Contract for work and services procedure; application for consent to employ foreign workers under contracts for work and services

If you, as a foreign employer, wish to send foreign workers to Germany under government agreements to perform work contracts, the Federal Employment Agency must first give its approval.


Companies based in a member state of the European Union enjoy freedom to provide services. Employees of these companies who are temporarily deployed in Germany to fulfill a contract for work and services do not need a permit under labor law. This also applies to nationals of the European Economic Area and Switzerland. Employees of these companies who do not have one of these nationalities generally require a residence permit. For this, please contact the German diplomatic mission in the sending country.

The Federal Republic of Germany has concluded intergovernmental agreements with some states. These regulate the posting and employment of workers from foreign companies on the basis of contracts for work and services. Intergovernmental agreements exist with:

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina,
  • Northern Macedonia,
  • Serbia and
  • Turkey.

Workers from these states can work in Germany for a limited time within the framework of fixed agreed quotas for the execution of work contracts.

Before you, as a company, can employ workers from these states under a contract for work and services in Germany, these workers need a residence permit that allows them to work in Germany. The Federal Employment Agency must approve the issuance of a residence title in the form of a work contract employee card.

The approval of the residence title is generally granted for the expected duration of the work required to fulfill the work contract. The maximum duration of the approval of the residence title is usually 2 years. If the execution of the work contract takes longer than 2 years due to an unforeseeable event, the approval can be extended by up to 6 months. The consent can be granted up to a maximum duration of 3 years if it is determined from the outset that the execution of the specific contract for work will take longer than 2 years. However, this regulation only applies to employees who are new to the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Individual workers with managerial or administrative activities (such as technicians or construction managers) may be granted approval for a residence title up to a maximum duration of 4 years.

Contract workers from countries with which no intergovernmental agreements exist cannot be admitted. This does not apply to contract workers from the following countries:

  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Canada
  • Republic of Korea
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • San Marino
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland within the meaning of the Freedom of Movement Act/EU
  • United States of America


In order to obtain approval, you must be able to prove that the workers you wish to employ,

  • have the necessary qualifications
  • have the same working conditions as comparable German employees,
  • are actually engaged in activities that correspond to their qualifications or are appropriate to their qualifications, and
  • have a valid employment contract.

Depending on the trade in which your company operates, special requirements may apply for approval to employ foreign contract workers.


To obtain approval, proceed as follows as the client:

  • Contact the Central Foreign and Professional Placement Office. There you will be registered, receive an order number and the application forms. Once you have registered and received an order number, you can download the application forms from the website of the Federal Employment Agency and also send (upload) them via an online account on the same site.
  • Fill out the forms completely and send them with all required documents to the Zentrale Auslands und Fachvermittlung.
  • The Central International and Specialized Placement Office will check the documents and inform you in writing whether the requirements for approval have been met.
  • The foreign company sending the worker will receive a notification of approval from the Central International and Specialized Placement Office.
  • The decision on the approval of the residence title is issued to the work contract employee in the form of a work contract employee card (WAK). If the residence title is issued by the foreign mission or foreigners authority in Germany, the WAK becomes part of the residence title.
  • If both the work contract employee card and the residence title are available, the employee can start work.

Special notes

When applying for the first time, please always contact the Central International and Specialist Placement Office of the Federal Employment Agency first. There you will be registered and receive an order number.

Processing time

2 to 12 weeks

Required documents

  • Erforderliche Unterlage/n

    • Erklärung zum Werkvertrag
    • Werkvertrag oder Rahmen und Teilleistungsvertrag oder Nachtrag im Original
    • Leistungsverzeichnis mit genauen Angaben über das zu verrichtende Gewerk im Original
    • Kontingentbestätigung des zuständigen Ministeriums oder der zuständigen Kontingentvergabestelle im Original
    • Gegebenenfalls Einsatzplan (bei wechselnder Personalstärke während der Ausführungszeit)
    • Vordruck Selbstauskunft über die betrieblichen Angaben des Bestellers (nur bei Bauleistungen)
    • Bescheinigung der örtlich zuständigen Behörde des Denkmalschutzes, dass es sich um schutzwürdige Objekte der Denkmalpflege handelt (nur bei Restaurationsarbeiten)
    • Empfangsbestätigung des Merkblatts 16 (Beschäftigung ausländischer Arbeitnehmer im Rahmen von Werkverträgen in Deutschland) unterschrieben und im Original


  • Form, Bavaria-wide: Erklärung zum Werkvertrag
    Please note

    This form has to be signed and sent to the responsible authority. You can sign the form manually and send it by email/fax or sign the form electronically with your qualified electronic signature an send it by (secure) email. If the responsible authority has set up a De-Mail account, you can also send the form by De-Mail using an sender-confirmed message.

Online procedures


  • A fee is charged by the foreign employer (contractor) for the expenses incurred by the Federal Employment Agency and the customs administration authorities in implementing the intergovernmental agreements. The basic fee for a new application is EUR 200.00. If you wish to pay the fee by cash deposit, pay the amount to the account of the Federal Employment Agency at the Deutsche Bundesbank.
    Fee: EUR 200.00
    Prepayment: Yes

    An additional EUR 100.00 fee will be charged if you make a supplementary payment. If you wish to pay the fee by cash deposit, pay the amount to the account of the Federal Employment Agency at the Deutsche Bundesbank.
    Fee: EUR 100.00
    Prepayment: Yes

    In addition, there is a term fee of EUR 75.00 per employee for each month of employment or part thereof.
    Fee: EUR 75.00
    Prepayment: Yes


The following can be lodged against the notification of approval and fees

  • appeal and
  • appeal to the social court

can be used as legal remedies.

The following applies to the issuance of the work contract employee card: The decision made by the BA within a procedure for issuing a visa or residence title is not an independent administrative act. It is an internal act of cooperation with the foreign mission or foreigners authority that decides on the residence title. An appeal can therefore only be lodged against the decision of the diplomatic mission or foreigners authority.


Responsible for editing:Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales

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