepaid registered mail envelope with your address (if you request return by mail)
  • visa fee: € 75 by credit card (VISA or MasterCard) or equivalent in cash (AU$)
  • current CV
  • revenue forecast
  • financing plan
  • bank statements of the last 3 months
  • letter of future clients, contracts etc., if applicable

Au-Pair visa

If you intend to work as an au-pair in Germany, you should apply for a au pair visa / residence permit. In order to qualify for this visa category, you must be between 18 and 27 years old and prove that you have a basic knowledge of the German language. The duration of your stay in Germany must be a minimum of 6 months and not exceed 12 months.

Australian citizens should apply for an au pair visa/ residence permit after entering Germany at the local immigration authority. This also applies to citizens of Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Korea and the United States of America. Only in exceptional circumstances should citizens of these countries apply at the German Consulate General in Sydney (see below) before entering Germany.

If you apply for your residence permit in Germany, please note that you are not allowed to work until your residence permit has been issued.

Citizens of other countries are required to apply and obtain the visa prior to entry.

Processing of the visa application in Australia can take several months, depending on approval from German authorities.

Where can I apply?

  • All visa applications in Australia must be lodged in person. Your fingerprints will be electronically scanned as part of the application process.
  • Applicants who are residents of any states and territories of Australia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu or Nauru need to make an appointment and submit their application at the Consulate General in Sydney

Which documents are required?

(Please provide 2 copies per document)

  • 2 completed and signed Application form long-term visa
  • 2 recent passport photographs (35 x 45 mm, front facial view)
  • your national passport (validity of which has to exceed your stay by at least three months): original plus 2 copies
  • valid re-entry permit to Australia (for non-Australian citizens only) - 2 copies
  • if applicable - written proof of your German language skills (for example letter from your school/language school): original plus 2 copies
  • written confirmation from your placement agency or contract with your host family; the contract must include details about salary, working hours, accommodation and health insurance: original plus 2 copies
  • health insurance valid in Germany to remain in force through your stay: 2 copies of the relevant part of the insurance policy
  • prepaid registered mail envelope with your address (if you request return by mail)
  • visa fee: € 75 by credit card (VISA or MasterCard) or equivalent in cash (AU$)

Please note that we can only process complete applications; if you hand in your application with one or several documents listed above missing, you will have to come again for a new appointment.

What else should I know?

  • Once approved, the visa will usually be issued for an initial period of up to three months. After your arrival in Germany you must contact your local authority for foreigners where your visa will be converted to a residence permit covering the entire duration of your stay.
  • Upon your arrival in Germany, the border authorities may examine whether the requirements for your entry continue to be valid. Entry may be refused by the border authorities although you are in possession of a valid visa. We advise you to carry with you documents giving evidence to the purpose of your stay (e.g. copy of your au pair employment contract).
  • Once you have obtained your visa please check carefully that all entries are correct and in accordance with your application. Please inform the visa section immediately if there are any mistakes.

Visa for an internship in Germany

Australian citizens should apply for an internship visa/ residence permit after entering Germany at the local immigration authority. This also applies to citizens of Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Korea and the United States of America. Only in exceptional circumstances should citizens of these countries apply at the German Consulate General in Sydney (see below) before entering Germany.

If you apply for your residence permit in Germany, please note that you are not allowed to work until your residence permit has been issued.

Citizens of other countries are required to apply and obtain the visa prior to entry.

Processing of the visa application in Australia can take several months, depending on approval from German authorities.

Where can I apply?

  • All visa applications in Australia must be lodged in person. Your fingerprints will be electronically scanned as part of the application process.
  • Applicants who are residents of any states and territories of Australia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu or Nauru need to make an appointment and submit their application at the Consulate General in Sydney

Which documents are needed?

(Please provide 2 copies per document)

  • 2 fully completed and signed Application form long-term visa
  • 2 recent passport photographs (35 x 45 mm, front facial view, white background)
  • your national passport (validity of which has to exceed your stay by at least three months)
  • proof of visa status in Australia (if you are not an Australian citizen)
  • internship contract from German company (including full address of the company) where you intend to have your internship, also indicating the salary
  • Letter from your Australian university confirming that internship is part of the course (if applicable)
  • evidence of health/ travel insurance valid in Germany covering the first 3 months - including details about coverage (at least € 30,000 and including repatriation costs)
  • proof of accommodation in Germany ( e.g. renting contract, hostel reservation, invitation letter in case of private accommodation
  • visa fee: € 75 by credit card (VISA or MasterCard) or equivalent in cash (AU$)

Please ensure that your application documents are complete! Incomplete applications may result in rejection of the visa application.

Job Seeker's visa

As of 1 August 2012, graduates with a German or other recognised university degree or a foreign degree comparable to a German degree will be eligible to enter Germany to seek employment. Holders of a jobseeker's visa may stay in Germany for up to six months to seek employment. 

To obtain a jobseeker's visa applicants must provide proof of their university degree and proof of financial means for the intended duration of stay. While seeking employment jobseekers are not permitted to work, neither employed nor self-employed.

Australian citizens can apply for a work visa / residence permit after entering Germany at the local immigration authority. This also applies to citizens of Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Korea and the United States of America.

Citizens of other countries have to apply and obtain the visa prior to entry.

This visa is aimed at highly qualified candidates, i.e. Non-EU nationals holding a German or otherwise recognised equivalent university degree. The visa enable the holder to remain in Germany for a period of six months in order to find appropriate employment.

General information on graduate immigration is available via the portal for qualified professionals www.make-it-in-germany.com

Where can I apply?

  • All visa applications in Australia must be lodged in person. Your fingerprints will be electronically scanned as part of the application process.
  • Applicants who are residents of any states and territories of Australia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu or Nauru need to make an appointment and submit their application at the Consulate General in Sydney

Which documents are needed?

(Please provide 2 copies per document)

  • Valid Passport
  • 1 recent passport photo (35 x 45 mm, front facial view)
  • Proof of current visa status
  • Proof of stay in Australia (e.g.employment/ student confirmation)
  • 2 completed visa Application form long-term visa
  • Curriculum vitae of professional career, specifying the certificates, diplomas, etc. you have obtained
  • German or otherwise recognised equivalent university degree
  • Detailed motivation letter providing information on the planned course of action to secure a job (sector, region, intended place of residence/accommodation etc.)
  • Any additional evidence of further preparations made to find a job in Germany
  • Full travel-health insurance covering the whole period of stay
  • Proof of financial means
  • visa fee: € 75 by credit card (VISA or MasterCard) or equivalent in cash (AU$)

To evaluate your foreign degree and check recognition of foreign professional qualifications in Germany please check before applying:

Anabin

Please ensure that your application documents are complete! Incomplete applications may result in rejection of the visa application.

Working Holiday visa

How to apply in Australia?

All visa applications must be lodged in person. Your fingerprints will be electronically scanned as part of the application process.
All applicants who are resident in the Australian states and territories or in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Nauru must make an appointment and submit their application at the Consulate General in Sydney.

The Working Holiday Visa Programme is based on a bilateral agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and Australia (also with Argentina, Israel, New Zealand, Japan Chile and other countries) and aims at enabling young people to gain an insight into the culture and daily life of the Federal Republic of Germany, allowing them to travel to Germany for a stay of up to 12 months. To help finance the stay, jobs can be taken up with different employers of the visa holder's choice. There is no time limit for the employment as long as the maximum total stay of 12 months is respected.

Australian citizens (as well as New Zealand, Israeli and Japanese citizens) are able to apply for a residence permit after entering Germany at the local immigration authority ('Ausländerbehörde') without applying prior for the visa in Australia. But, we recommend to apply for the Working Holiday Visa in advance, because the visa issued is valid for the whole first year and it allows you to start working immediately after arrival.

Argentinian and Chilean applicants have to apply for the necessary visa in advance, but can apply at the German Consulate in Sydney. All other nationals have to apply at the German representations in their home country. But please note: Without a valid working-holiday visa you are not allowed to commence employment.

Who can apply?

To be eligible for the Working Holiday Visa you must:

  • be an Australian (or Argentinian, Chilean, Israeli, Japanese, New Zealand) citizen
  • be between 18 and 30 years old
  • not be accompanied by dependent family members (e.g. children) during your stay

Where can I apply?

  • All visa applications in Australia must be lodged in person. Your fingerprints will be electronically scanned as part of the application process.
  • Applicants who are residents of any states and territories of Australia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu or Nauru need to make an appointment and submit their application at the Consulate General in Sydney.

Which documents must I submit with my visa application?

  • fully completed visa Application form long-term visa
    (include address in Germany where you are going to stay (at least for the first time).
  • 1 recent passport photo (35 x 45 mm, front facial view)
  • Passport (validity has to exceed your stay by at least three months)
  • evidence of travel/ health insurance valid in Germany to remain in force through your stay including details about coverage (at least € 30,000 and including costs for medical evacuation/repatriation - please mark relevant passage in the insurance terms and conditions!)
  • copy of your flight ticket to Germany and back; alternatively proof of sufficient funds: approximately AU$ 2100 for a return ticket or AU$ 1500 for a one-way ticket (if you already have a ticket for the flight to Germany)
  • proof of sufficient funds: bank statements (with your full name on it!) for the last 3 months with at least AU$ 7100 available funds. If you will have free accommodation in Germany (for example with relatives or friends) for the full first 3 months, the necessary amount would be AU$ 1800 instead - please submit in this case also proof of your free accommodation (invitation letter + passport copy of the inviting person) and return ticket
  • prepaid registered mail envelope with your address (if you request return by mail)
  • visa fee: € 75 by credit card (VISA or MasterCard) or equivalent in cash (AU$)

Please note that we can process only complete applications; if you hand in your application with one or several documents listed above missing, you will have to make a new appointment and come again.

What else should I know?

  • Applicants are requested to apply well ahead of their intended date of departure - however, the earliest you can apply is 3 months before intended travel dates. Processing of  Working Holiday visa may take from one to two weeks. This may vary from case to case.
  • Upon your arrival the border authorities may examine whether the requirements for your entry continue to be valid. Entry may be refused by the border authorities although you are in possession of a valid visa. We advise you to carry with you documents giving evidence to the purpose of your stay (in particular proof of sufficient funds and health insurance).
  • Once you have obtained your visa please check carefully that all entries are correct and in accordance with your application. Please inform the visa section immediately if there are any mistakes.

How and where to find a holiday job in Germany?

In all larger towns in Germany you can obtain information (e.g. on available jobs) from the local employment office (Agentur für Arbeit). However, this office can only be of assistance if you want to spend at least several weeks working for the same employer. Otherwise you are advised to establish direct contact with potential employers. For general information on employment in Germany please contact:

'Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung (ZAV)

der Bundesagentur für Arbeit' in Bonn

phone: (001149)/(0) 228 7131313

fax: (001149)/(0) 228 2701111

www.arbeitsagentur.de



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