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I work as a developer in the Middle East (Lebanon). Lately, I got a job offer and a contract from a great company in Germany, but I found that my university degree is not recognized (actually its H+/-, that means: no clear statement about the university degree) so I looked into it and found that I need to apply for recognition, but the problem is, it might take about 3 months, which I don't have!.

So I am wondering if I can apply for the visa using the job contract and my unrecognized degree, or it most probably will be rejected?

Many Thanks

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The relevant rules can be found on the website of the Bundesargentur für Arbeit. A good general summary can be found here, but the specific rules are here. (The second link is more likely to suffer link rot in future.)

There are a number of different grounds for being granted a visa. The two most relevant ones are:

  • Foreigners that practise a shortage occupation and whose salary is at least 52 per cent of the annual contribution assessment ceiling for the statutory pension fund 2017 = 39.624 Euro
  • Foreigners with a recognised foreign university degree or one that is comparable to a German university degree

Unfortunately your degree has not been recognized or declared comparable to a German university degree. (According to this answer the degree has to be recognized by ZAB - although that was in the context of Blue Card rather than direct German visa.)

The current list of shortage occupations lists "software developer" at the "specialist" level. "Specialist" level means:

Specialist - is assigned to occupations that require special knowledge and special skills, which usually require a master or technician training or an equivalent technical college or university degree.

Note that they do not say that it has to be a recognized degree, just that your employer was looking for a graduate rather than a school leaver.

Conclusion:

I believe you can obtain a German work visa even though your specific degree has not been recognized. The fact that your position is for a software developer where a degree is required should be enough. Your salary also needs to be at least 40,000€ (precise figure above).

I would recommend

  1. Apply for visa
  2. Apply for your degree to be recognized
  3. When that has happened, you can apply for a Blue Card
  • This doesn't feel a well structured answer. If someone could edit it into better shape, I would be very grateful. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Dec 5 '18 at 11:07
  • Must at least or must both entries be true? – gerrit Dec 5 '18 at 18:16
  • @gerrit At least one must be true (there are a number of others which are not relevant to the OP). I will clarify – Martin Bonner supports Monica Dec 5 '18 at 20:13
  • Nice answer, but the conclusion seems to be incorrect. I.e., the decision might not depend on salary that much as far as I understood from the cited documents. – Andrey Sapegin Nov 28 at 9:15
  • @AndreySapegin You can get a visa as a practitioner of a shortage occupation if you earn at least €40k. If you don't earn that, you can't get the visa (on those grounds) - but it doesn't matter if you are on €40k or €140k. Beyond that, what do you mean by "might not depend on salary that much". – Martin Bonner supports Monica Nov 28 at 9:20

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