All visitors to the country not from the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) must apply for a long-term or short-term Schengen visa as a prerequisite to a work permit. For non-EU nationals, there are two main visa options for Germany: long-term and short-term Schengen visas.

  • Short-term: Visitors may stay in Germany for a 90-day period. There are different types of short-term visas depending on whether the visit is for tourism, business, employment, or study.

  • Long-term: Anyone planning on staying in Germany for more than 90 days for any purpose needs a long-term Schengen visa. The application process is lengthier and may include an interview at the German diplomatic mission where the individual applies.

Work Permits

Most EU citizens do not need a permit to work in Germany. For non-EU citizens, there are two main types of permits for both short- and long-term periods:

  • Payroll is handled in the home country and the employee works under a contract between a German business and the company in the home country. 

  • Intra-Corporate Transfer (ICT), where employees of a foreign company are temporarily seconded to or employed by a company belonging to the same group in Germany.

Certain individuals may also qualify for the EU Blue Card, a long -term permit that may be issued for up to four years and is renewable.

Social Security

To avoid paying social security in two countries, if the home country has an agreement with Germany, the employee can remain covered under the social security program in their home country and is exempt from pension and unemployment contributions in Germany for a period of up to four years. This period may be extended upon agreement between the competent authorities.

Meltzer Hellrung’s services include:

  • Full assessment of the applicant under existing visa laws and regulations

  • Assistance at each step of the process: visa application, work authorization, residence permit, extensions, renewals, etc.

  • 24/7 access to our case management system to track real-time status of applications and monitor upcoming expiration dates or other requirements

  • Document procurement for legalization, attestation, police clearance certification, proof of birth/marriage/citizenship, etc.

  • Accompaniment and assistance upon arrival in Germany

Contact is to learn more about how we can help streamline the visa and immigration process.