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Information for EU Citizens

Entry and residence

Are you a resident of an EU member state and might want 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 want is a valid passport or ID card to enter the country. If you are arranging a long-term stay in Germany, you should demonstrate that your livelihood and, if pertinent, that of your family members is secure. You and your family have limitless admittance to employment and self-employment in Germany.

If you are a resident of Switzerland or the European Economic Area (EEA), for example, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Iceland, the same applies to you.

Anybody who last worked in Germany and becomes unemployed isn’t left to fight for themselves but is qualified for unemployment benefits. Similar conditions apply to this as to German residents. Employment and insurance periods that you have finished in different countries will be considered while processing your application.

There are several other social benefits to which you are entitled as an EU citizen in Germany. Further information regarding the matter can be found at the EU Equal Treatment Agency.

As an EU resident, you consequently get 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 tends to be valuable when you have government or administrative matters to attend to. Find out more details here about “Permanent residence for EU citizens.”.

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

Depending upon which EU member state you come from, you don’t need to give up your previous citizenship when you are naturalized. So you can have “dual citizenship”. You can determine 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 extensive variety of support that you can take advantage of it if required.

EURES supports fair and sustainable professional mobility across borders. The Targeted Mobility Schemes (TMS) funding program is essential for this EURES strategy. The program aims to bring together appropriate candidates and hard-to-fill positions and to facilitate mobility, job search, and recruitment in Europe. A few TMS projects are presently being carried out in Germany. Data on the different funding projects can be found on the EURES website.

You are at least 18 years of age yet have not arrived at retirement age.

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

You are searching for a job, an internship, or an apprenticeship and a few offers match your qualifications or your training requirements.

The job you are applying for or need to take on isn’t restricted to less than six months, comprises at least 50% of a normal working week, and complies with statutory and collective bargaining provisions.

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

Labor market and working conditions in Germany

Search for jobs, nurses apprenticeships, or internships

Creation of a résumé

Preparation for job interviews

The Eures advice through the VWC assists with orientation is the fundamental and compulsory initial step before applying and supports you explicitly as indicated by your needs.

Travel expenses: One-time monetary help for a trip to your job interview.

Moving expenses: Monetary while moving, after a successful placement, and before beginning work.

Recognition costs: During the recognition process of your professional qualifications, you can be supported with any costs incurred (for example translation costs).

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

Language course in Germany: In specific cases, support for a part-time language course in Germany is conceivable.

Integration program: Your future employer can apply for an integration program for you to support your integration in Germany.

If you work in Germany and don’t feel that you are treated equally, you should contact the EU Equivalent Treatment Office. It is there to guarantee that EU workers and their family members are treated equally. Whenever required, you will likewise be furnished with information about the right to free movement of workers in several languages.

For more information about the topics of Job Search, Applying, employment, and much more you can visit our jobs.

There are also special regulations for EU citizens about professional recognition. The EU Professional Recognition Directive gives that professional qualifications are generally recognized as equivalent in the member states of the EU and thus grants professionals free admittance 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 gained their qualifications in one of the member states and guarantees them admittance 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.

Integration courses

As an EU resident, you are qualified to take part in one Integration course.

So you can take part in an integration course to learn German, yet you are not obliged to do as such.

You can find more information about Integration course here.

Migration advice centers

To settle as well as possible in Germany, you can accept the benefit of migration advice. You and your family will get guidance and support in coping with your new everyday life.

 You can find more information about migration advice here.


Search for an apprenticeship

Are you searching for a training position in Germany? Here, as well, 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 consultant directly.

Further information regarding 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.

As an EU citizen and also from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, you won’t lose any social security privileges you have gained in Germany, for instance from statutory pension insurance: when you arrive at retirement age, you can profit from any EU or EEA member state in which you worked, a pension will be paid according to the respective conditions. For instance, 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 individuals living in Germany, regardless of their origin. When you have moved into an apartment, you ought to contact the registration office or Registrar at your place of residence.

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

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