Residence permit in Berlin

Aufenthaltstitel in Berlin
© Monique Wüstenhagen, Berlin Partner

In principle, EU citizens enjoy freedom of movement. If you would like to stay in Berlin or Germany for more than three months, please register with a Berlin Bürgeramt office within 14 days of your arrival. Employment in a company in Berlin or Brandenburg does not pose any problems within the framework of the free movement of workers.

People coming to Berlin from Israel, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, South Korea or the US can enter Germany without a visa. If you want to work in Berlin, you’ll need to obtain a residence permit with a work permit first, which you can apply for within 90 days at the Berlin Foreigners' Registration Office. 

You can also apply for a visa at the German embassy or consulate in your home country or place of permanent residence if you live abroad. This will help you to clarify whether you’ll be able to receive the necessary work permit for Berlin before you enter Germany. 

If you’ve already entered Germany with a visa to start work (employment) issued by the German embassy in your home country, you can start working immediately. However, you must contact the Berlin Foreigners’ Registration Office within the specified time period so that they can convert the visa into a regular residence permit.


University graduates, (guest) scientists and researchers, current and prospective Blue Card holders, entrepreneurs and founders should contact the Business Immigration Service directly.

Countries outside the EU

For all other countries outside the EU, the following generally applies: a D Visa with a work permit is required to enter Germany. You can apply for this at the German embassy or consulate in your home country. If you have entered Germany with this visa, you must contact the Foreigners’ Registration Office before your visa expires and apply for your immediate residence permit.

Exceptions apply only if you already have a different residence permit for Germany which allows for subsequent employment (for example, residence for the purpose of pursuing a degree).


Insofar as approval of a work permit is required from the Federal Labor Office, it can be declared up to six months in advance within the framework of a prior endorsement whether or not the approval will be granted. This consent is then valid for six months. Your future Berlin employer can use Business Immigration Services to apply for a residence and work permit for you as a specialist from abroad before you enter Germany.

Whether you need help filling out forms, official visits, translations or personal services, just share a request on and take a look at what the buddies have to offer. Buddys are Berliners who will help you get a fresh start in the capital.

Did you know? If you apply to a Berlin company, your future employer can help you clarify immigration law issues. The Business Immigration Service (BIS) enables a fast and uncomplicated granting of residence permits for qualified specialists and entrepreneurs.

Special case: Blue Card

If you’ve already accepted a highly qualified job, the EU Blue Card could be an option for a work permit. Check the website of the Foreigners’ Registration Office to find out if a personal appointment is necessary, as every case is different.