Kontakt / Ansprechpartner
Wirtschaftsförderung Münster GmbH · Steinfurter Straße 60a · D-48149 Münster · Tel +49 (251) 68642-0

Working in Münster –
Step by Step

Are you looking for a career boost? Is living and working abroad your logical next step? There are great job opportunities for skilled workers in this strong and prosperous region of Germany with relatively high-paying wages. To be allowed to live and work here legally, you must have a German work and residence permit. Which steps you need to take depends on your country of origin and your professional qualifications.

Welcome to Münster
City of Münster
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Working in Münster
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Citizens of EU and EFTA Member States

Citizens of EU and EFTA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland) are entitled to freedom of movement and have unrestricted access to the German labour market. They do not require a visa or a residence permit to enter and obtain employment in Germany.

Third country nationals (non-EU/non-EFTA states)

Citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America can enter Germany without a visa. However, they are required to apply for a residence permit prior to obtaining employment.

Other third country nationals

All other third country nationals must submit a visa application to their local German embassy or consulate prior to entering Germany.

Fast-track Procedure for skilled workers

Have you already found an employer that wants you to come to Germany in the near future? Your future employer is able to expedite the process from Germany. Inform them about the fast-track procedure for skilled workers before making your appointment at the embassy or consulate.

The fast-track procedure for skilled workers can greatly shorten the administrative procedure in the period between the skilled worker’s commitment and the first working day.


Step 1: Types of Visas

You will need to inform yourself about the different requirements for the various visas to stay in Germany. To learn about the requirements that apply for your stay in Germany, see Types of Visas.

Step 2: Contact Embassy

If you fulfil the requirements for a visa, you must gather all the necessary documents for your visa application. The list of necessary documents can generally be found on the website of the German embassy or the German consulate in your country of residence. Around the same time, you should also book an appointment to hand in your visa application.

To find out which German embassy or consulate you will have to contact regarding your visa application, see World Map.

Step 3: Visa Application

Submit your visa application to your local German Embassy in your country of residence. For your visa application, you will need to select the visa application form that corresponds to the purpose of your stay.

If your stay in Germany is for work purposes, you are required to obtain a Work Visa. This is the only way you can obtain a residence permit in connection with your visa in Germany.

Step 4: Personal Documents

Did you receive your visa? Now you can start planning your trip to Germany. Since you are planning a long-term stay in Germany, you are advised to bring all your personal documents with you, such as your birth certificate, documents regarding your post-secondary school or vocational qualifications, your driver’s licence or your marriage certificate.

Please note that you will have to be within a health insurance scheme that is valid from your first day in Germany. Proof of insurance will be requested when picking up your visa from the German embassy at the latest.

Step 5: Residence Permit

Were you able to enter the country with your visa? Welcome to Germany! Your visa generally remains valid for up to 6 months. During this time, you will have to apply for a residence permit to be able to stay in Germany for a longer period of time.


Contact your local Foreigners‘ Authority and inform yourself about the needed documents to apply for a residence permit. Afterwards you will have to make an appointment to have a residence permit issued that corresponds to your visa.


Foreigners‘ Registration Office
in the City of Münster:

Stadthaus 2
Ludgeriplatz 4
48151 Münster

Postal address:
48127 Münster

Phone: +49 – (0)251 – 492 36 36
Fax: +49 – (0) 251 – 492 79 71
E-Mail: aufenthaltsrecht@stadt-muenster.de
Internet: https://www.stadt-muenster.de/en/aufenthaltsrecht/homepage

Settlement Permit & Residence Permit

The Immigration Act provides for two titles which govern entry and residence in Germany: the settlement permit (Niederlassungserlaubnis) and the residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis). The residence permit is temporary and is granted for a specific reason, such as gainful employment, training or family reunification, or else for humanitarian, legal or political reasons.

Required German language skills depending on the type of visa

You can use this chart to check whether and which German language skills you need to have to obtain a specific residence title.

Job listings:

There are a large number of job exchanges that you can use for your search. The Federal Government of Germany also offers job listings on their official website for qualified professionals. Search: Federal State of Noth-Rhine Westphalia (City of Münster).


For more detailed information on living and working in Germany please see:

The Federal Government of Germany’s official website for qualified professionals.



Do I need a recognition? Depending on your country of origin and occupational field, a recognition of your professional qualification may be required. During the recognition procedure, the competent German authority checks if your foreign professional qualification is equivalent to a German one or whether there are any differences. The procedure is also called “equivalence assessment”. Once your documents have been fully submitted, the authority will (generally) examine them within three months.

The multilingual portal “Recognition in Germany” provides information on how foreign professional qualifications can be recognised in Germany. With only a few clicks, the “Recognition Finder” helps users to find the competent authority for their application.


The anabin database provides information on the rating of foreign universities and degrees and allows the classification of a foreign qualification into the German education system.


The BQ-Portal offers a wide range of information about foreign professional qualifications and vocational training systems. The portal enables a quick and consistent evaluation of foreign professional qualifications.