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Immigration to Germany

There are several legal options when it comes to immigration to Germany. In this article we will review the main types and requirements for immigration. Read the article till the end to select your suitable way of immigrating to Germany.

What are the main points you need to know about immigration to Germany?

  1. Application for a permanent residency can usually be successful for the candidates only after they have had a temporary permit for several years. Holders of the EU Blue Card can also expect to be issued a permanent residence title.

  2. The main condition for getting the German citizenship is permanently staying in Germany for 8 years. There are also some exceptions that enable the candidate to apply for the German citizenship after 5 years.

Main types of immigration to Germany:

Watch this video to learn about main types of residence permits in Germany:

1. Immigration to Germany for Employment

Non-German nationals, including non-EU citizens, can pursue the intention of immigration to Germany for employment when meeting certain criteria.

The main 3 steps for those seeking to immigrate to Germany for work are:

  1. Finding a job in Germany. The company that offers the job should accept foreign national as employees.

  2. Applying for the German working/employment visa if needed. The process of immigration to Germany is simplified for certain groups of people: citizens of the European Union, as well as of the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and the Republic of Korea can enter Germany without a visa.

  3. Getting the residency for work (residence title for the purpose of employment) after arriving in Germany.

This step is obligatory for foreigners from the USA, as well as from Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and for other non-EU citizens going for immigration to Germany. The specific type of the residence title is determined by the purpose and the length of the intended stay and the qualifications that the employee has. Among other conditions for getting the residency are the presence of a valid passport and a confirmed accommodation.

Both the employer and the potential employee have to take the following important requirements into account to make the immigration of the candidate to Germany possible:

  • The company hiring the employee has to prove that the position could not be filled by German or EU nationals.

  • The company has to ensure that the foreign employee will have the same conditions as any German employee.

  • The employee has to prove he/she meets all the requirements for the said job in terms of education and work experience.

  • The employer has to meet all the requirements for a German company in terms of registration and needed certification.

2. German EU Blue Card

If you are eligible for an EU Blue Card, the procedure is a little simpler.

The main requirements for applying for a Blue Card are:

  • Having a German degree or a foreign degree that is recognized in Germany or is comparable to a German degree.

  • Having an employment contract or a binding job offer.

  • And, as of 2023, having a minimum gross salary of 43 800 euro per year (or 39 682,80 euro per year for understaffed professions).

There is no need for the employer to prove that the position couldn’t be filled by an EU national. It seems that the procedure of getting a Blue Card is simple. However in practice it turns out that it’s rather hard to find an employer who would hire you. One more significant disadvantage is that if you lose your job, you are given only a short amount of time to find a new one. 

See all  pros and cons of the EU Blue Card and how to get it here

Our company, Nexus-Europe GmbH, helps foreign specialists to resolve all issues related to applying for the German Blue Card. You just need to contact us to learn how to get a Blue Card in Germany and receive an individual solution.

Get the German Blue Cardcontact us: info@nexus-gmbh.biz

There is also an option that allows you not to depend on employers at all.

3. Immigration to Germany for the Self-employed

Previously there was a specific requirement that foreigners had to meet coming to Germany to do business: namely they had to ensure an investment volume of 250.000 euro as well as create at least 5 jobs. Now this requirement no longer exists, making the immigration to Germany for business purposes much more accessible than before.

A residence permit for the purpose of business can be issued to a self-employed person intending to immigrate to Germany if their business meets certain criteria:

  1. It has relevance in terms of commercial or regional interest.

  2. It is expected to have a positive effect on the economy.

  3. The financing of the intended business is ensured through own assets or a credit commitment by a bank.

During the evaluation especially the fulfilment of the following conditions is closely checked: sustainability of the presented business idea, previous business experience of the person, amount of the capital investment, effect on the employment and educational situation as well as contribution to the country in terms of innovation and research. For immigration of the self-employed over 45 years old to Germany there is also a requirement to provide a proper pension scheme to be checked by the officials.

The residence permit is issued for three years at the longest. After that period the self-employed person can apply for a settlement permit which can be issued if the following requirements are fulfilled: the intended business activity has been successful and the foreigner can provide for their own living expenses as well as for their dependants through the revenues received from the business.

Fatal mistakes while planning the immigration to Germany as entrepreneur

The preparation of the documents for residency as a self-employed is a rather important and difficult procedure for those who are not familiar with the immigration law. We expained the main issues of getting a residence permit as a self-employed in this video. here we mentione two of them. It’s very often that businessmen setting up a company in Germany for subsequent immigration get a rejection due to an incorrect or unconvincing business plan or other supporting documents. The consequences are even more dramatic when the entrepreneur has already registered the company, not having taken the following application for residence into account.


  1. Owning a company in Germany does not grant the owner a residency. Apart from being a shareholder of a company, for immigration to Germany one needs to meet certain requirements according to section 21 of the Residence Law (AufentG).

  2. The business plan for getting a residence title and the business plan for attracting investments are two different things.

For instance, Nexus prepares the documents as per the 5-step Nexus Smart Immigrate technology. It was developed specifically for entrepreneurs wishing to immigrate to Germany through business. The preparation of the documents is carried out by expert lawyers and economists. The whole documents package is also reviewed by our special counsel who has a close knowledge of the criteria that are most important to the decision making government officials. That is why the risk of refusal is minimized.

Contact us to get a German residence permit as a self-employed: info@nexus-gmbh.biz

4. Immigration to Germany for Family Reunions

Family members of those living in Germany are allowed to immigrate to Germany to reunite with their family. In general, all spouses and children under 16 can apply for the residence permit to join their family in Germany.

There are 2 general cases of immigration of families to Germany for the purpose of reunification:

  1. Family members joining a German citizen who lives and has mostly lived in Germany.

  2. Family members joining a foreigner who lives in Germany and has a valid residence permit.

In both cases, the family member to be joined in Germany (the sponsor) will have to provide proof that they have necessary resources to cover the living expenses of their family, an appropriate place for the family to live and a valid health insurance.

As a rule, to get the residency for family purposes the spouses will need to have a certain level of knowledge of the German language. It is considered that the settlement process will be easier with at least basic language skills.

In some cases it is not required to provide proof of the language knowledge when immigrating to Germany, for example:

  • Children under 16 do not have to speak German to be eligible for immigration for family purposes.

  • The family member to be joined in Germany is considered a highly-qualified person, a researcher or a self-employed person and was already married before moving to Germany.

  • The family member to be joined is a national of the United States of America, Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea or New Zealand.

  • One of the spouses is a national of an EU/EEA country (apart from Germany).

  • If there are proven reasons why it is not possible for the person to learn German.

Residence permit for family reunification can be refused in case the sponsor cannot provide the full package of necessary documents and in particular is not able to prove their financial sufficiency which is essential for immigration to Germany. Another reason for rejection of family reunion is forced marriage or marriage of convenience.

Other ways of immigrating to Germany do exist as well. In this article we introduced the most common and popular ones of them. Only in the course of the last year more than 500 000 obtained residency in Germany. Immigration to Germany is real. If you plan to immigrate to this country through business, we will make the whole process maximally comfortable for you.

This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is intended for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Each situation is unique and professional advice should always be obtained before taking or refraining from any action.

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