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Visa in Germany (Part 2) - an official work visa and a settlement permit

by Dr. (Jur.) Lulu Niu

2. Official work visa

 a)      Legal basis
The legal bases of the work visa lie in paragraph 4 of the Residency Act (Residency for Purposes of Employment), paragraphs 18-21.

 b)      Types of employment
If you find yourself looking for a job and have already received an offer or have a contract, the type of visa depends on income. Taxable income of 49,600 euros, or 38,600 euros in the case of a shortage occupation, allows you to apply for a Blue Card directly as per paragraph 19a. In all other cases you may receive a work visa once the terms of paragraph 18 have been fulfilled.

 c)       Working in an independent company
Many college graduates have a great tradesman's spirit, and 9-5 employment does not meet everyone's needs, but 18 months have passed and you have still not found the right job. In both cases you can consider founding your own company, which allows for the application for a formal work visa.

 d)      Relevance
Regardless of which visa applies to you, all applicants are obligated to verify that their profession is relevant to their field of study.
In practice, the effect of these conditions can be understood by looking at the big picture. All types of professional education must be stated, both majors and minors, including pertinent professional experience, and the respective industry and job description is included in the situation analysis and result. For example, a graduate with a business degree with a specialization in gastronomy can easily verify how this connects to a management position in the food industry.
However, someone who can find only a cleaning job instead of an administrative position will be hard pressed to verify how these two relate.
This also applies if a graduate with a degree in machine engineering can only find a job as a taxi driver.
In short, the direct relevance between education and profession is very important for a successful application for a work visa, and a complex range of factors is necessary in order to receive such a visa.

3. Work visa with settlement permit

 a)  Legal basis
The legal basis of the work visa with settlement permit lies in paragraphs 9, 18b, and 19a of the German Residency Act.
Article 9 of the Residency Act lists all general terms and applies to all applicants. It applies both to applications for purposes of family unification as well as for applicants without a college degree.
Article 18b applies to people with a degree from a German university or a diploma recognized in Germany, and it states - among other things - that someone who has had a work visa for more than two years and fulfills other conditions may apply for a residency permit.
Article 19a, item 6 lists the special conditions for Blue Card holders, which include:
If the individual can exhibit B1-level German language skills after 21 months, the individual may apply for permanent residency in Germany. In all other cases this time frame is 33 months.
For graduates of German universities, a term of 21 months applies before the individual can apply for permanent residency in Germany.

Note: The aforementioned information applies solely as a general introduction into this topic, and may deviate from case to case. We are happy to assist you with any questions you may have.


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