Visa & Blue Card Process for Germany: Your FAQs Answered
Many of us dream of working abroad, but might be discouraged by the paperwork and effort it takes to get there. But as you know, the best things in life aren’t easy and life really does start outside your comfort zone – we here at trivago are big believers in that!
With our team consisting of 80+ nationalities, we’re no stranger to visa processes and our Employment Services (ES) team is experienced in helping talents relocate to Germany from all over the world. Once we’ve made you a job offer, we’ll support you with advice and reimbursement for your visa, but to give you a headstart, we’ve answered the most frequently asked questions for you below!
What is the difference between a visa, work permit and Blue Card?
Visa (Visum): A visa enables you to travel to Germany and apply for a residence permit at the local foreigner’s office (“Ausländerbehörde”). You would only be allowed to work for one specific employer who acts as a sponsor.
Work/residence permit (Arbeitserlaubnis/Aufenthaltserlaubnis): A residence/work permit allows you to stay and work in Germany for more than 90 days.
Blue Card: A Blue Card is a type of work/residence permit that is only issued to people who meet a specific set of criteria (eg. a recognized degree or minimum gross salary per annum).
What does the process of applying for and getting a visa and a work permit look like?
Does trivago sponsor my visa and/or Blue Card?
trivago will support you during the application process and reimburse you for the first visa as well as your first permit in Germany as part of our relocation reimbursement package. You can apply for this reimbursement once you start working. All extensions of your permits would be at your own cost.
Does a normal residence permit also qualify me to work?
A residence permit does not necessarily allow you to work in any occupation. Your work permit or so-called “Zusatzblatt” (additional green paper) will state whether you are allowed to work and which kind of company you’re allowed for.
Is there an online immigration platform that I could consult for general questions early in the process?
What can I already prepare for my visa process during the recruiting process?
This highly depends on the criteria for the permit that you are eligible for. However, the first thing you can do is to have your degree translated to English or German as this might take a while.
In case you don’t have a degree, you could work on getting proof of your past work experience, for example, reference letters, recommendation letters or employment confirmation from your previous employer(s).
Is there any possibility of my visa getting rejected?
In case you don’t meet the requirements and therefore aren’t eligible for a work permit, the embassy wouldn’t issue a visa. However, you’ll already know if you’re ineligible before you even make the embassy appointment. Our Employment Services Team checks every individual situation and would only ask you to attend the embassy appointment if we’re sure the embassy is likely to issue the visa.
Can I get some help with my visa application from someone who has already gone through the same process?
The Employment Services Team is always happy to help in case there are concrete questions about the visa process and should always be your first go-to person.
Additionally, we aim to introduce you to your welcome partner within the first days after you’ve accepted our job offer. Your welcome partner is someone within trivago who has had a similar experience/background and had to go through the same process as you.
Is there any way I can travel to Germany before the date that is stated on my visa?
Unfortunately, you’re dependent on the validity of your visa and you’re only allowed to enter Germany from the effective date onwards.
To avoid any delays, we suggest you already make an appointment at your embassy a few weeks before your start date at trivago so that your visa is valid and issued before then. You would then have a couple of days to settle down in Germany and tick the first administrative tasks off your to-do list, like registering in the city, opening a bank account, etc.
What are the different types of work permits I can apply for?
Visa Type D is most likely the visa you will initially apply for to come to Germany. In order to stay and work in Germany for longer, you would then need to apply for a permit. The type of permit you’re eligible for depends on a set of criteria, for example, your salary, degree and job profile. You can find out about the different types here.
These four are the most common ones among our own talents:
- “Normal” work permit
- IT Specialist
- Small Blue Card
- Blue Card
Who is eligible for a family reunification visa? Which of my relatives can apply?
Only a spouse and children under the age of 16.
I am moving to Germany on my partner’s Blue Card/work permit. Am I eligible to work or should I get my own permit?
You will be eligible for a family reunion permit. However, a work permit isn’t necessarily granted along with your visa. You might need to visit the foreigner’s office before your start date in order to get a work permit. This differs depending on where you’re from, so please check the website of the German embassy in your home country for more detail.
Do I have to apply for my Blue Card at the German Embassy in my home country?
No, first you have to apply for a visa in order to travel to Germany. After arriving in Germany, you will need to apply for the Blue Card at the local foreigner’s office. We will support you in getting an appointment and give you advice on the documents you’ll need for your application 🙂
Did we miss any of your questions? Reach out to us on social media @lifeattrivago and we’ll try to include the answers to your questions here!
Special shoutout to Carolin Wilms, the rest of our Employment Services team, and our recruiters for compiling this article!