The German jobs market ended on a positive note in 2017. This boom is expected to continue in 2018 signalling increasing opportunities for job seekers to join the German workforce. The more beautiful thing about this revelation is anyone with the right amount of skill can be a part of this growth.
And If you’re reading this, you may just be the person Germany needs – provided you tick the right boxes. This post is to show you how you can migrate to Germany as a highly skilled individual.
A most important information to know before embarking on this journey is if your skill set is needed. Currently there are a couple of skills in high demand in Germany. They range from the medical sciences to engineering. Here are some skill categories in demand;
Germany is in dire need of doctors. The country currently needs several thousand doctors with this number expected to rise in the future. Doctors are among the highest paid and regarded professions in Germany. They are needed in both rural and urban areas.
German cars, machinery and general equipment are globally known for their high standards. To maintain this status quo, the country constantly needs innovative engineers. Core engineering fields such as mechanical, electrical, building and automotive engineering are hotbeds for new talent.
Scientists and IT specialists
German research institutes, schools and private companies alike employ science-inclined professionals on a rolling basis. Fields like renewable energy and emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) require competent professionals.
There is a general shortage of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professionals compared to the potential job market.
Experts with Vocational qualifications
Vocational skill workers without university degrees can also apply to work in Germany. This is largely based on three conditions;
- There’s a shortage of qualified professions in the chosen profession
- You have received a binding offer of employment
- Your qualification is recognised be a competent authority to have a German equivalent.
is a whitelist of vocational professions currently needed.
The first step is to check if you are qualified to migrate and work in Germany. After this, you check if your qualifications are equivalent to a German one. This second process is called a recognition procedure. After the recognition procedure, you start searching for jobs. If successful, you proceed to apply for a work visa into Germany.
Summarily, the steps to migrating to Germany as a worker are:
- Check if you are qualified to migrate and work
- Undergo a recognition procedure
- Apply for a job
- Apply for a work visa
Another equally important step is learning to speak the German language.
The essence of the recognition procedure is to check if your academic qualifications and work experience meets that required to work in Germany. Depending on the outcome of the result, you may have to undergo further training in your field. A relevant competent authority usually handles a recognition procedure. For example, a relevant German pharmaceutical authority will best vet a pharmaceutical degree.
You don’t need to live in Germany or be a German citizen to apply for a recognition procedure. You can submit your applications from your home country.
Typically, the recognition procedure consist the following steps:
- Check if you meet the basic requirements to migrate to and work in Germany. The migration check is an online tool for this exercise.
- Use the Recognition Finder to find a competent authority to submit your recognition procedure application.
- Submit your application with all required documents
- Receive your assessment notice or result
Documents for recognition procedure
Below are common documents needed in the recognition procedure;
- Proof of identity
- CV in tabular form
- Copy of qualifications, and if necessary, further certificates of competence
- Certificates regarding relevant professional experience
- Medical certificate confirming fitness to practice the profession
- Statement of whether criminal proceedings are pending
These documents are subject to change depending on the competent authority. It is important to first contact the authority for the specific documents they require. In most cases, you will have to provide certified German translations of all documents.
The procedure is not meant to take more than three months.
Cost for this procedure varies by individual cases and recognition centre you’re applying through
. You are to pay all fees upfront. It is possible to get financial assistance from job centres and Agencies for employment
. They will only refund the money spent, but you must pay at first.
A work visa is possible when you have an offer for a job. To secure this offer, you have to search for jobs. Here are some websites to help you in your search for jobs in Germany. You may have to change the website language to English for some of them.
There are different visa classes available if you want to go to Germany. They include:
- Work visas
- Job seeker visas
- Study visas
- Training visas
- Visas for research, internship, training, self-employment and so on
The most relevant visas for this article are work and job seeker visas.
If you have a recognised university degree or one equivalent to a German degree, you are eligible for a Work Visa or “EU Blue Card”. An important requirement for this visa is you must prove you have a job in Germany that is in line with your qualifications with an annual gross salary not less than 38,688 euros.
A job seeker visas allows you to stay in Germany for up to six (6) months to seek employment in your field. The main requirement is you must have enough funds to live in Germany in this period. Also, you must possess a recognised higher education degree equivalent to one obtainable in Germany.
You cannot extend a job seeker visa. You must return to and spend at least the duration of your job seeker visa at your home country before you can reapply.
Below is a simplified rundown of the visa application process in Nigeria
- book appointment for a visa interview online using this link
- Pay a long term visa fee of 75 euros (payable in naira)
- Download and fill visa application forms (form 1, form 2)
- arrange all necessary documents for your visa category (see this checklist as a guide)
- attend visa interview on scheduled date
Always remember to be extra careful when applying as incomplete applications can be refused.
Do I have to know how to speak German?
You have to at least, learn to speak basic German at some point. Communication is mainly via the German language and being unable to speak it puts you at a disadvantage. Even if you get an English-language job, you need German to interact with people around you.
There are various ways you can learn German. You may consider getting a physical tutor or going for online classes. Udemy is a storehouse for paid language short courses including German. A free option will be duolingo
Migrating to Germany is not a walk in the park. It requires research, careful planning and money. There’s no denying the gains that come with taking such a life-changing move. I’ve added a few more reading resources to guide you. If you have questions, corrections or comments, you can post them in the comments section below and I’ll gladly reply.