A residence permit for the purpose of taking up employment is issued by the local German immigration office (Ausländerbehörde).
As a rule, the residence permit is only issued for certain professional groups, e.g.
- IT professionals
- Managerial employees
- Employees with specialist knowledge
and additionally, only if:
- It is possible to demonstrate a specific offer of employment, and
- The Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) has issued its approval.
The Federal Employment Agency issues its approval if no suitable German employee or employees from other EU member states are available (so-called "priority check") and the foreign employees are hired at the same terms and conditions of employment as comparable German employees (especially in terms of wages and working hours).
There are important exceptions to these rulings.
1. Certain professional groups have a right to a residence permit without requiring the approval of the Federal Employment Agency. These include, among others:
- Employed managing directors
- Managerial employees
- Scientific research personnel
2. The so called EU Blue Card (Blaue Karte EU) may be granted by the local immigration office to certain highly qualified employees without or with only a limited approval of the Federal Employment Agency. Please read more in the EU Blue Card - Residence Permit for Highly Qualified Employees section.
3. The Federal Employment Agency issues its approval without any priority check inter alia for internal specialists with company specific knowledge whose work is required in the German subsidiary. Still, the foreign employee must be hired at the same terms and conditions of employment as comparable German employees.
4. Exceptions also apply to citizens from the following countries:
- Australia, New Zealand
- Japan, South Korea
- United States, Canada
Nationals from these countries do not need to belong to a specific professional group in order to obtain a corresponding residence permit. However, it might still be necessary to obtain an approval including a priority check from the Federal Employment Agency.
Please note that in any case a residence permit issued by the local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) must still be obtained.