Information for EU citizens

Entry and Residence

Are you a citizen of an EU member state and would like to work, study or do an apprenticeship in Germany?

Through the Freedom of movement you can enter Germany without a visa or residence permit and stay here for three months. All you need is a valid passport or ID card to enter the country. If you are planning a long-term stay in Germany, you must prove that your livelihood and, if applicable, that of your family members is secure. You and your family have unlimited access to employment and self-employment in Germany.

If you are a citizen of Switzerland or the European Economic Area (EEA), i.e. Liechtenstein, Norway or Iceland, the same applies to you.

Anyone who last worked in Germany and becomes unemployed is not left to fend for themselves, but is entitled to unemployment benefits. The same conditions apply for this as for German citizens. Employment and insurance periods that you have completed in other countries will be taken into account when processing your application.

There are a number of other social benefits to which you are entitled as an EU citizen in Germany. Further information on the subject can be found at the EU Equal Treatment Agency .

Right of permanent residence

As an EU citizen, you automatically receive the right of permanent residence in another EU country after an uninterrupted legal stay of at least 5 years. You can have this certified with the permanent residence card. It can be useful when you have government or administrative matters to attend to. You can find more information on the subject of “Permanent residence for EU citizens” here .

German citizenship

Do you have your regular residence in Germany and would you like to apply for German citizenship? As an EU citizen, this is possible. What requirements do you have for naturalization to meet here?

Depending on which EU member state you come from, you do not have to give up your previous citizenship when you are naturalized. So you can have “dual citizenship”. You can find out from your responsible country which countries offer this option Naturalization Authority


The principle of free movement of workers within the EU gives citizens of the member states easier access to the German labor market. Here we present the wide range of support that you can take advantage of if required.

Funding opportunities for EU citizens

EURES supports fair and sustainable professional mobility across borders. The Targeted Mobility Schemes (TMS) funding program is part of this EURES strategy. The aim of the program is to bring together suitable applicants and difficult-to-fill positions and to facilitate mobility, job search, and recruitment in Europe. Several TMS projects are currently being implemented in Germany.

What are the requirements if I want to take part in one of the German TMS projects?

You are at least 18 years old but have not yet reached retirement age

You have European citizenship and a place of residence in one of the 27 EU countries, Norway or Iceland and would like to work in Germany

You are looking for a job, an internship or an apprenticeship and there are offers that match your qualifications or your training requirements.

The job you are applying for or want to take on is not limited to less than six months, comprises at least 50% of a normal working week and complies with statutory and collective bargaining provisions.

How do the German projects work?

The first way leads to a consultation! The advisors in the Virtual Welcome Center (VWC) provide information and support in the following areas:


Labor market and working conditions in Germany


Search for jobs, apprenticeships or internships


Creation of a résumé


Preparation for job interviews

Possible funding modules:

Travel expenses:

One-time financial support for a trip to your job interview.

Moving costs:

Financial when moving, after a successful placement and before starting work.

Recognition costs:

During the recognition process of your professional qualifications, you can be supported with any costs incurred (e.g. translation costs).

Language course in your home country:

Under certain conditions, you will receive financial support for a preparatory German course in your home country.

Travel expenses:

One-time financial support for a trip to your job interview.

Moving costs:

Financial when moving, after a successful placement and before starting work.

Right to equal treatment

If you work in Germany and do not feel that you are treated equally at work, you should contact the EU Equal Treatment Office. It is there to ensure that EU workers and their family members are treated equally. If required, you will also be provided with information about the right to free movement of workers in several languages.

More about the topics Job Search, Apply, employment and much more you can visit our jobs

Recognition of qualifications

There are also special regulations for EU citizens with regard to professional recognition. The EU Professional Recognition Directive provides that professional qualifications are generally recognized as equivalent in the member states of the EU and thus grant professionals free access to the domestic labor market. The directive applies to citizens of the EU, the rest of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland who have acquired their qualifications in one of the member states and guarantees them access to the same profession under the same conditions as Germans.

You can find detailed information on professional recognition for EU citizens in our Recognition section and on the portal Recognition in Germany.

We have listed some special features for you here:

Integration courses

As an EU citizen, you are entitled to participate in one Integration course

So you can take part in an integration course to learn German, but you are not obliged to do so.

You can find more information on the subject of integration courses here .

Migration advice centers

In order to settle in as well as possible in Germany, you can take advantage of migration advice. There you and your family will receive advice and support in coping with your new everyday life.

You can find more information about migration advice here .

Search for an apprenticeship

Are you looking for a training position in Germany? Here, too, the EURES portal provides support in finding a job. Vacant apprenticeships can be found online at the EURES website or you can contact a EUREs adviser directly.

Further information on the subject of training in Germany can be found in our Training section .


When you have just arrived in Germany, there is some information that you may find useful in everyday life. On the website of the EU Equal Treatment Office you will find useful information, especially for EU nationals in Germany.

Social benefits

As an EU citizen and also from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, you will not lose any social security entitlements you have acquired in Germany, for example from statutory pension insurance: once you reach retirement age, you can benefit from any EU or EEA member state in which you worked, a pension will be paid according to the respective conditions. For example, if you have worked in two countries, you will generally receive pension payments from two countries.

Reporting requirement

In Germany, the reporting requirement applies. This applies to all people living in Germany, regardless of their origin. As soon as you have moved into an apartment, you should contact the registration office or Registration office Register at your place of residence.

You can find more information about living and settling in here .

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