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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Obtain approval from the Federal Employment Agency for the employment of foreign workers in Germany under contracts for work and services


Companies based in a member state of the European Union enjoy freedom to provide services. Employees of these companies who are temporarily employed in Germany to perform a contract for work do not require a work permit. This also applies to nationals of the European Economic Area and Switzerland. Employees of these companies who do not have one of these nationalities generally require a residence permit. For this, please contact the German diplomatic mission or consular post in the country of posting.

The Federal Republic of Germany has concluded intergovernmental agreements with a number of countries. These regulate the posting and employment of workers from foreign companies on the basis of contracts for work and services. Intergovernmental agreements exist with:

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina,
  • North Macedonia,
  • Serbia and
  • Turkey.

Employees from these countries can work in Germany for a limited period of time within the framework of fixed quotas for the execution of work contracts.

Before you as a company can employ contract workers from these countries in Germany, these workers need a residence permit that allows them to work in Germany. The Federal Employment Agency must approve the issue of a residence permit in the form of a contract worker card.

Approval of the residence permit is generally granted for the expected duration of the work required to fulfill the work contract. The maximum duration of the approval of the residence permit is generally 2 years. If the execution of the work contract takes longer than 2 years due to an unforeseeable event, the approval can be extended by up to 6 months. Approval can be granted for a maximum period of 3 years if it is clear from the outset that the specific work contract will last longer than 2 years. However, this regulation only applies to employees who are new to Germany.

Individual workers with managerial or administrative duties (such as technicians or site managers) may be granted a residence permit for a maximum period of 4 years.

Contract workers from countries with which no intergovernmental agreements exist cannot be admitted. This does not apply to contract workers from the following countries:

  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Canada
  • Republic of Korea
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • San Marino
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland within the meaning of the Freedom of Movement Act/EU
  • United States of America

In order to obtain approval, you must be able to prove that the workers you wish to employ

  • have the necessary qualifications,
  • have the same working conditions as comparable German employees,
  • actually carry out activities that correspond to their qualifications or are appropriate to their qualifications and
  • have a valid employment contract.

Depending on the trade in which your company is active, special requirements may apply to the approval of the employment of foreign contract workers.

  • Declaration on the contract for work
  • Work contract or framework and partial service contract or addendum in the original
  • Service specifications with precise details of the work to be performed in the original
  • Quota confirmation from the responsible ministry or the responsible quota awarding authority in the original
  • If applicable, deployment plan (for changing personnel levels during the execution period)
  • Self-certification form on the operational details of the customer (only for construction services)
  • Certificate from the local authority responsible for the protection of historical monuments that the objects in question are worthy of protection (only for restoration work)
  • Confirmation of receipt of information sheet 16 (Employment of foreign employees under contracts for work and services in Germany) signed and in the original

Submit the required documents in good time, at least 4 weeks and at the earliest 3 months before the intended execution date. You must submit additional information on your application documents within the set deadline after being requested to do so by the Federal Employment Agency.

The notification of approval and fees can be

  • appeal and
  • action before the social court

can be used as legal remedies.

The following applies to the issue of the work contract employee card: The decision made by the BA within a procedure for issuing a visa or residence permit is not an independent administrative act. It is an internal act of cooperation vis-à-vis the diplomatic mission or foreigners authority that decides on the residence title. An appeal can therefore only be lodged against the decision of the diplomatic mission or immigration authority.

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

To obtain approval, you as the client should proceed as follows:

  • Contact the International Placement Services. You will be registered there, receive an order number and the application forms. Once you have registered and received an order number, you can download the application forms from the Federal Employment Agency's website and send (upload) them via an online account on the same page.
  • Fill out the forms completely and send them with all the necessary documents to the International Placement Services.
  • The International Placement Services will check the documents and inform you in writing whether the requirements for approval have been met.
  • The sending foreign company will receive a letter of approval from the International Placement Services.
  • The decision on the approval of the residence permit is issued to the contract workers in the form of a contract worker card (WAK). If the residence title is issued by the diplomatic mission or immigration authority in Germany, the WAK becomes part of the residence title.
  • If both the work contract employee card and the residence title are available, the employee can start work.

When applying for the first time, please always contact the International Placement Services of the Federal Employment Agency first. You will be registered there and receive an order number.

Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS)

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Start your request directly online:

Bundesagentur für Arbeit, Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung (ZAV), Team 241/242
Nordbahnhofstraße 30-34
70191 Stuttgart, Landeshauptstadt
+49 228 50208-2453
+49 228 50208-2455
+49 228 50208-2437
+49 228 50208-2436
+49 228 50208-2427
+49 228 50208-2424