Eligibility, Visa Information & Programme Options
Click here to send us an email if you would like to arrange a call. Please read the below eligibility to ensure you are eligible before booking a call.
2019 – 2020 Programme Eligibility
You are eligible for our relocation programmes if:
You are from the UK, an EU/EEA country or Switzerland. There are no age restrictions on the Berlin Basic and Berlin Pro programmes. To be eligible for the Berlin Kickstarter programme, you must be between 18 and 36.
You are from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Israel, Japan, South Korea or the United States.
You are from Canada, Australia, Uruguay, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Israel, Argentina, South Korea or Chile and applying for a Working Holiday Visa/Youth Mobility Visa. To be eligible for this visa, you must be between the ages of 18–30 (18–35 for Canada).
You are from any country and applying for a Language School Visa, Au Pair Visa or Student Visa. To apply for the Au Pair Visa you must be between 18 and 26. There are no age restrictions on the Berlin Basic and Berlin Pro programmes.
You are from any other country (not listed above) and applying for an employment visa or job-seekers visa AND are an IT professional. You must have a relevant university degree. Unfortunately, due to visa restrictions and the scope of our visa information, we cannot accept individuals who do not fulfil these criteria. There are no age restrictions on the Berlin Basic and Berlin Pro programmes.
Unfortunately, we cannot cater for families with children.
If you don't satisfy the requirements above, please get in touch (email@example.com) and we will outline your options as you may still be eligible for our programmes.
Where can I apply for a visa for Germany?
If you are from an EU/EEA country, you are free to live and work in Germany and do not require a visa or residence permit.
If you are from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Israel, Japan, South Korea or the United States, you do not require a visa to enter Germany and can apply for a residence permit after your arrival in Germany. The only exception to this is the South Korean Working Holiday Visa, which must be applied for in Seoul. In addition, if you are from one of the countries listed, you are not subjected to a rigorous priority check when applying for a work permit/employment visa. Therefore, you can apply for a work permit with any job and you do not require relevant qualifications or a university degree.
All other nationalities must apply for and obtain a visa before entering Germany.
Visa Options for Germany
Outlined below is an extremely brief overview of some of the visas you might be eligible for. In our resources, we provide you with detailed, step-by-step guidance on exactly when, where and how to apply for each visa. We cut through all the uncertainty and provide you with all the relevant information, in the process giving you the best opportunity possible of landing a visa/residence permit for Germany.
1. Working Holiday Visa and Youth Mobility Visa (residence permit for the purpose of attending a Working Holiday Programme)
This visa allows citizens of the following countries to live and work in Berlin for up to one year:
Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada and Israel.
You are eligible for the Working Holiday Visa if are between the ages of 18 and 30. You are eligible to apply right up until your 31st birthday. For Canadians, your Working Holiday Visa is called the Youth Mobility Visa and you are eligible if you are between 18 and 35, and you can apply right up until your 36th birthday.
Citizens of Canada may apply for the Youth Mobility Visa twice under different categories.
2. Employment Visa (Residence Permit for the purpose of employment)
The Employment Visa can be applied for once you have obtained a suitable work contract and allows you to live and work in Germany.
Citizens of Australia, Israel, Canada, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and the United States can apply for the Residence Permit for Employment after arriving in Germany. If you are from one of these countries, you can enter Germany visa-free for a 90-day period, after which you can apply for a residence permit with an appropriate work contract.
In addition, if you are from Australia, Israel, Canada, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand or the United States, you are not subjected to a rigorous priority check when applying for a work permit/employment visa. Therefore, you can apply for a work permit with any job and you do not require relevant qualifications or a university degree.
Citizens from all other countries must apply for an Employment Visa before entering Germany. Please see our eligibility requirements above to see if you are eligible for our programmes.
3. EU Blue Card
An EU Blue Card is an employment permit for highly-skilled non-EU citizens.
The EU Blue Card can be applied for once you have obtained a work contract in Germany that meets the salary requirements for an EU Blue Card. In general, you also require a university-level degree that is recognised in Germany and that aligns with the job that you are applying for an EU Blue Card with.
Citizens of Australia, Israel, Canada, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and the United States can apply for the EU Blue Card after arriving in Germany. If you are from one of these countries, you can enter Germany visa-free for a 90-day period, after which you can apply for an EU Blue Card with an appropriate work contract.
Citizens from all other countries must first apply for a national visa before entering Germany. If successful, they can then apply for a full EU Blue Card in Berlin. Please see our eligibility requirements above to see if you are eligible for our programmes.
4. Freelance Visa (Residence permit for freelance employment)
The Freelance Visa is a work permit for self-employed individuals/freelancers. While you can apply for the visa with overseas clients, it's highly recommended you have at least two German-based clients.
As the overseas application process for the Freelance Visa varies drastically from German embassy to German embassy, we only provide information for applying in Berlin. As such, our information with regards to the Residence Permit for Freelance Employment is primarily relevant for citizens of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States, Israel, South Korea or Japan, as citizens of these countries can apply for the Residence Permit for Freelance Employment in Berlin. In addition, our information is relevant for citizens of other countries who hold a Job-Seekers Visa for Germany, as a Job-Seekers Visa permits them to also apply for a Residence Permit for Freelance Employment in Berlin.
5. Job-Seekers Visa (residence permit for the purpose of seeking employment)
A Job-Seekers Visa is a six-month visa that allows you to reside in Germany while searching for jobs.
If you successfully land a job and work contract on a Job-Seekers Visa, you are then entitled to apply for a Residence Permit for Employment in Berlin.
To obtain the Job-Seekers Visa, you must hold a degree which is recognised as being equivalent to a German degree. If your degree is not listed on Anabin, you can request to have it assessed and recognised by the Central Office for Foreign Education Affairs (ZAB).
6. Language School Visa (residence permit for the purpose of attending German language classes)
The Language School Visa allows you to study German at a language school in Berlin for up to one year — shorter stays are also possible. You are not permitted to work on this visa.
All nationalities can apply for the Language School Visa.
7. Au Pair Visa (residence permit for the purpose of working as an Au Pair)
This visa allows you to work as an au pair (live-in nanny) in Germany. You are only eligible for this visa if you are between 18–26 years of age.
The Au Pair Visa is valid for up to one year — shorter stays are also possible.
All nationalities can apply for the Au Pair Visa.
All visa applications made in Berlin require proof of residence in the city. This requires that you register your address, a process that is known as Anmeldung. As part of our relocation platform, we provide clear instructions on how to register your address and also provide detailed listings of short-term accommodation where address registration is possible. Note: the Berlin Kickstarter and Berlin Pro programmes include 30-day private studio accommodation where you can register your address including completed address registration paperwork and an address registration appointment booking service.
If you need to apply for a visa before entering Germany, please ensure you prepare well advance as some visas can take up to 3 months to process.
Which programme should I book?
If you are unsure when you will move to Berlin, we suggest purchasing the Berlin Basic programme and upgrading to the Berlin Pro or Berlin Kickstarter programme once you have a clear idea of when exactly you will be relocating. This ensures you at least have all the information you need to prepare for the move as well as a pre-departure checklist detailing exactly how and when you need to complete the different relocation steps.
For the most-comprehensive hands-on support, we recommend the Berlin Pro and Berlin Kickstarter programmes. These programmes include guaranteed accommodation that allows address registration and will ensure you are registered in your first week in Berlin.
If you would prefer to arrange your own initial accommodation in Berlin, then the Berlin Basic programme is your best option. As part of the programme, we provide a list of 20+ short to mid-term accommodation providers that can be booked online and allow address registration.
If you are interested in being part of the Nomaden Community, then the Berlin Kickstarter is the best programme for you. The programme includes 15+ annual events and meetups where you'll have the opportunity to meet fellow newcomers to Berlin as well as Nomaden alumni from our last 3 years of relocation programmes.
We do not accept participants moving with children on the Berlin Pro or Berlin Kickstarter programmes. While you can still book the Berlin Basic programme, our programmes are not geared towards families moving to Berlin.
You can upgrade your programme at any time. Just get in touch and we’ll switch you onto another one of our programmes.