Germany Immigration Law

What Is Immigration Law in Germany

Mr. Aykut Elseven German Lawyer
Provided by
Lawyer Aykut Elseven

Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte
Offices throughout Germany
Call +49 221 93295960

Schlun & Elseven Attorneys at Law PartG is a law firm operating throughout Germany and internationally. Our lawyers have extensive experience in various areas of law and can work in English, Russian, Turkish, French, Spanish and German.
The laws regarding immigration in Germany change often, and recent developments in the 2010s have sparked controversy among citizens and those that would like to immigrate into the country. Understanding how these laws affect citizens that want to immigrate to Germany is therefore crucial.

How to Immigrate to Germany

Germany is one of the most popular destinations in the world. With the economy performing well, a broadly developed education system and employment opportunities, third-country nationals as well as EU citizens are looking for opportunities to immigrate to Germany. It is important to learn how to accomplish this for those that want to remain in this nation legally. For immigration a valid reason is required, e.g. to acquire a job, for educational purposes, as an entrepreneur of a business or for family.

Requirements for Immigration to Germany

Anyone who wants to move to this country must have a valid reason and fulfill additional requirements. This involves proving financial stability before moving to the country, having a health insurance and having at least basic knowledge of the German language. These are the usual conditions for an individual to move to and live in Germany validly. However, even with a visa or residence permit, the person may still need to update information and contact the immigration services from time to time. If the verification of the requirements is more complicated, it can be helpful to have a lawyer to start this process.

Requirements for a German Visa

Independently from the country a person wants to move to, work in, travel or study, he or she usually needs a visa. Therefore, a visa can be granted on different grounds. A well known visa type is the so called Schengen-Visa, which is a visa for touristic purposes that allows to visit Germany as well as other member states of the European Union for up to 90 days.

There is a business visa for entrepreneurs. Another is available to study in the country for current or future students. There are a job seeker visa and an employment visa for those wanting to work in Germany. Another is available for guest scientists and for those interning or training under a company. Based on the situation, the person may need to acquire a different visa than he or she thought.

Proving Financial Stability to Immigrate to Germany

One of the general conditions for granting a residence permit is to prove that the livelihood is assured. Even if the person wants to move to Germany for a job opportunity, he or she must reach a certain financial threshold. The applicant must fulfill this requirement before moving. This is to ensure that he or she can support the move and ensure that financial resources to sustain his livelihood are available.

Health Insurance for Germany Immigration

Valid health insurance coverage is necessary to move to Germany as this is a part of proving a secure livelihood. A residence permit will not be granted unless proof of adequate health insurance has been submitted in form of an insurance contract. It is possible to be insured on the basis of statutory health insurance or private health insurance. For the private insurance it is important which type and to which extent it covers health issues.

In some cases, it is also required that one can prove an adequate pension provision.

Proficiency in the German Language

To live and stay in Germany, the foreigner needs to have a basic understanding of the language and a proficiency to speak, write and read it. There are three levels of proficiency according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. There are two parts of each level and even advanced language skills. Which level of language skills one may need depends on the kind of residence permit one would like to obtain.

While in some cases, basic language skills are sufficient - such as for family reunification - other residence permits require the foreigner to prove an advanced knowledge of the German language. Finally, there is the possibility to apply for a residence permit solely for the purpose of learning the German language. If a certain level is reached then, the foreigner is allowed to apply for a residence permit with a different purpose.

Immigration to Germany for Employment

Germany is constantly looking for highly qualified university graduates and trained professionals, such as engineers, information technology professionals and medical workers. To encourage these individuals to move to Germany, the access to the German labor market is facilitated for them. In order to meet the requirements for a residence permit for the purpose of employment the foreigner has to show that he or she has an employment contract.

The EU Blue Card is granted for the purpose of working in an occupation that requires highly qualified skills. The applicant must hold a university level degree that either has been issued by a German university or is recognised as an equivalent to such. Furthermore, one has to reach a certain yearly income threshold.

Holders of a German Blue Card will be granted the Blue Card of another EU member state more easily, after a considerably simplified process.

Immigration to Germany for Job Seeking

If the foreigner was not able to find a job in Germany from abroad, it is possible to receive a residence permit for the purpose of looking for a job directly in Germany.

This residence permit is issued for a period of six months and does not represent an entitlement to practice an occupation.

Immigration to Germany for Educational Purposes

Because Germany offers university education to very low fees in comparison to other states, it became a very attractive university site for many EU and non-EU students seeking higher education.

The main requirements for obtaining a student residence permit are that the residence is due to study purposes, the student has adequate knowledge of the language in which the study program will be taught and sufficient financial resources to fund the student visit.

After the successful completion of studies a residence permit can be granted for a maximum of 18 months for the purpose of finding a job or setting up a business.

Entrepreneurs Immigrating to Germany

Germany is one of the main destinations for investments within the European Union. Entrepreneurs as well as investors appreciate its competent personnel, as well as its political, social and legal security.

In order for entrepreneurs and other self-employed workers to settle down in Germany, several requirements have to be met. The business will particularly be assessed in regard to the viability of the underlying business idea, entrepreneurial experience, the invested capital, the impact on the employment situation and the contribution to innovation and research.

In 2012, the law was changed to the effect that the applicant will no longer have to demonstrate a minimum investment amount or the creation of a certain amount of workplaces. Therefore applying this residence permit in Germany can be very attractive.

Families Immigrating to Germany

If one family member has a residence permit, his spouse or minor unmarried children can apply for a visa or resident permit for the purpose of family reunification.

As a rule, certain minimum requirements in terms of available living space, a secure subsistence and health-care insurance for both the sponsor and the immigrating family member must be met.

The family member already residing in Germany needs to prove that he or she can provide for him- or herself and the family and that sufficient living space is available. The foreign spouse or same-sex partner usually has to have basic German language skills.

When the child is under sixteen, language proficiency is not required because these minors should learn the language quickly. Under certain conditions children over this age must have sufficient language proficiency of German and the ability to both adapt and integrate to Germany.

Family reunification of others members of the family, such as siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins may be granted for the purpose of avoiding particular hardship, meaning circumstances which suggest that either the family member living in Germany or the family member wanting to join them is dependent on family support which can only be provided in the Federal Republic of Germany (e.g. in case of particular need of care).

The Immigration Policy Changes in Germany

Anyone wanting to immigrate to Germany must keep in mind that immigration policies and laws are changing regularly.

The government often decides when to change the immigration laws based on immigrants that are in the country illegally or without the proper status. However, leniency can occur when war breaks out in another location near Germany. The government may provide asylum through proper channels in the country based on these events. However, the laws may still change if there are few complications in the EU.

Major Changes to Asylum in Germany

What might seem like clearly defined legal regulations nevertheless frequently imposes legal as well as bureaucratic problems on the people that arrive in Germany seeking refuge and safety, since there is a multitude of further regulations which applies for asylum seekers and refugees and is frequently affected by significant changes. On top of that, the European Union Law is of great importance for the application of these regulations.

In order to facilitate the deportation of immigrants that fail to adhere to proper asylum procedures many new legal regulations were introduced, such as in 2017 and recently in June 2019.

German citizenship

In times of turbulent political conditions, global economic difficulties, military conflicts, persecution and loss of homelands; the search for security, stability and "normal" living conditions has become an essential part of life for millions of people. This search for stability is especially important when it comes to providing a future for our children.

Germany is one such country where this stability is treasured. Being able to call oneself a citizen of this country allows one to benefit from all that entails. Furthermore, being a holder of a German passport allows to travel to many countries within and outside Europe without needing a visa.

Availing of your right to obtain German citizenship by descent or by naturalization is therefore an attractive option.

The Need for a German Lawyer

Often, obtaining competent legal advice by a specialist immigration lawyer in Germany is extremely helpful or even indispensable.

They can take care of the extensive administrative procedures involved in order to make sure the application process goes as smoothly as possible and there are no delays.

Specialized lawyers for German immigration law can advise and represent both private individuals and companies in all areas of immigration law. Whether visas for job seekers, EU Blue Cards, residence permits for employees, residence permits for investors, family reunions, applications for settlement permits or German citizenship, there is a wide range of possibilities.

Hiring a German Immigration Lawyer

To ensure that you are making the right applications to the relevant immigration authorities and embassies, it is recommended that you obtain competent legal advice from specialized German immigration lawyers. In particular, an expertise regarding the implementation of EU Community law on a national level and a thorough understanding of European legal sources are of vital importance.

The immigration lawyers at Schlun & Elseven are therefore glad to assist you in all matters involving German immigration law, residence permits and citizenship law. If you intend to apply for a work visa, an EU Blue Card, residence permit for self-employment, family reunification, study visa, business visa, extension of residence permit, permanent residency or German citizenship, our immigration lawyers are at your disposal.

Immigration Lawyers in Germany

Find a Lawyer