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Information on Working in Germany for Americans

U.S. citizens working in Germany:
Highly qualified American workers are eagerly being sought after by German companies, especially in specialized fields within IT, technology, engineering, science, education, health, management.

Residence Permits and Visa regulations:
The following residence permit and visa regulations apply. All persons who have an employment contract offer and are taking up gainful employment with a company in Germany are required to obtain a residence permit in the form of a visa. The residence permit ("Aufenthaltserlaubnis") only allows you to take up gainful employment if the residence permit explicitly entitles you to do this. 

Alternatively, they can apply for a residence permit prior to entering the country - at the German Embassy in Washington or at one of the following German Consulates -  currently located in New York, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco. 

On having arrived in Germany, the following procedure generally applies for U.S. citizens:
1)  Go to the „Ausländerbehörde“ (Immigration Office) and register your residence. Pull a ticket and queue in line for this service. Check for the exact address of this office in your city as there may be many different departments or buildings.

2)  At the „Ausländerbehörde“, probably in a different department, show proof of employment. The „Ausländerbehörde“ may briefly call your employer to verify the terms of your contract. 

3)  They will then check whether the general legal prerequisites are fulfilled for issuing an "Aufenthaltserlaubnis". If these are fulfilled, 
- The immigration authorities will request approval from the "Bundesagentur für Arbeit" (Federal Employment Agency) for you to be allowed take up employment in the particular job you have been offered. They do this in compliance with the German employment policy. 
- After a short period of time has lapsed, approval will be given and you can start your new job in Germany 

4)  You will need to check office hours for these services as opening hours can be different to the U.S.  

Germany as a Place of Work for Americans:
- Germany welcomes English native speakers, and has a strong link with the U.S.  American nationals and culture are highly regarded, and U.S. food and media are very popular. Germans have a strong affinity for speaking US English.

- It is normally very easy to adapt to a German working environment. Many companies use English as the office language. The very high standard of German courses available means you can learn or improve your German language skills in a short amount of time.

- Germans are very friendly and eager to help their foreign colleagues in adapting to life in Germany.

- Germans will very often organise social events in the evening or take you around to show you the sights. They will also offer assistance with any immigration/public office queries you may have. 
- There is a strong expat community and connection between English native speakers living in Germany. You can easily take part in club gatherings, outings, weekend activities etc with other English speakers.

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