How can I enter and work in Germany as a foreign qualified researcher?

You moved back to your home country once finishing your doctoral studies in Germany, eager to offer gained qualified knowledge and know-how within a rewarding job but yet nothing optimistic chanced! Do not be bothered overmuch if you suddenly got tired of searching for a dream job there and constantly failing to fall down in any gainful work contract, since there are decent opportunities for you to get back in Germany and join the country’s economic activity. No mistrust there, since the quality of your research title is “the passport” to make your journey toward a successful career in Germany much easier.

Well, saying that we are sure there are few options for you to get to Germany for working. You might either find a job online and apply from home and perhaps get a work contract in Germany before entering the country, or you might get in in Germany first and seek for a job from there.

Questioning which are the forms to get in the country and work, the following information will support your way.


As you are in your home country, seeking to return in German territories after you left the country following the end of doctoral studies, you surely must possess the needed visa to do so. Learn which are countries who need a visa to enter Germany.

There are two categories of visa for foreigners seeking to enter Germany to join a country’s economic activity which defers based on the employment status. Likewise, depending on the visa you hold, the period of stay in Germany defers as well as the type of work and residence permit.

Having a sound work offer while in the home country

A chance for you to get back in Germany after you returned into your home country as you finished your doctoral studies in Germany is to have a sound work offer in there. A better and cheaper option for you is to find a job online from home. In such case, the application, testing, the interview and job offer are done through the online communication tools such as e-mails, Skype or more and some time postage services.

As you get a job offer that is suitable and matching your qualification gained from doctoral studies, you are ready to set up a meeting and apply for the proper work visa.

Advantageous from your doctoral qualified education which categorizes you as a highly qualified worker, your correct visa to apply for is EU Blue Card. To do so, you must set up an appointment at the German Embassy or Consulate in your home country and submit the following documents:

  • Duly completed and signed visa application form,
  • Proof of your doctoral qualification gained in Germany,
  • Proof of having a rewarding job offer, matched with your qualification – with a minimum annual salary 49,600 EUR (for deficiency professions 38,688 EUR),
  • Valid passport,
  • Updated CV,
  • Health insurance coverage,
  • Proof of paying the application fee (around 60 EUR)

As an EU Blue Card visa holder, you benefit a lot from this visa type, since it entitles you to apply for the settlement permit after only 33 months of showing a good employment record and German language skills of level B1 – the Common European Reference for Languages. Well, if you can proof German language skills earlier you can receive the settlement permit after only 21 months of holding the EU Blue Card successfully.

Entering Germany to search for a job

If you are still in your home country and could not reach any gainful job that relates to your qualification, then, you have a possibility to return to Germany as well. In such case you should apply for the job-seeker visa which allows you to search for a job for 6 months after entering Germany.

The application must be done in home country and the following are the required application documents:

  • Valid passport (at least 3 months longer than your planned stay),
  • Duly completed application form,
  • Proof of your doctoral qualification gained in Germany,
  • A cover letter to express which is the reason of travel and stay in the German territory,
  • Updated Curriculum Vitae,
  • Proof of secured accomodation,
  • Proof of secured financial coverage (i.e. Blocked account in Germany or German sponsor),
  • Proof of marital status,
  • Proof of paying the application fee.

Once you get the job-seeker visa if proving you found a gainful job related to your qualification, after only 6 months there is a possibility for you to apply for a long-term residence and work permit.

Job hunting

As you are questioning which can be the job matching your education and skills in Germany, there is not much time to waste doing so. Immediately, you must start your own online job-hunt to become realistic about the job-offers that the German labor market has to offer to you.

In this regard, there is a very shortened way to do so, by checking the most famous local job portals such as: Federal Employment Agency, Hotline working and living in Germany, EURES, Monster, Step stone, Academics, Jarcco, Jobs in Germany. Another alternative is to seek for agencies in your home country responsible for recruiting highly qualified individuals who want to work in Germany.

Job application

Considering you have searched and found a job or jobs you want to apply for in Germany the next step is the job application process. This process is not very different in Germany compared to the other capitalized countries. There are several stages heading you to an individual’s employment. Firstly, you apply for a job and if you get selected from the other applicants, you get invited to attend an examination and next a face-to-face or online interview. The closing stage of a successful employment is negotiating the contract’s conditions, and last but not least, signing the agreement. All these stages need an accurate planning and focus since they all define your career future scenarios.

To apply for a job typically there you must provide the following documents (in PDF version) through e-mail or postage:

  • Updated Curriculum Vitae (EUROPASS format usually),
  • Cover Letter,
  • Proving documents on your qualification (scanned or copied version)
  • Computer skills certificate (scanned or copied version)
  • German and/or English language skills certificate (scanned or copied version).

Undergoing the interview, here are some frequently asked questions during job interviews which can help you prepare earlier.

Work contract

As you attend the interview, after just a few days the company will let you know if you have been picked to get the job offer or not. If being awarded to work in a certain job position, then the company will invite you to discuss on the job contract’s terms and conditions.

A typical issues that a job contract includes are:

  • Names of work contract parties,
  • Work contract validity,
  • Scope of work and job responsibilities, obligations and authorizations,
  • Probation period of the employee,
  • Place of work of the employee,
  • Salary level,
  • Working hours,
  • Holidays,
  • Notification term.

Once you and the company agrees to the aforementioned terms and conditions the next thing is signing the work contract by both parties. If one of the parties does not sign the contract that the contract does not enjoy any legal validity.

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