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Ways to move to Germany

 Unlocking Opportunities: 8 Ways to Move to Germany for Non-EU Citizens

Moving to the EU, specifically to Germany, is a dream for many. Due to the aging population in the continent, labor laws are changing to make the move easier for non-EU citizens. While some of the positions do require a specific skill set, this is not the only way to move to the country. In this specific blog post, I’ll be going into detail about 8 different ways to move to Germany.


It has a robust healthcare system, and just paying a monthly fee gives you access to its services. Education is free. It has an excellent location and great flights to the rest of the world. It’s not perfect, but then, which place is? I lived in Germany for 4 years. While navigating the bureaucracy can be stressful at times, Berlin is by far the best city I’ve ever lived in. There is a wide range of places and environments to choose from, and it’s not as easy to migrate here as people believe it to be. 

Some of the recommendations I give here lead to short-term stays in Germany. Do not be discouraged by this. The important thing is to get your foot in Germany. Once you’re in the country, it is much easier to transition and stay than it is from abroad. This is what I’ve seen countless people do.

Ways to move to Germany
The work-life balance in the country is incredible
Which nationalities are eligible for these options?

Unless I specifically say that it is only available for certain nationalities, please read through the whole list and assume that you can apply for most of them. There is an inherent belief that it’s only possible for citizens of strong passports to move into the country. That is not the truth. Let me show you how.

Working Holiday Visa

For those seeking a temporary experience, the Working Holiday Visa is a fantastic choice. This visa allows non-EU citizens aged 18-30 to work and travel in Germany for up to one year, providing a unique blend of employment and traveling. You can choose to work up to 40 hours per week in a wide range of fields. This even includes office jobs! But most people aim for hospitality jobs or fieldwork because they’re the easiest ones to find.

Here is a full list of the countries eligible for the working holiday visa. This is a bilateral agreement between two countries that pushes cooperation among young citizens. This one specifically is for citizens with strong passports in certain countries of Asia and the Americas.

Ways to move to Germany
One of my many gigs in Germany - working as a cameraperson
Enroll in a Language School

This is one that’s eligible for all nationalities, but you do need some money to start. All you have to do is register at a certified German language school in the country. This requires a payment in advance of 6-12 months for the course. You basically immerse yourself in the German language and culture by enrolling in a language school. Once you’ve paid, and can prove that you have enough funds to sustain your living in Germany, you will receive a language course visa.

I’ve moved to a few countries from scratch and this is my personal favorite way of moving. It allows you to familiarize yourself with the language and culture. Most importantly, you’ll meet other foreigners who you can get tips and advice from. If you start looking for jobs once you’re in the country, it will be easier for you to get noticed. You’ve already made the effort to move to the country and try to learn the language.

Job Seeker Visa

In our list of “ways to move to Germany”, this is probably the one most people know about. Tailored for skilled professionals, this visa allows you to explore career opportunities in Germany for up to six months. You secure the visa from abroad, move on your own, then take up to 6 months to secure a job. While this isn’t exactly easy, anyone in the fields of IT and medicine can highly benefit from this visa. And it is open to most nationalities!

There are japanese cherry blossoms all over the country!
Artist Visa – Berlin only

If you’re an artist or creative professional, the Artist Visa is your ticket to Germany. This one is by far one of the craziest visas out there because of how vague the definition of artist is. This one can only give you a visa in Berlin, and it is reserved for countries with Native-English speakers. The list of eligible nationalities might have changed or expanded since.

A teacher, a hairdresser and a yoga instructor are all eligible for this visa. You need to have a portfolio proving that you’ve provided these services over a few years and are able to begin from scratch in Berlin. The way to do so is by using FB groups to your advantage. These visas are renewed every year, there is no age limit, and you’re categorized as a freelancer.

Freelance Visa

The regular freelance visa is available for all nationalities. This can also be used by self-employed individuals. You’ll also need a portfolio, and a business plan on how you plan to offer your services in the country. Once you secure the visa, you’ll need to show that you’re earning money regularly to continue renewing it. While it is a difficult visa to arrange, you truly don’t need to be earning much, especially at the beginning. I know of people that have the visa and didn’t make more than 5000-10000 Euros in income the first year.

ways to move to germany
Sightseeing around the country
DAAD: Pursue Scholarships

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers a wide range of scholarships and funding opportunities for international students. Whether you’re pursuing a bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D., utilizing DAAD is one of the best ways to move to Germany. The best part is that these are usually reserved for people from Latin America, Africa and Asia. Your flights, insurance, studies, accommodation and even an allowance will cover your whole time in the country.

All you have to do is go to and filter the studies by your citizenship. This process will probably take 10-18 months so applying at the right time and having the proper documents ready is key. The best part about this visa is that you are legally allowed to work up to 19 hours per week, allowing you to gain working experience in the country while pursuing German higher education. Anything from a master’s degree and higher will usually have options where it’s taught entirely in English. No German is required for this one.

Pursuing a degree on your own

If you’re not eligible for DAAD, you can also enroll in a degree entirely on your own. The main requirement is to have all of your documents internationally certified. This process varies from country to country. You will also need to have enough funds in your bank account to prove that you’ll be able to sustain yourself while in the country. Keep in mind that many universities in Germany are free. This means that you just need to cover your living expenses. The university registration expenses range from 300-1000 Euros per year. THAT’S IT.

This will also allow you to work up to 19 hours per week. The best perk is what happens after you graduate. You’re then eligible to stay in the country legally from 18-24 months to gain working experience in the country. This is where you’ll use all of your networking and knowledge from your studies to find a more permanent way to stay in the country. Plenty of people succeed this way.


Ways to move to Germany
Berlin is THE coolest city I've ever lived in.
Get a Job Sponsorship

If you are more risk-averse, you can always secure a job offer or sponsorship from a German employer. This option requires perseverance and dedication. You’ll be applying for positions from abroad and securing interviews online. This is by far the most difficult way to move to the country. Competition is fierce. Since you’re abroad, it’s hard for companies to truly determine if you’re willing to uproot your life for a job or not.

Realistically speaking, can people get sponsorship from abroad? Definitely. Would companies rather hire someone that’s already in the country? Yes. This is why I’d recommend going for one of the earlier options if it’s possible. German companies need to make a strong case in front of the authorities to sponsor your job visa. What makes you so incredibly unique that your position cannot be filled by a German, another EU citizen or a foreigner that’s already in the country? This is what you’ll need to prove.

Research, research, research

I’ve met plenty of people throughout the years that have been able to move entirely on their own by using one of these methods. If you’re a US citizen, I also suggest you look into this article that expands on more ways to move abroad. This will be a long process. With the right attitude and research, you could even secure permanent residency in Germany within a few years. The country is desperate for labor.

I have been jumping from country to country for years, all on my own. I’ve learned to navigate bureaucracy and know the best tools to be able to start from scratch in a new country. If you’re looking for personalized guidance, you can always book a call with me here. We can talk about the different moving options you have, whether it’s in Germany or somewhere else. Living abroad has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I believe that it’s something everyone should try out, even if it’s only for 6-12 months. Best of luck!

a woman posing in the water

Hey there, and welcome to Go Global with Sibu! I’m a global citizen that has been living and traveling around the world since 2005 – all through budget travel, scholarships, study/work and living abroad opportunities.  I share everything I’ve learned over the years here – to prove to you that you don’t need money or privilege to enjoy everything that this world has to offer. 

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