Six ways to Germany for skilled workers and high potentials

ICT specialist at work ©jacoblund / istock
ICT specialist at work ©jacoblund / istock

From March 2020 onwards, skilled workers from non-EU countries will find it easier to come to work in Germany legally.

In a first step, interested candidates will, as a rule, have to obtain official recognition of their professional qualification based on standards set out by German authorities.

Individual procedures may differ slightly. This recognition process should be initiated in your country of origin – long before the visa application. 

Do you qualify as a skilled worker in Germany?

German authorities consider you to be a skilled worker if you are a professional with a recognised academic degree or a recognised professional qualification that would require at least two years of vocational training in Germany. Before applying for a visa, candidates will have to obtain official recognition of their professional qualification from the competent German authorities There is an exception for specialists in information and communication technology (ICT) with sufficient job experience.

For more information, go to:

6 options for qualified professionals from outside the European Union to enter Germany with an official visa. You must file your visa application at the German Consulate in your home country.

Here is what you should know before applying for a visa:

1) Entry for skilled workers with a vocational training background

You have successfully completed professional training that qualifies you as a skilled worker and you are interested in coming to work in Germany? Then you should start the process of obtaining official recognition of your professional qualification from the competent German authorities. Once you have a certificate of official recognition and a concrete job offer from a German employer in your field, you can apply for a visa.

2) Entry for ICT specialists without a formal qualification

Are you a specialist in information and communication technology? Can you prove that you have at least three years of work experience in this field, even if you did not obtain a formal degree? Do you have a concrete job offer in Germany in your field with a salary of at least 49,680 euros per year and sufficient German language skills (B1 level)? Then you have the chance to apply for a visa at the German Consulate in your home country.

3) Entry for academic and non-academic job-seekers

You have finished your professional training in your home country and would like to find a job in Germany? You are a university graduate searching for a skilled job? Once your degree or your vocational training certificate has been officially recognised by the German authorities, you can apply for a six-month temporary visa that will allow you to search for new opportunities in Germany. Suitable candidates must prove that their German language skills are adequate and that they have the financial means to support themselves.

4) Entry for high school graduates to search for vocational training

High school graduates under 25 years of age may come to Germany for up to six months in order to look for vocational training. Three main conditions apply: their graduation certificate allows them to study at a university, they speak German at an advanced level (B2 level) and they have the financial means to support themselves.

5) Entry for additional training and qualification in order to obtain full recognition of a professional qualification

In certain cases, it is now also possible to come to Germany without having obtained full recognition beforehand. If a German authority has informed you during the recognition procedure that you will need further training or qualification measures to obtain full recognition (“partial recognition”) and you have found a specific offer from an employer or a training facility for such additional qualifying measures, you can apply for a visa to complete the recognition procedure in Germany. While you follow the additional training measures, you will be allowed to take up a job in Germany under certain conditions, in a number of non-restricted fields.

6) Simplified entry modalities for health & nursery specialists

In particular, but not only, in the health and nursery sectors, the Federal Employment Agency is authorised to conclude agreements with the competent authorities of other countries. If you are a skilled worker in these fields you can benefit from simplified procedures for obtaining a visa to enter Germany and ask for recognition of your professional qualification once you are here.

Find out more:

For additional information about the new rules on the immigration of skilled workers to Germany, go to: offers the most important information for skilled workers interested in coming to Germany.

Information about the recognition of professional qualifications:

Information about the recognition of graduation certificates:

Information about where to learn German:
The German Embassy in your home country offers plenty of information about where you can learn German in your country:

Last updated: 18.06.2020 Published: 31.10.2019