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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Obtain prior approval from the Federal Employment Agency for the employment of foreign workers in Germany


The nationality of a skilled worker determines whether he or she requires a permit to take up employment in Germany. Nationals of EU member states, the European Economic Area and Switzerland do not require a work permit; nationals of other countries (third countries) can obtain one under certain conditions.

In order for you as an employer to be able to employ foreign workers from third countries, your future employees need a visa from the foreign representation (embassy or consulate) in their country of origin or a residence permit from the local immigration authority in Germany. Both must allow them to work or train in Germany. In many cases, the Federal Employment Agency must approve the employment so that a corresponding visa or residence permit can be issued.

This is possible in various ways:

  • The foreigners authority, the embassy or the consulate involve the Federal Employment Agency in an administrative procedure within the authority.
  • Alternatively, you as an employer can speed up this process: you can ask the BA directly whether it will approve the employment of a foreign worker in your company (so-called advance approval).

The advance approval is valid for 6 months from the date of issue. The visa or residence permit must be issued within this period so that the Federal Employment Agency does not have to re-examine the application.

  • You must submit a specific job offer.
  • You have not yet submitted the application to the diplomatic mission or foreigners authority.
  • Further requirements may arise depending on the specific employment and the intended visa or residence title.
  • Declaration on the employment relationship
  • Supplementary documents, for example references from previous employers, if required

The decision made by the Federal Employment Agency within a procedure for issuing a visa or residence title is not an independent administrative act. It is an internal act of cooperation vis-à-vis the diplomatic mission or immigration authority that decides on the residence title. An appeal can therefore only be lodged against the decision of the diplomatic mission or immigration authority. This applies accordingly to the preliminary approval, as the act of cooperation is merely upstream.

Forms available: Yes
Written form required: No
Informal application possible: Yes
Personal appearance necessary: No
Online services available: Yes

To initiate the procedure for prior approval, you must submit a written application:

  • Download the "Declaration of employment relationship" form from the Federal Employment Agency's website and complete it.
    • It may also be necessary to provide additional information for certain types of employment. In this case, complete either supplementary sheet A (residence permit for the recognition procedure) or supplementary sheet B (residence permit for a posting).
  • Send the documents to your responsible labor market admission team at the International Placement Services (ZAV). If you have a user account for the digital services of the Federal Employment Agency, you can upload the documents directly using the upload service.
  • The ZAV will check your documents. You may be asked to submit further documents, for example an employment contract.
  • If the result of the check is positive, you will receive a letter of approval for employment, which you pass on to the foreign employee or the competent authority.
  • The employee usually submits this letter to the relevant immigration authority, embassy or consulate when applying for a visa or residence permit.

Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS)

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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