TechnologieRegion Karlsruhe TechnologieRegion Karlsruhe

You have found a potential job, the company has expressed interest in you, and you'd like nothing more than to sign the contract right away? Before you can, you'll have to present a work permit to your future employer. Without one, you are not allowed to work in Germany. 

If you are a citizen of another EU member-state, it's easy: You can access the German job market without any restrictions.


for obtaining an EU work permit:

  • Employment in a skilled position that requires at least two years of vocational training according to German law
  • Compliance with the collective labor conditions in place for comparable employees in Germany

Meanwhile, the following special conditions also apply to the following fields:

  • Non-skilled employment
  • Employment in performing arts (e.g. fairground people)
  • Home care provision

The process of obtaining a work permit typically takes around four weeks. The agency responsible for issuing work permits and approving corresponding residence permits is International Placement Services (ZAV), which has regional offices in several locations in Germany.

In order to start working, citizens from outside of the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA) must have a residence permit -- which can be applied for at Germany's diplomatic representations abroad or at a foreign citizens' office within the country -- and the approval of the Federal Employment Agency in most cases, as well. 

Please note: 

Special regulations apply to citizens of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and the United States of America. You can obtain the necessary residence permit from the relevant foreign citizens' office after arriving in Germany, as well. Just remember that you can only start working in your intended position after receiving a corresponding residence permit.


Direct phone consultations
8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Mon/Wed/Fri
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Tue/Thu
Tel. +49 (0) 228 713 2000