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Germany Opens Doors for Skilled Workers and Students: New Visa Rules Explained

25 March 2024

Germany is opening its doors to international students and skilled workers with new visa regulations that make it easier to live, work and study in the country. Students can now arrive in Germany nine months before their studies begin and work up to 20 hours per week.

Great news for international students and skilled workers! Germany, boasting the strongest economy in the EU, has implemented significant changes to its visa rules, making it easier for foreigners to study, work, and potentially settle in the country. Here’s a breakdown of what this means for different categories:

International Students

1. Early Arrival & Work Permit
With the implementation of new visa rules, Students can now arrive in Germany nine months before their studies begin and work up to 20 hours per week. This allows them to take language courses (English or German depending on their program), prepare their application, and adjust to life in Germany.
2. Increased Work Hours
Good news for students especially from lower-income families! The annual work limit has been increased from 120 full days (or 240 half days) to 140 full days (or 280 half days). This provides more financial flexibility during their studies.

Apprenticeship Applicants

Work While Searching: Looking to pursue an apprenticeship in Germany? You can now work while continuing your job search. With a B1-level German proficiency and being under 35, you can work up to 20 hours per week both before and after you begin your training.


1. Extended Job Search:
Non-EU graduates from German universities can now stay for up to 18 months after graduation to find a job in their field. This extended period allows for a smoother transition from academics to the workforce.
2. Easier Career Changes:
Considering a career shift? Graduates can change their visa to an EU Blue Card or German Skilled Worker Visa if their desired job field differs from their studies.
3. Attractive Permanent Residency:
With two years of work experience, graduates can apply for permanent residency in Germany, paving the way for a long-term future in the country.

Need for Skilled Workers

Germany is experiencing a significant shortage of skilled workers. As of December 2024, there are over 770,000 open positions across various sectors, including horticulture, wood, metalworking, and technical fields. Additionally, high-paying professions like healthcare, aviation, sales management, and law offer promising career opportunities.

Is Germany Your Next Destination?

These new visa regulations make Germany a more attractive option for international students and skilled workers seeking a vibrant economy, diverse job market, and potential pathway to permanent residency. Research your field of interest, learn the language, and explore the opportunities Germany has to offer!

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