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South Africans in Germany

Home » Visas and Immigration » Work and live in Germany

I want to work or live in Germany

If you want to stay in Germany for longer than 90 days in a 180-day cycle, you will need a residence permit.

Things you need to know first

  • South African citizens need a visa to travel to Germany and a residence permit to stay longer than 90 days
  • A visa allows you to enter the country, you apply for your visa at the German Embassy in South Africa. You must apply for the correct long-stay visa, this is linked to the residence permit you will apply for once you are in Germany.
  • For a list of long-stay visas and their relevant information please view our long-stay visas page.
  • After arriving in Germany, you need to register at the Foreigners Office (Ausländerbehörde)
  • Thereafter you need to apply for a residence permit (Aufenhaltstitel or Aufenhaltserlaubnis), which allows you to stay in the country for longer than 90 days
  • You do not need an agency or immigration lawyer to assist you.
  • The embassy in South Africa is extremely helpful, if you have all your paperwork in order, the process should go well. Their website is very informative.
  • Under certain circumstances, you can obtain a visa to look for work.
  • We (our FB page and this website) are not an immigration service and can only advise you where to get the official information.
  • You are not allowed to work in Germany if it is not explicitly stated on your residence permit

Your options for emigrating to or living in Germany

  • Find employment – see our page about searching for Job opportunities. There are some professions in demand with relaxed requirements, read more on Make in it in Germany  We also have a whole section about Working in Germany on our website. We also started a job board
  • Find a training position – dual training or vocational training. See our page on the vocational training system, or navigate to Living in Germany, Schools, and Studies
  • Enroll at a University or Hochschule (Technical University). See our page about studying in Germany
  • Freelancing or starting your own business.  Also see our Entrepreneurs Corner Forum 
  • Au Pair or voluntary service
  • Enroll in a German language course. See our page about studying German in Germany
  • Family reunification. See our page about the types of Family reunification visas

The best websites for finding information

Welcome Centres

If you know in which town you plan to live, you can also contact the Welcome centre and ask for assistance. Here are some links for the major cities

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