I am a non-EU citizen who wishes to move to Germany for work purpose. As a result, I need to have a German work permit.Sadly, not all the companies provide relocation and visa sponsorship services.

As far as I know, in order to obtain the work permit, I just need to have a valid contract, and then I can refer to a German embassy and ask for work permit. The work permit might be provided by embassy in 1 month. I believe, it should not be an expensive process for companies

Here are my 2 questions:

  1. Why do the companies not like to undergo with Visa sponsorship?

  2. What can I offer to the company in my interview in order to encourage them to hire me?

I would be thankful, if you answer both questions.

  • 1
    In most countries they are in reality, not allowed to. in the US, the visa system is fake. Every position who gets a H1B visa, could, in reality, be filled by a "local" person; companies fill in some fake paperwork pretending there was a shortage. In the German case, you assert that it is "cheap" for the company. Simply not true.
    – Fattie
    Commented Feb 17, 2019 at 14:07
  • Regarding your second question, there is of course one and only one answer. What is the one and only reason companies do anything?
    – Fattie
    Commented Feb 17, 2019 at 14:07
  • 2
    Also remember getting a visa denied is not a rare thing, for lots of complicated reasons. Companies that work with people needing a visa need to understand that even if they make an offer that is accepted and send out a contract, a month+ later they may find out the applicant was rejected and then they usually need to start their employment search again from scratch because it is unlikely that other applicants at the top of their list 1-2+ months ago are still interested and available for the job. Even if there was a zero direct cost to companies, there is still a time-based risk.
    – BrianH
    Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 0:19
  • 2
    Do you work in a shortage occupation? I peeked and you look like a manual tester. "Programming" and "software development" are on the shortage list, but that may or may not include you. A 'more valuable' skillset (...sorry dude) is both easier to justify hiring to the authorities and more worth the hassle of hiring from abroad in the first place.
    – Nathan
    Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 1:48

4 Answers 4


Why the companies do not like to undergo with Visa sponsorship?

It's added work, there are a lot of logistics involved and it's better to recruit locally for a lot of reasons when there are people available. Something as simple as supporting your country and educational institutes. Language barriers, different customs, cultures.... plenty of reasons.

What can I offer to the company in my interview, in order to encourage them to hire me?

A skillset or price which counterbalances hiring locally. However usually you would not get to the interview stage if they're not hiring non citizens.


I have worked in an IT company in Germany where we went from not wanting to hire people from abroad at all to trying full force, and back again.

Why do the companies not like to undergo with Visa sponsorship?

There are two things to consider here. There is visa sponsorship and there is relocation. If they want to hire someone who needs a visa and does not have it yet, they have to provide the paperwork to get you your visa.

There are two types of visa. A normal work visa, and a § 19a Blue Card visa for highly skilled workers. The blue card is easier to get and gives you more benefits as the employee.

Both of them require an invitation letter1, and the need to communicate with the local job agency so you can prove that they can't hire someone locally. The latter includes writing a job description that fits your profile, so that it is obvious they couldn't find someone local. They will also need to prepare your work contract in an English translation, because you probably don't speak German and don't understand a thing that's in the contract.

There are also a couple of documents that you might need in the original, before you go to the embassy. Those need to be shipped to you, international courier, and fast.

All of these things cost extra money that they don't need to pay if they hire locally.

Once you have secured the visa, there are things that make sense for them to help with, but many companies don't. You need to find an apartment in a country you have never been to and don't speak the language of. You need to get registered, you need to go to the Auslaenderbehoerde a couple of times to get everything sorted out. You might need to redo your driving licence or get it transcribed. You need to buy furniture, make a phone contract, get insurances. Being an expat is hard work. And you need to come to the country in the first place. Maybe you're bringing a family, maybe you're bringing all your furniture. Someone needs to pay for that.

Some companies do that happily, because they see that extra 5 to 10k Euros as well invested so you can start motivated and without being super stressed about all the stuff you need to take care of in this strange environment. Others can't or don't want to spend that money. It happens.

In addition, there is also the cultural question. How many people in the company speak English. How international is it already. Can they realistically provide you with training for German. Do they have someone that can mentor you in all things Germany.

There is a massive shortage in skilled IT workers (and other areas) in Germany, but on the whole a lot of smaller companies simply don't have the knowledge to provide either of these two things, and they don't see the potential benefits of gaining that knowledge.

What can I offer to the company in my interview in order to encourage them to hire me?

I don't think you can change a company's mind easily. If you are an outstanding candidate, and you can prove that, you might be able to impress them, but if they don't want to hire people from abroad, you will be out of luck most likely. I believe it's more realistic you'll encounter more companies that have simply never thought about it, and are afraid of the risks, or the extra work that comes with it. If you impress those companies, there should be a chance to get in.

1) This is all unless you are from a country that can get visa-free Schengen entry, like the US or Canada. For a blue card you do not need to apply in an embassy in that case. You could come to Germany on your regular visa-free passport, and apply with your work contract directly at Auslaenderbehoerde. It will take a month, and you are not allowed to work until you have the physical Aufenthaltstitel card (or paper sticker in your passport) in your hand, but you don't need to go back. We tried getting the German embassy in Boston to do a Blue Card, and it was near impossible. They didn't know how it worked. Coming to Germany first is easier for that case.

  • AFAIK blue card doesn't require "an invitation letter, and the need to communicate with the local job agency so you can prove that they can't hire someone locally", it only requires a salary that is higher than a certain threshold, no need to prove that the company can't hire anyone else. Commented Feb 21, 2019 at 6:55
  • @lawful_neutral it seems to depend on the embassy and the local Auslaenderbehoerde. Most embassies require an invitation letter for the actual work visa based on 19a, and if you want to go to an in-person interview first and you don't have an on-entry visa or are visa-free then you need an invitation as well to get your short-term business (or whatever they'll give you) visa. The Auslaenderbehoerde in Hannover where I did it was not very well-versed with 19a at the time, so they insisted on the job agency paperwork. I know Berlin doesn't. Other cities may err on the side of caution.
    – simbabque
    Commented Feb 21, 2019 at 10:02
  1. Why the companies do not like to undergo with Visa sponsorship?

If the local talent pool is big enough, they may consider there is little benefit of going through the overheard of sponsoring you for a work permit. Because there will always be an overhead, and a cost, and the company needs to be familiar with the relevant work or immigration laws. And of course they will have to wait for it to be approved. Some big companies or well funded startups may sponsor visas, but this is not really widespread.

Remember Germany is in the European Union, so they already have access to millions of potential candidates in the EU alone, which do not require visa sponsorship.

  1. What can I offer to the company in my interview, in order to encourage them to hire me?

It really depends on the industry you are in, but bear in mind companies that do not typically sponsor visas will likely not make an exception for anyone.

In general you have to prove that your skillset will be very hard or almost impossible to find in their local talent pool. Depending on your industry, you may need to prove world-class awards, or research, or projects.


Here is an answer for the UK. Germany may be different.


You need to be employed by a licensed sponsor to apply to live in the UK.

Your sponsor checks that you can do the job they’re hiring you for and if it qualifies you for a visa.

This may or may not be expensive for an employer but it is a lot of extra hassle and paperwork. First they have to become a licensed sponsor then they have to jump through various hoops to demonstrate that the job is eligible for a visa.

As I understand it one of the key criteria is that either:

  1. The job is on the official shortage list
  2. The job has been advertised in the UK and the company has been unable to recruit due to a lack of sufficiently qualified people in the local area

This means that it can be awkward for companies to employ non-EU citizens even if they wanted to. They can only employ you if you have a talent which is in genuinely short supply or if they go very far out of their way to try and game the system, which could be risky.

TLDR - there is no reason for a company to even look at applications from non-EU citizens unless the job is highly skilled and there is a shortage of appropriately qualified applicants within the UK.

  • Worth noting that the UK is very different than Germany, although the general point is correct. Don't forget the £1000 skills charge and the salary threshold.
    – Nathan
    Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 1:30

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