I'm a web developer at an intermediate level (some experience but not senior) and I'm about to receive a job offer from an employer in Berlin.

For this purpose, I would require a work permit. However, I do not have any university degree or any training certificate as I've learned the skills necessary by myself, which is fairly common in this profession.

I understand that the Blue Card is not for me so I won't be asking about it. However, the employer and I would like to get a sense of the process and whether I could get the work permit based only on my skills and a contract, without any education certificates.

Is this possible? If so, what's the procedure for both employee and employer?

2 Answers 2


Germany requires skilled workers in a number of industries. As a result, in the summer of 2013 a number of policies were introduced to make it easier for non-EU citizens with non-academic vocational qualifications to work in Germany. Since then, you have been able to take up employment if you meet the following criteria:

A whitelist of such professions is available here.

You have received a binding job offer. A list of vacancies is available here.

Your qualification has been recognised as being equivalent to a German qualification. Further information on the recognition of vocational credentials is available here. You will have to apply to have your qualifications recognised while you’re still in your home country.

If the assessment authority decides that you require practical experience in order to obtain full recognition (e.g. practical work as part of an adaptation period), you can apply for a limited residence permit for this purpose.

  • @HelloWorldGuy good, I see you asked a separate question, as you needed to; delete your comment (and I'll delete mine) to keep things clean. Hopefully, you'll get the answer directly to your question (which I don't have :-)
    – Giorgio
    Mar 18, 2017 at 1:34

Following a little research I found the answer specific to my condition: A citizen of any of these countries:

United States of America, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the Republic of Korea

Can basically apply without any requirements for a certificate.

The process is the following:

Upon receiving a binding job offer & contract, the employer has to send the contract, along with 2 documents and (preferably) a copy of the candidate's CV:

Die benötigten Formulare für die Vorabprüfung finden Sie unter folgendem Link.

Die Standortübersicht mit den Kontaktdaten finden Sie unter folgendem Link.

to the Bundesagentur für arbeit. The contract will be examined and the agency will have around 2 weeks to look for a suitable candidate who has an EU citizenship.

If they fail to find one, the contract will be approved and the candidate will be able to proceed to obtain a residence permit for the purpose of taking up employment.

The major difference between citizens from the countries listed above to any other, non EU citizens, are these two:

  • The citizens from these countries (as listed) are not required to introduce any vocational training certificate
  • They are allowed to enter Germany before the process is complete (and before it is started) and start/continue it there.

*The information above has been received from Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge and is available from their hotline:

The hotline is available from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. CET, Monday through Friday, and the telephone number +49 30 1815-1111.

Documents explaining in German were received by email from the Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge

  • Hi @RanST - I believe for a Software Engineer they don't actually need any check if an European can take up the job, because it is a a whitelist. Did you get the approval? How long did it take? May 28, 2017 at 14:20
  • Please keep in mind that the bigger problem might be to find an employer (not someone who awards you a freelance contract!) which will give you a binding job offer while being willing to wait an unpredictable amount of time (for sure some months) for an approval. What I am trying to say is: For pretty much generic software engineering topics, there is no shortage in supply of EU citizens which can get hired without the bureaucracy it takes to hire a non-EU citizen. Therefore the employer will need a good reason to go down that road.
    – TorstenS
    Aug 9, 2017 at 14:18

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