Emerald Technology Oct 13, 2022 3:14:45 PM 8 min read

the ultimate guide to hiring foreign nationals in germany

Germany is one of the largest and most vibrant economies in Europe, making it an attractive destination for businesses looking to expand their operations. With its strong industrial sector, highly educated workforce, and thriving start-up ecosystem, Germany is a great place for companies to establish a presence and tap into new opportunities. Hiring foreign nationals in Germany is a common practice and can be a valuable strategy for businesses looking to tap into the global talent pool and stay ahead of the competition.

One of the biggest advantages of hiring foreign nationals in Germany is the access to a larger pool of talent. With a highly skilled and educated workforce, Germany is a great place to find top talent from around the world. This can be particularly beneficial for businesses in industries such as engineering, technology, and science, where the demand for specialized skills is high. Additionally, hiring foreign nationals can bring new perspectives, cultural diversity, and a fresh outlook to your business, helping to drive innovation and growth.

Another reason why businesses should consider expanding to Germany is the country's strong economy and business-friendly environment. Germany has a stable and predictable business climate, with low levels of corruption and a highly skilled workforce. This creates a favorable environment for businesses to establish operations, and attracts foreign investors and entrepreneurs. The country is also home to a thriving start-up ecosystem, which provides opportunities for businesses to partner with local companies and tap into innovative solutions.

When it comes to hiring foreign nationals in Germany, there are several visa requirements that must be met. The first step is to secure a job offer from a German employer. The employer will then be responsible for sponsoring the foreign worker's visa application. The visa process typically involves the submission of various documents, such as a copy of the employee's passport, a copy of their qualifications, and a certificate of good conduct. The process can take several weeks or months, depending on the type of visa being applied for.

One of the most important requirements for hiring foreign nationals in Germany is the acquisition of a German work visa. There are several different types of work visas available, including the EU Blue Card, the Work and Residence Permit, and the Highly Skilled Immigration Program. The type of visa required will depend on the type of work the foreign worker will be doing, as well as their qualifications and experience.

In order to be eligible for a German work visa, foreign workers must meet certain criteria, such as holding a valid passport, being able to prove their qualifications, and having a job offer from a German employer. They must also be able to demonstrate that they have sufficient financial means to support themselves during their stay in Germany.

Finally, it is important for businesses to understand the legal requirements for employing foreign nationals in Germany. This includes compliance with German labor laws, social security regulations, and tax obligations. Businesses must also ensure that they provide their foreign workers with the same rights and benefits as their German employees. This includes providing a safe and healthy work environment, and ensuring that all employees are paid the same wage for the same work.


What are the differences in the application process for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals and third-country nationals?

The application process for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals is different from third-country nationals. The following list contains general information about the application process for both groups of applicants:

  • Application procedure for EU/EEA nationals:

Applicants who are citizens of an EU member state, Liechtenstein, Iceland or Norway have the same rights as Germans when it comes to finding a job in Germany. They don’t require prior approval by the German labour market office.

Applicants can send their application- including all required documents- directly to their future employer via mail or fax. It is not necessary to obtain a certificate of eligibility from the Federal Employment Agency unless they plan on working in one of five professions (pilots and flight attendants; medical practitioners; lawyers; pharmacists; accountants.)


What are the requirements for contRacts and documents needed by social welfare authorities and tax office when employing foreign nationals?

In Germany, the employment contract must clearly state the employees’ position in the company. This means that it should be clear who is hiring and who is being hired, as well as what tasks they will perform.

The contract must also include information on salary and benefits, the working hours the employee is expected to work (including holiday and other leave), their period of employment and any other information that may be relevant to their role within your company.


Does an employer have any obligations to fulfil once a foreign national has started work?

Once a foreign national has started work, the employer must register the employee with the local employment office. In addition, it must provide the employee with a written statement of employment that includes all details relating to working hours and salary as well as information about other benefits such as sick pay and holiday entitlements.

Employers in Germany are legally required to carry out social security contributions for their employees at source, but they do not have to take over these contributions themselves unless they wish to make them tax-deductible. This means that once your foreign employee has begun working for you, your business many be exempt from paying further taxes if he/she is included on one of your company’s payrolls. However, this exemption does not apply if:

  • You hire someone via an intermediary company
  • You employ someone who lives outside Germany


In conclusion, hiring foreign nationals in Germany can bring many benefits to businesses, including access to a larger pool of talent, a stable and predictable business environment, and the opportunity to tap into new perspectives and innovative solutions. However, it is important for businesses to understand the visa requirements and legal obligations associated with employing foreign workers in Germany. With careful planning and preparation, businesses can successfully expand their operations and take advantage of the many opportunities available in Germany.

Want to start hiring your workers in Germany? Don't go at it alone, engage with Emerald Technology as your Global Partner to start growing your remote team now. 

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