The process of finding a job in Germany is easiest done once you’re out there. However, your choice to find employment in the nation is one that will certainly benefit you in many ways as an expat. In fact, EU nationals and non-natives make up a majority of Germany’s workforce. Of course, all expats must first meet the criteria for the visas or permits they apply for before they can legally pursue work in the country.
Upon entering the country as an expat, you should know that Germany is very welcoming as long as you show that you’re of value to their economy. Those with degrees, experience in specific industries, the ability to speak German, and other extraordinary skill sets are favored by employers and government officials. As long as you’re proven to be an asset to the nation, you shouldn’t find any issues applying for residency and work visas and permits.
Obtaining the Right Permits and Visas as a Non-EU National
As a non-EU national, you’ll need to obtain the proper visa to even move to Germany. There are a few options including a short term visa and a residency visa. You must make sure that you apply for the correct one seeing as a short term visa cannot be turned into a residency visa which allows you to permanently reside in the nation.
Once you enter the country, you’ll be asked to provide proof of a residence permit or work permit. If you wish to earn a work permit, you must have already found employment within the country. The Residence Act held by Germany facilitates the rules, benefits and conditions for the permits and visas expats have available to them. Below, are some of the stipulations as stated within the act.
- The visa is a kind of residence permit, allowing foreign residence in Germany for an agreed period of time
- For longer stay in Germany, foreigners can apply for a temporary residence permit or settlement permit
- All non-EU nationals who are entering Germany for the first time must carry a visa for the purpose of stay (i.e. work and residence) and upon their arrival, they must require temporary residence permit or settlement permit
- Settlement residence permits are issued to individuals who had a temporary residence permit for past 5 years and have shown they can fulfill the additional requirements
- Settlement residence permits are more likely to be given to highly qualified workers and EU Blue Card holders
- The Residence Act also recognizes the long-term residence permit and considers it to be comparable to the settlement residence permit
- Highly qualified employment of 3rd country nationals is done through the EU Blue Card directive, the EU Blue Card which is a comparable card to temporary residence with a higher likelihood to get a settlement permit
Searching for Employment in Germany
Before you head to Germany, start using the Internet to job hunt so you’re aware of what industries and jobs are looking for employees especially those that prefer to hire expats. Although it is preferred and easier to find a job once you reside in the nation, you may be able to find employment while still located in the U.S. Make sure that you do your research and have a thorough plan in place upon your arrival.
The Internet is the greatest way to search for a job in Germany. One of the websites that might prove to be most helpful is through the Federal Employment Agency. This agency doesn’t just post job openings but it offers counseling and helpful online tools to get you where you need to be before entering the nation. Once you begin applying for jobs, there are some things you should have ready to submit along with your application.
- A Cover Letter is important because it discloses your experience, education and skill sets in a one to two page summary. This is the first thing that employers read so it must be well-written and organized.
- A Curriculum Vita is a document similar to that of a cover letter in that it showcases all your previous employment and educational experience. However, it follows a different format. To create a CV, look up examples online first.
- You must provide detailed information regarding your education. Aside from writing out your educational history in order by date, you’ll be asked to provide proof of your educational background.
- Make sure you list what languages you’re able to speak in. Proof of your ability to speak these languages may be necessary depending on what type of employment you apply for.
- List all of your skill sets including your ability to negotiate, work as a team, management skills, computer literacy, and anything else that you believe helps you stand out from the crowd of job hunters.
- Provide proof of any awards, certifications or licenses that you have earned. Copies of these documents are likely acceptable.
If you are chosen above all other applicants for a job, you’ll be asked to go through an interview process. Usually this interview must be completed in person so you’ll likely need to visit or move to Germany to fulfill this obligation. Interviews are held differently depending on the place of employment. You should always come well-dressed and well-prepared for this meeting. Take plenty of time to listen and answer questions during your interview. This is your chance to shine. If you are absolutely unable to attend the interview meeting in person, you could request a virtual interview. Some employers will conduct an interview through virtual means although it isn’t necessarily preferred. Try to get it all sorted before your overseas relocation if you can, but if not, set up what you can until you take off to the country.