Residence permit; application for the purpose of gainful employment in the case of qualified employment as a skilled worker with academic training

If you have a university degree and wish to pursue employment in Germany for which the degree qualifies you, you can obtain a corresponding residence permit under certain conditions.



Entry for employment as a skilled worker: Prerequisites for a residence permit for employment as a skilled worker are in particular that

  • a concrete job offer for a qualified occupation to which the acquired qualification qualifies is available
  • the Federal Employment Agency has agreed - without a priority check - whether the position can be filled by a German or a Union citizen
  • a professional practice permit has been issued, insofar as this is required
  • the equivalence of the qualification has been established or a recognized or comparable foreign university degree is available
  • in the case of first-time issuance to persons 45 years of age or older, the amount of the salary corresponds to at least 55 percent of the annual contribution assessment ceiling in the general pension insurance scheme

Entry for training: A foreigner receives a residence permit for training and further education if

  • the Federal Employment Agency has given its approval or the employment is permitted by regulation or intergovernmental agreement and a priority check has been carried out
  • a training contract concluded prior to entry is available
  • sufficient German language skills (B1 level) have been proven
  • the livelihood is secured

Entry to search for a training place: A foreigner may enter Germany to search for a training place if

  • he/she has not yet reached the age of 25,
  • his livelihood is secured
  • he/she has a degree from a German school abroad or a school-leaving qualification entitling him/her to enter higher education
  • he has good German language skills (B2 level)

Entry for post-qualification and recognition of acquired qualification: A foreigner can be granted a residence permit for post-qualification for the purpose of recognition of his professional qualification under certain conditions. During the recognition procedure, the foreigner may already be employed in the desired occupational field. By exercising the employment, knowledge and skills can already be used and deepened in a professional environment, furthermore, the livelihood can be secured.

Immigration of non-skilled workers: A foreigner can obtain a residence permit to pursue employment regardless of qualification as a skilled worker if this is permitted by regulation or intergovernmental agreement. Under certain conditions, this also applies to foreigners working in the ICT industry.

Entry for job search: A foreign skilled worker may be granted a residence permit for up to six months to search for a job that their qualification qualifies them to perform.

Expedited Skilled Worker Procedure: Under the accelerated procedure, companies in Germany can obtain the necessary permits for the entry and residence of a skilled worker they need much more quickly than before for an increased fee (411 euros). In this procedure, the future German employer acts on behalf of the foreigner willing to enter the country. The basis for the accelerated procedure is an administrative agreement between the company and the responsible foreigners authority. Information on the accelerated procedure for skilled workers, in particular on the beneficiary group of persons, can be obtained from the foreigners authority where the company for which the employment is to take place has its registered office, as well as from the Central Office for the Immigration of Skilled Workers (ZSEF) in Nuremberg. The ZSEF is a service point that was created as a contact for employers specifically for the implementation of the accelerated skilled worker procedure. It provides advice throughout Bavaria by telephone, e-mail and video telephony. Employers are free to decide whether they want to carry out the accelerated skilled worker procedure at the ZSEF or at the locally responsible foreigners authority.

Reasons for refusal: A foreigner will not be granted a residence permit under the Skilled Worker Immigration Act if

  • he/she is staying in a member state of the EU on the basis of an application for refugee status or for subsidiary protection,
  • he/she enjoys international protection in a member state of the EU,
  • he/she is staying in a Member State of the EU under a temporary protection regime,
  • he/she has filed an application for temporary protection in a Member State of the EU,
  • he is tolerated in a member state of the EU,
  • he/she is in possession of a permit for permanent residence in the EU,
  • he enjoys the right to free movement of persons.

Required documents

  • As a rule, however, the following documents are required:

    • valid passport
    • current biometric photograph (frontal photograph)
    • proof of compliance with passport and visa requirements
    • Proof of health insurance coverage
    • Proof of university degree
    • Proof of job or job offer

    The documents to be submitted may vary widely.


    • Period of validity up to one year: 100 EUR
    • Period of validity over one year: 100 EUR
    • Extension up to three months: 96 EUR
    • Extension for more than three months: 93 EUR

    Under certain conditions, exemptions or reductions are provided with regard to the costs.


Responsible for editing:Bayerisches Staatsministerium des Innern, für Sport und Integration

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