Employment of foreign workers; application for prior approval.

If you as an employer wish to employ foreign skilled workers who come from third countries, the Federal Employment Agency must generally give its consent. You can have it checked in advance whether the requirements for approval are met.


The nationality of a skilled worker determines whether he or she requires a permit to take up employment in Germany. Nationals of EU member states, the European Economic Area and Switzerland do not require a work permit; nationals of other states (third countries) may obtain one under certain conditions.

In order for you as an employer to be able to employ foreign workers from third countries, your future employees need a visa from the foreign representation (embassy or consulate) in the country of origin or a residence permit from the municipal foreigners authority in Germany for entry. Both must allow them to work or train in Germany. In many cases, the Federal Employment Agency must approve the employment so that a corresponding visa or residence title can be issued.

This is possible in various ways:

  • The foreigners authority, the embassy or the consulate involve the Federal Employment Agency in an internal administrative procedure within the authority.
  • Alternatively, you as an employer can speed up this process: you can ask the BA directly whether it will approve the employment of a foreign worker in your company (so-called advance approval).

The advance approval is valid for 6 months from the date of issue. The visa or residence title must be issued within this period so that no renewed examination by the Federal Employment Agency is necessary.


  • You must submit a concrete job offer.
  • You have not yet submitted the application to the foreign mission or the foreigners authority.
  • Further requirements may arise depending on the specific employment and the intended visa or residence title.


To initiate the pre-consent procedure, you must submit a written request:

  • Download and complete the "Declaration of Employment" form from the Federal Employment Agency website.
    • For certain employments, it may also be necessary to provide additional information. In this case, fill out either supplementary sheet A (residence title for the purpose of carrying out the recognition procedure) or supplementary sheet B (residence title in the context of a posting).
  • Send the documents to the labor market admission team responsible for you at the Central Placement Office for Foreign and Specialized Personnel (ZAV). If you have a user account for the digital services of the Federal Employment Agency, you can upload the documents directly using the upload service.
  • The ZAV will check your documents. If necessary, you will be asked to submit additional documents, such as an employment contract.
  • If the result of the check is positive, you will receive a letter of consent for employment, which you will pass on to the foreign worker or the competent body.
  • As a rule, the employee submits this letter to the competent foreigners authority, embassy or consulate when applying for the visa or residence title.


The application for a preliminary examination should be received by the Federal Employment Agency at least 6 weeks before applying for the visa or residence title.

Processing time

You should expect a processing time of 4 to 6 weeks. (4 to 6 weeks)

Required documents

  • Erforderliche Unterlage/n

    • Erklärung zum Beschäftigungsverhältnis
    • ergänzende Unterlagen, zum Beispiel Arbeitszeugnisse früherer Arbeitgeber, falls erforderlich


  • Form, Bavaria-wide: Formular "Erklärung zum Beschäftigungsverhältnis" und Zusatzblätter
    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


  • Fee: none


The decision made by the Federal Employment Agency 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. This applies accordingly to the advance approval, since the act of cooperation is merely upstream.


Responsible for editing:Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales

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