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With a vocational or an academic qualification, you can apply for a general employment visa.

General information

The information in this section is designed to cover a wide range of individual and different cases and is therefore provided as a guideline only. We may require additional information and documents. Some categories of visas under the general employment heading may only be open to certain nationalities; some categories require the applicant to hold an academic degree or a recognised vocational qualification.

Your prospective employer can facilitate visa processing by applying for pre-approval from the Federal Employment Agency

The two basic conditions are:

- Vocational or academic qualification

- A concrete offer of a contract employment

As a skilled worker with a vocational training recognized in Germany by the competent authority, you can be granted a residence title for the exercise of a qualified occupation to which your qualification entitles you. A foreign vocational qualification must be verified by a recognition body and its equivalence established. Further information is available here

Please note that there are foreign university degrees that are regarded as vocational training in Germany.

As a skilled worker with an academic qualification recognized in Germany, you can be issued a residence permit to engage in skilled employment that your qualification enables you to perform. This visa category requires you to hold a German, a recognized or a comparable foreign academic and if you hold a foreign degree, please check whether both your degree and the awarding academic institution are listed as comparable in the official Anabin database. If either is not listed please have the degree formally assessed through a “Statement of Comparability for Foreign Higher Education Qualifications” issued by the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB), see here

Some regulated professions such as medical doctors, nurses, teachers, architects, auditors, tax advisors and more require a formal license to practice their profession in Germany. Please consult the database on recognition in regulated professions

If you are over the age of 45 you must earn a minimum annual gross salary which is adjusted and published on a yearly basis (in 2023 the equivalent of 48.180 EUR). If your gross annual salary will be less than 48.180 EUR you must have an adequate retirement pension scheme (e.g. a statutory pension insurance scheme, a private pension or life insurance policies or real estate and other assets).


Visa-free travel

Canadian citizens may apply for their residence permits with the local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) after arrival in Germany and without having obtained a visa prior to travelling to Germany. This privilege is also extended to citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Korea (Republic) and the United States of America.

We strongly recommend contacting the local immigration office as soon as possible after your arrival in Germany in order to secure a timely appointment.

Please note that you may only take up employment once you have been issued a residence permit explicitly authorizing such employment. You may also choose to apply for a visa prior to travel, effectively permitting employment from the first day of visa validity.


Necessary documents

Please do not staple the documents!

  • Completed and signed application form:
    Please fill out the online application (VIDEX) form, print it out, sign it and submit it along with the other documents. Please ensure that the barcode is printed in high quality.
  • Printed and signed Declaration Use of Mail Services
  • Printed and signed Visa Declaration
  • Valid national passport (issued within the last 10 years and valid for at least 6 months from the intended arrival in Germany, with 2 subsequent blank pages) - original plus 1 copy of the data page
  • Recent biometrical passport photograph, stamped (35 x 45 mm, front facial view, white background, not older than 3 months). Digitally altered pictures will not be accepted. - please do not attach the photo to the application form
  • For non-Canadian citizens: Proof of Canadian residence permit, e.g. PR card, work/study permit - original plus 1 copy of the data page
  • Prepaid self-addressed Xpresspost envelope (Canada Post only), Regional standard to Ontario or National standard to all other provinces (shipment to a Canadian address only). Please note that the German Missions will not be held responsible for any loss or damage of passports due to postal or courier service delivery.
  • Proof of housing, e.g. hotel/hostel/AirBnB (min. for the first week) with full address
  • To be provided prior to final approval of the visa application:

    Proof of sufficient health/travel insurance coverage valid in Germany (including details about coverage: at least € 30,000 and including repatriation costs. Please highlight relevant passages in the insurance terms and print only the relevant pages)

  • Visa fee: see here


  • Erklärung zum Beschäftigungsverhältnis” (declaration on contract of employment) completed and signed by the employer
  • Proof of your professional qualification (for example: university diploma) - original plus 1 copy
  • Proof of employment in Canada
  • Proof of recognition of the foreign qualification:
    One print out each from the anabin database for the degree AND the university:
    • You can enquire on the database ANABIN (only in German) if your foreign degree of higher education is comparable AND if the institution of higher education is recognized.
    • If your degree is not evalutated in this database, you will need to apply for an individual evaluation of your degree in order to obtain a “Statement of Comparability for Foreign Higher Education Qualifications”.
    • If you wish to exercise a regulated profession (e.g. human medicine), you will need to have your degree recognized for Germany. You can find out whether your profession is regulated in the Recognition Finder on the “Recognition in Germany” portal. This website then also provides information about the recognition process. Detailed information can also be found on the Portal “Make it in Germany”.
  • Only in case of vocational qualification:
    We will need to see the original qualification or a copy either notarised by a notary public or certified by the issuing vocational institution.
    - 1 copy of the original and translation (if applicable)
    - Original of the recognition notice regarding your professional qualification plus 1 copy
  • Academic/ professional curriculum vitae

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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.

Please note that you may be asked to present additional documents.

Additional information and appointment booking

  • 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.
  • Your entry visa will allow you to travel within the Schengen area. However please be aware that you will be still subject to the 90 days within 180 days rule outside of Germany.
  • 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.
  • Please do not forget to register at the registration office (Meldebehörde) shortly after you arrive in Germany and to make an appointment with the foreigners authority (Ausländerbehörde). Be aware that some foreigners authorities have long waiting times for appointments.

All Canadian residents need to apply at the Consulate General in Toronto in person. You will have to prepare all the necessary documents (see above) and book an appointment online.

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