Tips to get a visa

Information about visas and emigration to Germany

Do I need a visa to work in Germany? and Which visa regulations actually apply to me?
These questions are often at the beginning of the considerations to dare the next step into the German working life.
In order to answer these questions, it depends on which country you come from and which nationality you have.

Basically, this applies:

  • Nationals from the EU or EFTA countries as well as nationals from Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland do not require a visa either for entry or for taking up a professional activity.
  • Nationals from Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Canada, New Zealand or the USA can enter Germany without a visa. However, the residence permit for taking up employment must be applied immediately
  • Citizens of a so-called third country must apply for a visa before leaving their home country.

In addition to the different countries of origin, a distinction is also made in the type of visa. In Germany, the different visas are linked to different purposes with corresponding requirements.

All academics with a university degree recognised in Germany can apply for a work visa. This residence title is called the “Blue Card” and is linked to the condition that a place at work in Germany corresponding to the qualifications corresponds to a gross salary of at least €52,000 per year. In jobs where there is a shortage, such as doctors, this minimum amount has been further reduced. You can read more about the topic “Blue card” in the blog entry “The Blue Card EU

If you have successfully completed your studies at a German university, you can accept a job in Germany that is appropriate for the studies you have completed. You can obtain this residence permit from the competent authority abroad.

Furthermore, a visa can be required if you want to come to Germany to seek a job. This visa is valid for 6 months. One requirement is again that you have a degree which is recognised in Germany. In addition, you must be able to show financial resources that ensure your livelihood for the entire period.

More information about these and other types of visas can be found here.

You can apply for your visa at the responsible German embassy in your home country.. It is important that you always state the correct reason for applying. You should allow enough time for all documents to be made available. The processing time can vary considerably depending on the country.

*No responsibility is taken for the correctness and completeness of the information given here.
*Sources and Tips:

Requirements for working as a foreign doctor in Germany

What are the requirements for working as a foreign doctor in Germany?

In order to work as a physician in Germany, you need a so-called approbation, a license to practise medicine in the long term. This regulation is obligatory, regardless of whether the degree was obtained abroad or in Germany.
Depending on ones origin, immigrant doctors can submit an application for the approbation on the basis of different legal grounds:

  • EU citizens, as well as citizens of the other States of the European Economic Area and Switzerland, have a right to an approval procedure. This right is based on a corresponding EU directive (RL2005/36/EC).

  • Based on two regulations, third-country nationals have the possibility of obtaining a license to practise medicine. On the one hand, if they have successfully completed their medical studies in Germany and can prove that they would lose important rights if they accepted German citizenship. On the other hand, the equivalence of the foreign degree with the German medical degree can also be established or, if necessary, confirmed with the help of a knowledge test.

However, in order to ensure the quality and safety of medical services, the state also places high demands on the professional, character and health suitability of doctors. For this reason, the following requirements apply:

  • They must not have been guilty of any conduct which would render them unworthy or unreliable in the exercise of the medical profession.

  • They must be fit to practise the profession from the point of view of health.

  • They must have the knowledge of the German language necessary for the pursuit of their occupation.  These language skills are not uniformly regulated in the different federal states. However, a level of at least B2 in general German must be present everywhere as a minimum requirement.

  • They must have passed the final examination of a medical degree of at least six years at a scientific university. Of this training period, a minimum of eight and a maximum of twelve months must have been practical training in hospitals or suitable medical care facilities.

These requirements must be proven when applying for the licence to practise medicine at the relevant competent authority, in addition to the current legal status as a resident.

*No responsibility is taken for the correctness and completeness of the information given here.
*Source: Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (2011), Anerkennung und Berufszugang für Ärzte und Fachärzte.

Sought after: good doctors

Germany has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. The use of the very latest therapies and medical equipment helps guarantee an exceptionally high level of care.
At the same time, doctors are held in great esteem by the German population. In surveys, the medical profession is consistently one of the most highly regarded in Germany, followed in second place by the nursing profession. In addition to this, there are many career opportunities for doctors in Germany.

In Germany, doctors can work e.g.:
• in hospitals, generally as an employee
• in their own medical practice
• in large group practices, as an employee.

In Germany, the average starting salary for medical graduates is higher than in any other field of study and currently lies at around €49,000 a year. On average, doctors in Germany are paid more than graduates of any other academic discipline.

More information here.

Employees in the health sector

In the last 30 years, the life expectancy of people living in Germany has increased by an average of seven years. According to the 2013/2015 mortality table, life expectancy averages 78.2 years for new-born boys and 83.1 years for new-born girls.

However, age in society is not representative of becoming ill or in need of care. Nevertheless, there are currently 3.3 million people in need of care in Germany and the demand for professional nursing staff is increasing.

Nursing care for the elderly is therefore nowadays regarded as a growth sector. Currently, however, 25,000 to 30,000 full-time positions are still unfilled, although the number of employees in nursing services and inpatient nursing facilities alone rose by 8 percent in the period from 2013 to 2015 to around 80,000 positions.  Nevertheless, there is still a shortage of skilled workers in all nursing professions.

The occupational field of the nursing and health professions without licensure covers all professions of the Health Ordinance, with the exception of specialists and pharmacists, as these require licensure. The largest group of employees in this occupational field are nurses and geriatric nurses.

The Federal Government even dealt with the topic of care and the lack of skilled workers. In the 18th parliamentary term, the Federal Government made strengthening nursing care and improving the general conditions for nursing staff one of its priorities. The numerous measures implemented during this 18th parliamentary term have had a direct and indirect positive impact on the nursing sector.

Here you will find more information.

Culture: a rich diversity

The culture of Germany has a rich diversity. It includes the lively art and culture scene like poets and philosophers e.g. Wolfgang von Goethe. The Oktoberfest in Munich, it is very famous and the biggest fair in the world but the best-known of all the traditional festivals in Germany is the carnival, which is held each year in spring, especially in the strongholds of Cologne, Düsseldorf and Mainz. Germany also has a lot of theatres, music theatres, opera houses, museums, libraries and cinemas. Germany has a famous international film festival, the Berlinale and a vibrant media landscape. German is the most common first language in the European Union as well as one of the world´s top 10 languages. Around 120 million people speak German as their native language. German is also spoken in Austria and Switzerland. These are only some facts about Germany, if you want to know more, follow the link: 

Bringing your family to join you in Germany

Are you an EU or third-country citizen living and working in Germany and would like to bring your spouse and children to Germany? Whether your family members need a special temporary Residence permit depends on their nationality. And there are one or two conditions attached to entering Germany with your family, as an international skilled worker, you are sure to fulfil them.

Read more.


The Blue Card EU

What is the blue card? Who gets this card?

The Directive on Highly-qualified Persons aims to introduce a common residence title for highly-qualified persons at EU level which is to be organised in a manner that attracts candidates and hence makes easier and promotes the migration of highly-qualified persons. When it was transposed, a new residence title for foreigners with an academic or equivalent level of qualifications and a specific minimum salary was included in the Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz) in the shape of the EU Blue Card. The EU Blue Card enables third-country nationals who are university graduates or who have a comparable qualification to receive a residence title for employment suiting their qualification.

You want to know more, then read the information on the website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.

The Blue Card EU

What I learned when I moved to Germany – Part 2

So, it’s been two weeks since I wrote my last post. I promised I would tell you about the weather here.


When I arrived in October the winter was just setting in. On my way to my University all I could see was the yellow leaves all around the countryside. There are four distinct seasons in Germany, comprising of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter very different from my home country in India where there was mainly only season, SUMMER.
Don’t be surprised to see a swarm of people lying in a park on a fine afternoon. The Germans love the sunshine. And when I say they love it, I literally mean they love it. The weather starts getting cold from somewhere the middle of October and the temperature goes as far as minus twenty degrees during the peak of winter. You would need some warm set of clothes to get through the winter.

Travelling in Europe

If you wish to travel anywhere in Europe, you can always just pack your bag and leave for your destination. As I had written in my earlier blog post, public transport in Germany and in fact all over Europe is excellent. If you ever dreamt of backpacking this would be your best opportunity. There are hostels providing cheap accommodation in every city and it goes to as low as ten euros a night. Now that’s a bargain. There are also a couple of budget or no frills airlines that makes travelling affordable. There are also cross country trains available but that is slightly expensive in comparison to the budget airlines. Sounds unbelievable, right??


No points for guessing the most popular sport in Germany. Yes, it is football. The German domestic football league is called Bundesliga and is one of the most famous and successful leagues in Europe. Every weekend thousands of fans travel to support their favorite football team and cheer for them. Also, you can see the tremendous support of the German national team receives during the World Cup or the European Championship. But another sport that is very popular is Ice Hockey. Most of the major cities have a team in the first league so make sure to see a game of Ice Hockey to have a different experience all together. In smaller cities and towns where is no major football team the sport Handball attracts most of the crowd. The German Handball League is considered the best worldwide. Besides, Golf, Basketball, Tennis, Skiing and Cycling are also very popular in Germany.


Germany is known for its fashion along with its European counterparts. It is known for its unconventional designs and its range of sports clothing. Some of the biggest brands in the industry like BOSS, Adidas, PUMA, Esprit has its roots in Germany. Almost half of the products in the textile industry is exported making it a big money spinner for the for the economy. The major fashion destinations are Berlin, Düsseldorf, Munich, Hamburg and Cologne. The Berlin Fashion Week is a famous and internationally recognized. Their traditional dress: `Dirndl’ was worn in the south of Germany prior to the 19th century but it is very popular during the German festivals mainly the Oktoberfest.

So, that’s it for this time. Hopefully I can share new experiences next time. Auf Wiedersehen !!

Sumit In Berlin

What I learned when I moved to Germany – Part 1

I always wondered how much things would change if I moved to a new country. Yes, I would need to communicate in a new language, and I’d hopefully make friends native to my new country, but not much else would would really change, right? I couldn’t have been more wrong. Germany offers something to expatriates that in my opinion no other country in the world can.

My encounter with Germany started as a student. I vividly remember the time I first landed in the capital city of Berlin. Up until then, it was a city I only knew from history books. As the plane touched down you could see that winter was setting in. Drops of snowflakes covered the tarmac as we touched down.

Transport differences in Germany

I quickly realized that things are very different from Calcutta, India, where I come from. The ticketing system took me a while to get used to; you can choose from at least 4 ticket types for the same destination. But then I realized it’s great that there are so many options for travelers. The public transport system in Germany is simply incredible. Don’t worry if you miss a train, bus or tram. Chance are you will get another one in ten minutes or less!

Rush hour? Not if you’ve planned properly!

The rush hour in Germany is not like the typical rush hour we are used to seeing in Hollywood movies. Yes, there is an increase in the number of cars on the road and the subways and trams have more passengers, but it ends there. There is no crazy rush from employees to reach their office cubicles. Everyone plans their journey well in advance and the transport system never disappoints. Everything working in synergy to create the ‘German efficiency’ we always hear about.

Guten Tag! Greetings like a German native

The thing I like the most about Germans is their way of greeting everyone they meet. Be it a kid or someone in their 80s, chances are you will hear ‘Hallo’, ‘Guten Morgen’ or ‘Guten Tag’ if you cross paths. But the conversation generally stops right there and they don’t get involved with small talk. This seems very unusual coming from certain other parts of the world! But these conversations always take place in the native language. I already have a top priority item on my to-do list: Learn the German language!

Work-life balance

What amazes me is the work-life balance that people in Germany have. The government is really strict on this and has set a fixed number of hours that an employee can work every week. Exploitation of labour in any form is punishable by law. There is a minimum wage that needs to be paid irrespective of the type of work done. The Germans like to spend their weekends with their family. That is why all offices are closed at the weekend and the only places you find open are eateries and places of entertainment.

You can see how much I had to learn in a short space of time! But wait! I have not told you yet how cold it gets here. Maybe I can save that for my next blog post. Watch this space for more.


Negotiating a doctor's contract

Salaries for doctors in Germany: What can you expect to earn?

Good news – the medical profession has the highest starting salaries in Germany and doctors are well paid throughout their careers. Of course, exactly how much you earn depends on your professional experience and the medical area you work in.


Starting a career with a very good salary

You will usually start your working life as a doctor in a clinic. There are different career levels, with rising salaries attached. If you don’t yet have a recognized specialty, you will probably start as an ‘assistant doctor’. Assistant doctors are the job starters with the highest salary in Germany, around €68,000 per year, which can rise with your professional development. As an assistant doctor in training, you learn the diagnostics and methods of your speciality, treating patients independently as well as under the supervision of your ‘senior physician’ (Oberarzt).

Once you have successfully accomplished your ‘Facharzt’  (the title given to trained specialists), you can either choose to carry on working in a clinic or to establish your own practice. In the latter, you will work on a self-employed basis and your earnings will depend on your medical field as well as on your workload, number of patients, etc. It is therefore difficult to estimate average earnings. Currently, radiologists earn the most with an average of around €300,000 a year. A self-employed ‘general practitioner’ (Hausarzt), earns the least with an average of around €180,000 annually. Keep in mind that if you have your own practice, you will also have to pay for your own medical devices, insurances and any employees. And the administrative part of your work may be a lot higher here!


Doctor and Nurse


Climbing the ladder: with higher responsibility comes a better salary

If you choose to work in a hospital, you are usually promoted according to your years of professional experience, and your salary rises accordingly. With higher responsibility comes a better salary. Chief physicians are at the top level of their career and earn the most – with an average of around €278,000 per year. As well as their work with patients, they lead a hospital department and supervise employees. Next in line are the senior physicians – they also have leading roles within the hospital and earn more than colleagues without this title. Depending on your professional experience and the type of hospital you work in, this is normally around €115,000 annually. As a fully trained doctor without a leading position, on average you are likely to earn €85,000 per year – again, this may rise with your experience.

Doctors belong to the profession with the highest salaries in Germany, but they usually also have high workloads and a lot of responsibility. Germany is desperately looking for doctors in various medical fields at the moment, and we are here to help you if you choose to come and work as a doctor. Start by assessing your chances of finding a job in Germany or book a private consultation if you would like to have personal assistance from the start. We are happy to be part of this exciting time in your life!


References & futher reading  (German language) (German language) (German language)

German Jobs – An honest companion and an indispensable guide

Sometimes small encounters give rise to big changes.


In 2014 I met with a business associate in a Lebanese restaurant in Dubai to discuss business matters. My team and I were running a thriving relocation service and language school in Berlin, helping people from all over the world make their first steps in this growing city. After dinner we discussed an issue that was bothering me at the time: We were getting a huge number of requests from academics and qualified professionals who were looking for jobs in Germany. Those people were (and still are) desperately searched for by HR Managers across the country. There were so many requests that we were having trouble answering each of them with the attention they deserved. My business associate asked me a question that lay the foundation for a new company: “Why don’t you develop an app that does the answering for you?”

Since that evening in Dubai, we worked intensively on the idea and developed it further and further. We wanted to create a space to match talented professionals with Germany’s growing demand – combined with the best support we can offer. Many of our local and international partners were excited from the start. With two of them, we founded a new company and developed the brand ‘German Jobs’. We brought together a wealth of expertise, turned it digital and published it as a website. Behind this brand we are not your average start-up, but a team built from established structures, by experienced advisors.


Give people a realistic view


We are now looking forward to supporting many people abroad who have questions about immigration and the German labour market. It is important for us not to build up false hopes. No matter if their questions are about work or residence permits, the recognition of university degrees or which jobs are really wanted by the German economy, the people who use our website should be able to evaluate chances and risks realistically. We will give the users of this site help and support, specific to their circumstances, through our assessments and individual services.

Moving to a different country is a challenge. It is crucial to be well prepared and to be familiar with the language and culture of your new home. It doesn’t matter if you are planning to stay for a long time or if you are only here for a short period – the culture shock can still be the same. We want to help with your plans wherever we can, and this is also the purpose of this blog. It will provide guidance about living and working in Germany and, most importantly, it will portray a true picture of living and working in this country.

Miriam MuellerMy international and dedicated team and I wish for all our users that German Jobs will be a trustful companion to them and that they benefit as much as possible from our services – wherever you live today and wherever you choose to go tomorrow!


Miriam Mueller, CEO of Start IT Solutions GmbH


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