What German employers have to do in order to relocate talent from abroad?

Actually, not much! It all depends on where you as candidate are coming from.

There are several legal ways to get a German work permit you should know about. We at CV Abroad often help both international professionals and companies and know the procedure from both sides.

European citizens (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic, etc.)

They don’t require any special effort on the side of the employer. Freizügigkeitsgesetz makes it really easy. Anyone with an EU citizenship can work in another European state without further ado.

Blue Card EU for people outside the EU (with a university degree and salary of 55.200 Euro gross per year. 43.056 Euro for IT, mathematicians, doctors, engineers)

The Blue Card EU facilitates the hiring process of professionals with an academic degree from outside the EU by bypassing the former “priority-check” of the Federal Ministry of Work.

The steps are straightforward and bring no tension at all to the workflow, especially paired with the professional relocation service provider (CV Abroad has one, just in case!)

Employer needs to provide:

  • A regular job contract or a binding job offer. Here you have to keep in mind the salary threshold. For the shortage occupations (IT, medical doctors, mathematicians, engineers) it is 43.056 € (for 2020) annually gross. For all others, it is 55.200 € annually gross. If the potential employer is only able to pay less than that, check the section on the regular Work Permit below.

Make sure, that your university and study program is recognised in Germany. It should be listed on the website anabin.de with an H+ status.

  • For shortage occupations (IT, medical doctors, engineers, mathematicians) your employer has to get an approval from the Federal Employment Agency. It is a formality, which can be solved within 1 week.

There are 3 pages to fill out. The relocation expert can help your employer with this. You have to show the text of your job announcement, the salary you are willing to pay, describe the experience level of the candidate, his or her education, and basically explain why he or she is good for your company.

  • Employer can also initiate an anonymous (without the candidate’s name) approval in advance. In this case, the job announcement will be basically approved as one applicable to hire an international candidate. Your future employee will show this in an embassy in his or her country while applying for a national visa and in the responsible Ausländerbehörde in your city while changing a national visa D for a Blue Card EU. Our relocation professional can accompany your employee if you like.

How long does the whole Blue Card procedure take?

Your employer can initiate the fast-track visa procedure on your behalf through a competent department of the Immigration Office in advance. Then it takes 6 weeks.

For people with shortage occupations (IT, mathematicians, medical doctors, some engineers) — 15 weeks.

The fast-track procedure can be ordered by the Ausländerbehörde of the city the company is based at. It costs 411 Euro per candidate.

Without a fast track visa procedure, it may take a couple of months.

Qualified Professional Residence Permit (applicable for Germany)

The Skilled Immigration Act (Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz) has been introduced in Germany in March 2020. It facilitates immigration for qualified candidates, with or without an academic degree. According to this employers don’t have to run a priority check for international candidates anymore. There is no salary threshold either.

A hire still should be approved by the Federal Employment Agency, but it will be done automatically within the visa application process. The Agency simply makes sure that work conditions, such as salary, working hours, and vacation days are the same as for the German citizens.

This formality can be solved within 1 week.

You have to do the following:

  • Fill out 3 pages for the Federal Employment Agency. A relocation expert can help you with this.
  • Provide a job contract or a binding offer
  • Make sure, that the candidate’s university and study program is recognised in Germany. It should be listed on anabin.de with a H+ status.

Non-university training professionals from abroad (chefs for example) have also been given a green light to enter the German labor market. The difference is they need to recognise their qualifications FULLY, which means sending their documents and their official translations to a recognition body and waiting for the result. It can take 2–3 months.

Again, your employer can order a fast-track procedure for your candidate at the Ausländerbehörde of your city. It costs 411 Euro per candidate. Then it takes 15 weeks total to get a foreign professional to Germany.

If the vacant position doesn’t strictly require a university degree and thus offers the salary lower than 3588€/month, your employer can still hire a university graduate if his/her qualification allows them to do the offered job.

IT specialists with a high level of professional experience can be excluded from the full recognition process.

Sponsoring a Freelance Residence Permit

German employers can also relocate freelancers.

There’s a type of residence permit specially designed for freelancers (contractors to regularly work with the company).

In order for you to get it, your employer has to give you a letter of intent or a binding offer.

What should it include?

  • Working Language

German, or German-English bilingual

  • Work description

corresponds to what you’re applying for, “We would like to hire her/him as XYZ”

  • Reasons to work with you

“In the past, we worked remotely on XYZ project and are convinced in her/his wonderful professional skills”

  • Payment in EUR

hourly or project-based, “500€ a day”

  • Approximate duration of the contract in weeks/months

6 months”, “ongoing project”, …

  • Mention that a freelancer is responsible for their own social security payments as well as for health insurance.

A letter of intent is usually no longer than 1 page.

To add more value to the intent, your employer can draft a binding offer of a fee contract (Honorarvertrag) or of a service contract (Dienstleistungsvertrag). In this case, it looks like a normal contract but with a sentence “This contract shall enter into force upon issuance of a work permit (residence permit for the purpose of freelance work)”. It can contain many pages with a detailed description of work and remuneration.

This is it!

We hope, you see now, that it is not painful and not hard to relocate a candidate from abroad. If so, our job is done!

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