In his first major speech as Germany’s new Chancellor, Olaf Scholz emphasized that Germany was a “nation of immigration” and promised that German citizenship as well as multiple citizenship will be easier to acquire in the future as it “reflect[s] ‘the reality of many people’” better than the current laws and regulations. This article will give a brief background about the migration to Germany and aims to inform (future) entrepreneurs, founders and start-ups from abroad about possible visa types and pathways to stay in Germany after graduating from a German university. In particular for entrepreneurs who would like to first gain a hold of the country before deciding to start up a business, this article might be useful.
Immigration As A Moral Human Right And A Pillar Of Democracy
As Kieran Oberman, a Senior Lecturer in Politics at The University of Edinburgh, emphasized in the 2016 article ‘Immigration as a Human Right”, only by migrating and thus ‘interacting’ with other people – can people truly see and feel the impact of policies on migrants who choose to live in a self-proclaimed new home respectively host country. Through interaction, Oberman continues, social movements are brought into life – people start demonstrating for common causes as they understand the impact of a societal system on different members and communities. As such, migration and interaction are both crucial to uphold democracy, turn political freedom into an active practice and create awareness about other fundamental human rights. With Oberman claiming that migration is a moral human right, not absolute, but still very valid, one may argue that migration also is a lens, a dry run, a test of political promises – an assessment of theory in practise – a process, which makes politics more aligned with the core of the human experience, the practise of brotherhood as a way to make oneself ‘home’.
During the last years, in the aftermath of the 2015 refugee crisis, asylum applications for Germany made up between 122,170 to 222,683 with a noticeable drop in the aftermath of the refugee crisis and during the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in 2020, which in the latter case is most likely to be linked with immobility across the globe. In 2021, this drop was however reversed. Instead of 122,170 (2020), 190,816 individuals applied for asylum in Germany and it is clear that international students show no less interest in staying. According to findings of a Studying in Germany survey, 69,2% of international students aim to stay in Germany after their graduation. While the latter is not impossible, indeed it comes with a range of hurdles. Below is an overview on how to settle in Germany prior to starting up a business – in case that there is a will to do the latter at a later stage, but the wish to get familiar with the country first, save some money, network or just feel into that decision.
Working In Germany: Different Pathways, Challenges And Opportunities
Staying In Germany After Graduation From University
One way to stay in Germany in order to find a job and get to know the country from a different perspective certainly is connected with the decision to stay in Germany after graduation from university. Whereas international students can already opt to work part-time in Germany during their studies (i.e. 120 full or 240 half days per year/ 20 hours per week), finding a job immediately after graduation is not necessary in order to stay in the country – even if it might make things a little easier! As explained on the website ‘Make it in Germany’, which is run by the Federal Government, it is possible to obtain a residence permit for a duration of up to 18 months after graduation, if an applicant comes from a third country.
More concretely, such a residence permit will only be issued, if studies were completed successfully and a proof of health insurance cover and sufficient financial resources to cover individual livelihood needs are available. Whereas the latter might generally sound like a great opportunity, these conditions are currently certainly a gap in Germany’s support of international students. While health insurance cover can easily be secured through a job and graduates are entitled to take up any position, the COVID-19 crisis has certainly influenced job prospects. If a graduate was to struggle with finding employment – depending on the individual case and financial background, the latter rules might be problematic. For this reason, many international students have to get prepared early on to organize their stay in Germany after graduation.
Whereas the residence permit generally foresees that studies were successfully completed, there is also an option to enter an apprenticeship (‘Ausbildung’) prior to the finalization of university studies in case that university studies indeed do not seem to be the right trajectory. Prior to starting an Ausbildung, international students would in this case have to apply for a residence permit in line with § 16a AufenthG. A second option would be to apply for a residence permit based on qualified employment, for instance, if a suited job is found prior to the finalization of university studies and the applicant decides to take up the job instead of finalizing the studies, while having the necessary skills to fulfill the needs of the job. The latter would require to apply for a residence permit in line with § 19c Abs. 2 AufenthG. Notably, taking up an Ausbildung can also be an option if studies are finalized. Indeed, both taking up an additional Ausbildung and proceeding to obtain a PhD are other options to further explore the country and make it home! Whereas getting self-employed or working as a freelancer straight away certainly are options, the latter options thus are alternatives to stay prior to making this exciting decision and step!
Applying For Asylum In Germany And Obtaining A Work Permit
Applying for Asylum in Germany can in some cases be slightly more difficult than staying in the country after graduation from a German university. The reason for saying this is that asylum seekers are not entitled to work during the first three months of their stay in Germany, as long as they are obligated to live in reception facilities and if they come from a country, which was classified as ‘secure’ (i.e. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ghana, Senegal etc.) and provided that the application for asylum was issued after 31st August 2015.
Usually, the procedure for an employer would be to obtain permission from the relevant immigration authority, which in turn must obtain permission from the employment agency (‘Bundesagentur für Arbeit – BA’). Thereby, the resident status is decisive with regard to obtaining a permission to work. For ‘recognized refugees’, employment does not necessarily have to be given permission for, while for ‘asylum seekers’ in an ongoing proceeding and ‘tolerated persons’ the latter must be granted. Applying for asylum and obtaining a working permit in Germany can thus be somewhat frustrating and require a lot of patience and resilience. According to the rules, it is however possible to start an Ausbildung after three months without prior approval and this might also be a possibility for individuals, whose application for asylum was already rejected.
When it comes to staying in the EU in the long-term, individuals need to at minimum have lived in Germany for five years. Next to the latter, they need to be in full capacity to secure their livelihood needs and those of their family, have sufficient living space for themselves and their family and need to prove that they have paid at least 60 pension contributions. Other criteria, which are enshrined in § 9a Erlaubnis zum Daueraufenthalt – EU, are that applicants have sufficient knowledge of the German language and have not engaged in any acts that deliberately, respectively severely, have posed a threat to public security and order. In a nutshell, applying for asylum in Germany, applying for a long-term residence permit and becoming a German citizen constitute long processes – some of which are not necessary to start up in Germany!
Applying For A Work Visa In Germany
A third way of moving to Germany prior to starting up a business is to obtain a work visa and get to know the country and the business scene this way prior to coming up with an own idea and putting it into practise. Whereas a work visa might not be the best option for other groups, it certainly constitutes a chance for highly-skilled professionals. This is so, because it is a prerequisite to have “attend[ed] a higher education institution or receive[d] qualified vocational training outside of Germany” for obtaining a work visa in Germany. Three general criteria, which need to be met for obtaining such a visa, foresee that the future employer of an applicant must be located in Germany, that the applicant has German health insurance and that they have a place to stay.
Other application criteria include that: 1) qualifications are recognized or comparable with those, which could have been obtained in Germany; 2) an employment offer was received prior to the visa application – with the offer allowing the applicant to apply gained skills in their field of expertise; 3) the applicant is allowed to exercise the chosen profession in Germany and has additionally obtained approval from the Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung (ZAV); 4) the employment offer includes a salary amounting to at least €46,530 in 2022 to anyone above the age of 45 years. The latter criterion could however instead be fulfilled by proving that an adequate level of old age provisions was secured prior to obtaining the work visa. To briefly sum it up, a work visa might especially be one option for applicants with a vocational training qualification. For applicants with a recognized university degree, it could be more interesting to look into obtaining a EU Blue Card.
Applying For A EU Blue Card
Compared to the work visa for Germany, the EU Blue Card has additional benefits. In a nutshell, a EU Blue Card is valid for the duration of the work contract plus three additional months. After a little more than two and a half years, or 33 months, a settlement permit can be obtained by holders of a EU Blue Card – with exceptional cases constituting such, where the latter is possible after 21 months. For this purpose, German language skills are however needed at the B1 level of the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR). Unlike applications for the German work visa, applications for the EU Blue Card require proof that applicants will earn a minimum salary of €56,400 or €43,992 for those employed in STEM fields.
Next to the above criterion, applicants must hold a recognized university degree in order to apply for a EU Blue Card with the latter notably being a prerequisite in Germany, but not all member states of the EU. Information on recognition can be obtained via the Anabin database. According to All About Berlin, the EU Blue Card constitutes a particularly great opportunity due to: 1) administrative burden being smaller (you do not need to wait for permission from the ZAV); job changes being possible after two years without changing the EU Blue Card (which is not the case for the work visa); being able to move to other EU countries (after 18 months and not including Ireland and Denmark); having permission to travel outside of Germany for up to 12 in comparison to 6 months. In particular, the mobility aspects of the EU Blue Card illustrate that for entrepreneurs with a university degree, who want to get to know Germany before starting up, the EU Blue Card might be a good option.
If you are an entrepreneur, a founder or a start-up with an interest to relocate to Germany, do not hesitate to contact us for legal support with on-demand and flexible options from any location. Next to having an office in Frankfurt since 2020 and being specialized on supporting start-ups and SMEs on the German market, we also have various African offices and can additionally provide support across different African jurisdictions, where needed. Contact us for an initial consultation to find out more!