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Geschäftsbereich P

Navigation und Service

Service for Employees from Third Countries

Third countries are countries that are not members of the European Union or the European Economic Area.

(German Version)

Before travelling to Germany


  1. Advice for institutes regarding visa requirements and periods of stay, as well as labour legislation regulations
  2. Negotiations with the relevant embassy and foreigners' authority with regard to entry visas
  3. Notification of the foreigners' authority when approval has been granted for the visitor to enter Germany or direct contact with the relevant embassy should problems arise

The German regulations for the entry and residence of foreign workers depend on the nationality of the individual in question and are very diverse. It can take months for a visa or resident permit to be issued as the German diplomatic missions abroad must correspond with the local authorities. You should get in contact with one of the German embassies or consulates in your country at least six to eight weeks before you are due to start work in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Regulations on entering Germany

Foreigners' registration office Düren

  1. Application to the foreigners' registration office for a residence permit
  2. Negotiations with the foreigners' registration office, particularly with regard to discretionary decisions
  3. Monitoring of deadlines and adherence to cut-off dates for extending residence permits
  4. Issuing of letters of undertaking

Important information

The mobile researcher

Researchers' visas (§ 20 Residence Act) are issued to workers (excluding students or workers who have not yet completed their training) who plan to stay in Germany for a period of more than three months and whose research project within one or more EU Member States will last at least 12 months.

The German Immigration Act was modified and a new residence title was established specifically for researchers: the researchers' visa or residence permit for researchers. This residence title is intended to make it easier for researchers to come to Europe to work on a specific research project and to undertake teaching activities, as well as to make it easier for researchers to move around within the EU. Applications should be made to the relevant foreigners' authority.

An EC long-term residence permit (§ 9a Residence Act) is a permanent residence permit issued by the foreigners' authorities. Provided it is not stated otherwise, an EC long-term residence permit is equal before the law to a settlement permit.

Highly skilled researcher

Highly skilled workers can apply for a settlement permit in accordance with Section 19 of the Residence Act. Highly skilled workers are researchers with a specialized qualification, as well as teaching personnel and scientific staff in prominent positions. The foreigners' authorities are responsible for decisions on applications for employment as a highly skilled researcher.

Settlement permit

The settlement permit is an unlimited residence title and is defined by Section 9 of the Residence Act. If an individual has held a residence permit for five years, has a secure livelihood and has contributed to the pension scheme or appropriate insurance fund for at least five years, they may apply to the relevant foreigners' authority for a settlement permit.

All types of unlimited residence permits are valid only if the researcher intends to remain in Germany on a long-term basis. This right is forfeited six months after the researcher has left Germany.


Immigration of spouses and children from third countries

If the worker holds a settlement permit, an EC long-term residence permit, a residence permit for the purposes of gainful employment in accordance with Section 18 of the Residence Act or a researchers' visa, the relevant German authorities permit immigration of the worker's family on the basis of the right to family reunification subject to the following conditions: income, living space and health insurance meet the requirements laid down in the Residence Act.

Further requirements

The spouse wishing to immigrate must prove knowledge of the German language if they have no university degree or a corresponding qualification, or if their spouse in Germany does not hold a residence permit in accordance with Sections 9, 19 or 20 of the Residence Act. The spouse wishing to emigrate must be at least 18 years of age at the time of entry into Germany!

Gainful employment of spouses from third countries

The Immigration Act does not in principle allow for the gainful employment of spouses. "Gainful employment not permitted" is entered as a condition in the residence permits of family members. After a period of two years of marriage in Germany, an application may be made to the foreigners' authorities to have this condition removed should the spouse wish to seek employment or take up employment.

Federal Employment Agency

  1. Requests for work permits
  2. Advice on applying for unemployment benefits within the EU

Important information

Pursuant to Section 5 of the Ordinance on Employment, researchers and scientific staff do not require a work permit from the Federal Employment Agency in order to take up work.

Those who are not free of this approval from the Federal Employment Agency (ZAV) are students who are not enrolled in a German university and come from non-EU countries or countries that joined the EU after 01.05.2004. Approval must be granted before travelling to Germany.