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I am currently living and working in the Netherlands as a highly skilled migrant. I am a Russian citizen. If I have a job offer from a company in Germany (that handles everything else legal-related), will I have to return to Russia to obtain a German residence and work permit, or can I do it while living in the Netherlands?

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You do not need to travel to Russia. In fact, a German consulate in Russia might reject your application because you do not reside there. Instead, you should approach a German consulate in the Netherlands.

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No, you don't have to go to Russia to obtain a visa, but there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Consulates require your current residence permit to be valid at least for a few months starting from the application date.

  • You may need to provide different sets of documents depending on the country/consulate where you apply.

To be safe, you should contact the german consulate where are you going to apply and ask them for instructions.

PS: At the same time, you should be able to submit your application in Russia if you want. Residency is not an issue here.

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    The validity requirement for the residence permit is not going to apply for a work visa application. Furthermore, residency may well be an issue (I was once refused service by a Dutch consulate in my country of citizenship until I was able to prove that I lived in their jurisdiction; I just haven't been able to find out whether a German consulate would have a similar policy). Do you have a source supporting your assertion that it isn't? – phoog Sep 16 '17 at 21:36
  • @phoog Ah I see what you meant, in Russia that would be 'registration'. Indeed, a consulate may demand that the topicstarter has a stamp in his passport with registration in the area corresponding to this consulate. Registration can be obtained provided that he has some accommodation in Russia, residency is a different thing. "The validity requirement for the residence permit is not going to apply for a work visa application." -- I didn't know that and I doubt that it is true in general case. – asherikov Sep 17 '17 at 12:53
  • Well in my case it was the US, which has no registration. The Dutch consulate wanted proof of my residence. Mere "accommodation" was not sufficient. The validity requirement has to do with being able to return to your place of residence after a temporary visit, so for a permanent change of residence, it wouldn't make sense. – phoog Sep 17 '17 at 14:26

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