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FAQ - Residence/Work Permit

I am a US citizen who would like to live and work in Germany permanently. If I go to Germany as a visitor, am I allowed to look for a job and then apply afterward for a work permit?

According to the German Consulate's English website, a US citizen "may apply for their residence permit for work purposes after entering Germany without a visa." This also applies to citizens of Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Specific EU regulations will obviously pertain to British citizens.

Once you have an employment contract or letter of intent from your future employer in Germany, you may apply for a residence permit. After all the necessary paperwork has been submitted, the permit usually takes one to three months to process.

The best source of information is www.Germany.info, the English website of the German consulate. Follow the link for "Visas" and then, on the right side of the page under "Top 5 Links," click "Visa for Germany" and then "Employment Visa."

Another excellent source of information is the HowToGermany.com article "Residing and Working in Germany."