The procedure as of 1 January 2005 is as follows:
Stage 1: The residence permit application (which also provides access to the labour market) for the candidate is received by the German embassy in the country where the candidate lives.
Stage 2: The Embassy passes the application to the immigration office (the Auslaenderbehoerde) in the place where the job is to take place for initial approval. The immigration office, in cooperation with the local employment office (the Arbeitsamt) that issues the permission, makes its decision.
Stage 3: If the candidate's application has been approved, the Embassy provides an entry visa to the candidate.
Stage 4: Upon arriving in Germany, the foreign national and any accompanying family members must apply for their work and residence permits at the local foreigners authority.
To qualify as for a German work permit, the basic requirements for the employee and the German company are as follows:
- The potential employee has to be employed on equal terms as a German employee.
- German or other European nationals are not available to fill the position.
- Usually the employee must have a university degree comparable qualification. For some positions there are special requirements.
- The German company must be registered at the Labor Authorities in Germany and apply for a Corporate Registration Number.