Third country nationals (non-EU foreign nationals) who wish to pursue gainful employment in Germany generally require a residence permit authorising gainful employment. Applications should be made to the Immigration Office responsible for your place of residence in Germany. A prerequisite for the issuance of a residency permit is generally a valid long-term visa (known as a D-Visa or National Visa).
Information about the various types of visas and residence permits available for researchers who are third country nationals can be found under Visas and Entry.
If your research stay is financed on the basis of a fellowship, you will generally be able to apply for a visa/residency permit for research purposes, study or gainful employment. The exact category depends on various factors at the time of application.
In all cases, it is important that your livelihood in Germany is secured and that you have health insurance for the duration of your stay in Germany.
If you are employed in Germany based on an employment contract, German labour laws will likely apply to you. German labour laws include numerous regulations to protect the existence of the employment relationship (protection against dismissal, temporary contracts, etc.) as well as employees' health (working time law, workplaces ordinance and many other regulations) and their material needs (ban on immoral practices, a national minimum wage, generally binding collective wage agreements, etc.).
Persons requiring particular protection are protected by special laws:
- Expectant and nursing mothers are protected by the Maternity Protection Act ("Mutterschutzgesetz")
- Parents are protected by the Parental Allowance Act ("Bundeselterngeld") and Parental Leave Act ("Elternzeitgesetz")
- Young persons are protected by the Youth Protection Act ("Jugendschutzgesetz")
- Trainees are protected by the Vocational Training Act ("Berufsbildungsgesetz")
- Disabled persons are protected by Book IX of the Social Code ("Sozialgesetzbuch")
- In general, protection is provided against discrimination e.g. due to ethnic origin or race or due to age, is provided by the General Equal Treatment Act ("Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz").
Visa and Service - Federal Foreign Office
This page provides both an overview on the technical regulations when applying for a visa as well as more general information on living in Germany.
Visa and Residence
The "Make it in Germany" Portal has an overview of visa and residency regulations.
Recognition in Germany
The recognition portal of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research gives information on how to proceed if you wish to have your foreign vocational qualifications recognised in Germany.