Beginning an employed business in Germany as a non-European-citizen

As a rule, most of the regulations for the employment of foreign workers are written down in the German Residence Act and in the Social Act (three). Generally, there is the distinction between whether the applicant is a foreigner, who intends to enter Germany for the first time, or a foreigner who is already living in Germany. The issue of a labour permit, for foreigners newly entering Germany is regulated by the German “Beschäftigungsverordnung” (BeschV), whereas the issue of a labour permit for foreigners already living in Germany is regulated by the German “Beschäftigungsverfahrensverordnung” (BeschVerfV).

According to these laws the relevant aliens authorities issue the visa including the labour permit in the Federal Republic of Germany, providing the Federal Employment Agency has agreed on the visa. The former two-stage administrative procedure therefore has been eliminated, as the aliens authority also issues the residence permit as well as the approval for employment. As a result, the applicant only has to apply to the aliens authority for the issue of a labour permit. To speed up proceedings, it is highly recommended to pass in the questionnaire for the application for the issue of residence permit to begin an employment (download) together with all required documents. This application form as well as other documents is offered as a download on this page.

As a rule, the relevant aliens authorities in Germany are responsible for questions and decisions about visa applications. The local responsibility depends on the place where the applicant intends to take up residence. Also, changes and extensions of residence permit (e.g. to begin an employment) have to be applied for at the relevant aliens authorities. Addresses of the relevant aliens authorities in Frankfurt am Main, Hochtaunuskreis and Main-Taunus-Kreis are written down at the bottom of this page.

Applications for the issue of a labour permit:

If a non-European citizen wishes to be employed in the Federal Republic of Germany, this will usually be permitted as long as:
  • He or she has permission from the Federal Employment Office or (§39 AufenthG)
  • No permission from the Federal Employment Office is required(§42 AufenthG)

In the above case, there is also a distinction between a specialist or executive staff (low- or average-qualified employees) and highly-qualified employees:

Specialist and executive staff (low or average-qualified employees), who want to work in Germany and already have a concrete job offer, will have to apply for a visa at a consulate or other appropriate authority. They can be granted a temporary residence permit if the Federal Employment Agency approves. Experts with special skills, or specially qualified executive staff working for a company also active outside of Germany, have the best chance of being granted employment permission. 

As a highly-qualified employee, it is possible to receive permission for permanent residence in the form of a settlement permit if the Federal Employment Agency approves. But it is necessary to apply for a visa first and to prove an already existing job offer. Holders of a permanent residence permit are allowed to enter employment-relationships without regulations. Highly-qualified employees include all specialists or executive staff with above-average qualifications who would be rewarded accordingly in full-time employment on the German market. These could include scientists with special expertise, teachers and professors in prominent positions (such as having a special chair) as well as specialists and management staff earning an annual salary of at least 84.000 Euro. 

Decision on the application:

The approval from the Federal Employment Office is transferred to the relevant aliens authority in an internal procedure, so that the applicant only has to apply at the aliens authority. As a rule the employment permission will be granted, if
  • The employment of the foreigner concerned doesn’t have any negative consequences on the labour market, especially with regard to the structure of employment, the region and sector.
  • There are no preferred employees (German citizens, EU- citizens or EEA-citizens) for the job available
  • Foreigners don’t have to bear worse job-conditions in comparison to German citizens.
  • There is a concrete job offer

Furthermore, the labour permit can be linked to certain regulations concerning the kind of the job or a particular company as well as regarding a certain time limitation. These regulations usually can be seen in the passport.

More information, as well as more precise information about the regulations of approval of the special kind of employment can be viewed under the following link (in German) (Beschäftigung ausländischer Arbeitnehmer)

Addresses of the relevant aliens authorities in the IHK-region Frankfurt a. M.:

In der Stadt Frankfurt:
Stadt Frankfurt am Main
Rebstöcker Straße 4
60326 Frankfurt am Main

Tel: +49 (0)69 212 42485
Tel: +49 (0)69 212 44133
Telefax: +49 (0)69 212 42216
Tel.: ++49 (0)69 212 44422

Im Hochtaunuskreis:
Allgemeine Landesverwaltung
Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage 1-4
61452 Bad Homburg v.d. Höhe
Tel.: ++49 (0) 6172/999-0
Einreisestelle.: ++49 (0) 6172/999-3231

Im Main-Taunus-Kreis:
Allgemeine Landesverwaltung
Am Kreishaus 1-5
65719 Hofheim
Tel.: ++49-(0) 6192-201-0


Useful links: