Residence permit Jun 29, 2017

Tips for successful establishment: Bringing foreign skilled workers to Bavaria

German employment law is a vast field and not always easy to understand. Good enough reason for us to give a few insights into the basics of German laws. Contract design, working hours, periods of notice – all of this has to be considered when appointing new staff. But the skilled workers have to be found first of all, of course. And there are quite a few additional aspects that have to be observed with the recruiting of foreign employees in particular.

Investors can tap into a large pool of skilled workers when settling in Bavaria. The expertise in the state of Bavaria, the incredibly diverse universities and companies from global players to start-ups are a real treasure trove of know-how. This also attracts foreign applicants to the state, who are naturally an enrichment for any company.

Legal bases for employing foreign staff


Legal bases for employing foreign staff can be found in the “Aufenthaltsgesetz” (AufenthG – Act on the Residence, Economic Activity and Integration of Foreigners in the Federal Territory Residence) and in the “Beschäftigungsverordnung” (BeschV – Ordinance on the Admission of Newly-Arrived Foreigners for the Purpose of Taking up Employment). Both mainly rule the employment of so-called third-state members, i.e. skilled workers who are not citizens of the European Union or European Economic Area (from Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Switzerland). As the latter enjoy the unrestricted free movement of workers due to them belonging to the international community and therefore do not need a separate residency or work permit.

Unlike with third-country nationals by contrast. A residency permit is compulsory for them. An application has to be made at the German foreign representative office in their homeland before entering Germany. Overall the law provides for five different residency permits, which generally entitle their holders to pursue an economic activity if this is defined in the AufenthG and the permit is expressly permitted:

  • Temporary residence permit: granted for a limited period of time, for example, for the purpose of an economic activity
  • EU Blue card: granted for a limited period of time, joint residence permit for highly-qualified professionals at EU level, for foreigners with an academic or equivalent level of qualification and a specified minimum salary
  • EU long-term residence permit: granted permanently to foreigners from third-party states after five years of legal residency in an EU member state, with the right to migrate on to other EU member states, virtually equivalent to nationals, e.g. with regard to access to the employment market
  • Permanent settlement permit: granted permanently, geographically restricted, entitled to an economic activity, conditions according to § 9 AufenthG – special regulations exist, for example for highly-qualified professionals
  • Visa: granted for a limited period of time, entitles entry to Germany and is changed on site into a residency permit for the purpose of the stay

Work permit


Where a double approval procedure used to be necessary, going to both the Aliens Authority and Labour Administration has been scrapped since 2005. If the Federal Employment Agency has granted its permission, a joint decision is made for the work permit and residence permit by the Aliens Authority.

If it has been established that an employee, temporary or permanent, may remain in Germany for the purpose of an economic activity, the same rights and laws apply to them as to German employees. The copy of the residence title or temporary residence permit must be kept in electronic or paper form for the duration of the employment (§ 4 Para 3 AufenthG).

We are happy to assist you with any other questions that you may have regarding the establishment of your company in Bavaria. Contact us free of charge and with no obligation.

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