Immigration to Germany – Everything you need to know!
Germany has been deemed as the fifth most favorable country to move to. This is due to its well-performing economy, education system, and employment opportunities. People from all over the world want to have a chance of moving to Germany. This article will focus on information about how to move to Germany and general immigration to Germany.
To immigrate to Germany, you will need a valid reason. There are several ways that foreign nationals can move to Germany. This includes the following reasons, which will be explained in more detail below.
- Germany immigration for employment
- Germany immigration for education
- Germany immigration for entrepreneurs
- Germany immigration for family reunions
- Germany immigration residence permits
General Requirements for Immigration to Germany
Even though there are many ways which people can use to immigrate to Germany and each of them has some specific requirements, there are still similarities in a few of them. To be eligible to move to Germany, you must fulfill the following criteria:
Prove financial stability
Each different immigration purpose has a financial threshold which applicants need to fulfill, but nevertheless, applicants must prove that they are able to finance themselves in Germany. Even if you will be working in Germany, you must have the initial funds to cover your expenses until you get your salary.
Have health insurance
You will not be able to immigrate to Germany without valid health insurance coverage. The recommended way is to get German health insurance since you cannot be sure whether German authorities will accept foreign health insurance. Find more information about Health insurance for Freelancers, Employees, and Expatriates in Germany.
Have at least basic proficiency in German
To be able to live in Germany, you will need to know German. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages has three levels of language proficiency, A, B and C.
Each one has two parts. So the language proficiency is divided in A1/A2 or basic, B1/B2 or proficient in the language, and C1/C2 or advanced language skills. To be allowed to immigrate in Germany, you will need to enter the exams and pass them up to either A1 or B1. If you want to get a permanent residence, you will need a higher proficiency of C1 or C2.
Get a German Visa
Citizens of these countries are required to apply and get a visa before entering Germany. All other nationals do not need a visa to enter Germany. They may apply for a residence permit after entering Germany without a visa.
Germany Visa types:
- Tourist / Visitor VISA
- Business VISA
- Visas to Study in Germany
- Job Seeker VISA
- Working (Employment) VISA
- Guest Scientist VISA
- Training/Internship VISA
Germany Immigration for Employers
Germany has reported a shortage of skilled workers and highly qualified people. They are constantly on the look for engineers, IT professionals, medical workers, and other qualified professionals. To encourage such people for Germany immigration, foreign immigration authorities have relaxed the stringent requirements to go to Germany and work.
Because of this, one of the most demanded immigration to Germany is through finding a job in the country. The steps to moving to Germany for work are the following:
- Find a job in Germany, which accepts foreign nationals
- Apply for the Germany Working (employment) Visa
- Move to Germany and get the working residence permit
Besides this, to get the residence permit for working in Germany, the employer and employee must prove that:
- There was a shortage of employees that are from Germany or the EU, so the position could not be filled by them
- That the employee will have the same conditions as any other German employee in terms of salary and working environment
- That the employee meets all educational and work experience requirements for the job position
- That the company hiring the employee meets all requirements of the German country (registration documents and certification)
As an employee in Germany you will get the chance to work as long as your residence permit allows it. If your employer wants to continue your working relation even after your work permit is getting close to expiration, you can apply for an extension or after a certain period of time, you could also apply for permanent residence.
If you are an unskilled worker, however, it will be much more difficult to immigrate to Germany on the basis of employment.
Germany Immigration for Education
Many people are not aware of this, but Germany, offers free education. This means that unlike places like the U.S, which have enormous tuition fees, universities in Germany either have very low fees or do not charge anything at all. Because of this, Germany is a popular place to immigrate for education purposes.
To immigrate to Germany for completing a university degree, you must obtain a visa to study in Germany. The article outlines the requirements that you need to meet and the process of applying to get such a visa.
If you get your education visa for Germany and complete your degree, you can remain in Germany to search for a job for a limited period of time. If you can find a job during that time, you are allowed to stay in Germany. It is reported that up to 54% of students who complete a degree in Germany stay in the country and find a job.
Germany Immigration for Entrepreneurs
If you are an investor with an interest in Germany, then you are in luck. Entrepreneurs and investors who create economic opportunities in Germany are allowed to immigrate there. There is, however, a certain threshold of investment that you need to make. As of the writing of this article, that amount is 250,000 Euros. In addition, you will need to get a Self Employment Visa which falls under the category of Germany Working Visa. To get the visa you must prove the following:
- That you have the required funds to make the investment
- That your investment will benefit the German economy
- That your investment is demanded in the country
If you maintain your status as an entrepreneur in Germany, you will also be allowed unlimited extensions of your residence permit after three years, which means that you can enter and leave the country whenever you want.
Germany Immigration for Family Reunions
There are instances when people move to Germany for various reasons, but have to leave their family behind in their home countries. All spouses and children under 16 years old are allowed to apply for immigration to Germany to join their spouse or parents.
To be eligible for the family reunion immigration, spouses must prove that they are married and children have to provide birth certificates. For children under 16 years old, it is not necessary to have German language skills since they are assumed to be able to learn it quickly. However, for children over 16 years old, there must be sufficient proof of German language proficiency and the ability adapts and integrates.
As for spouses, they will need to have at least an A1 German proficiency to qualify. If the spouse already in Germany was allowed to work, the same will apply to the other spouse who is joining. So the visas for spouses are bound by the same conditions.
German residence permits
When you get one of the visas for immigration, you will also get a residence permit. The residence permits can be temporary and permanent. Temporary residence permits allow foreign nationals to stay in Germany for a specified period of time and then return to their home countries. Permanent residence permits mean that the foreign national can stay in Germany as long as they want to, can leave and return to the country whenever they want to. However, a permanent residence permit does not mean that you get a German citizen. That is another process entirely. In general, Germany has two temporary residence permits and one permanent.
Standard Residence Permit
This type of residence permit is used for all purposes of immigration noted above as well as for others, such as completing training courses, for former Germans who want to return to Germany, and those who go to Germany for political and humanitarian reasons. The standard residence permit is valid for some time and can be extended.
European Union (EU) Blue Card
The EU Blue Card is given to foreign national workers (who are not citizens of EU countries) who have high qualifications and want to work in Germany and apply those skills. High qualifications mean that the person has an undergraduate or graduate degree in any given field. To qualify for the EU Blue Card, you will need to have already found a job in Germany, and the minimum annual salary must be 50,800 Euros.
The EU Blue Card grants its holders the right to stay in Germany for four years, with a possibility of changing their residence permit into a permanent settlement. To qualify for permanent settlement the person must show enough German proficiency, meet certain financial
requirements, as well as must have worked in Germany for more than 33 months in their place of employment which requires the skills gained with the highest qualifications.
Settlement Permit or Permanent Residence Permit
The permanent residence permit in Germany is called the Settlement Permit. This is given to those who have had either a standard residence permit or an EU Blue Card for at least 5 years and meet certain language requirements.