Landeshauptstadt Dresden - 23.05.2015 10:05:49 Uhr 30.11.2021 01:25:47 Uhr

Residence for work purposes

Residence for employment purposes includes 
  • Self-employed work and 
  • Employment.


Employment refers to non-freelance work, in an employment contract in particular. Determinants of employment are activity based on instructions and integration in the work organisation of the instruction giver. The term employment also includes apprenticeship in a company and further training in a company.

The new residence law retains the principle of the recruitment ban which has been valid since 1973 (work migration only where approved in legal ordinances) for foreign employees from countries which are not members of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area or Switzerland.

That means that with the exception of highly qualified persons, employment permits can only be granted in certain (justified) individual cases, especially in professions which require qualified professional training, or for citizens from certain countries and then only when the employment is in the interest of the public. A residence permit can only be granted if the applicant has a specific job offer. A residence permit can be renewed for employment purposes as a temporary employment permit. 

Employment of highly-qualified persons

Professionally highly-qualified foreigners include scientists with special professional skills, teaching staff in higher positions and specialists and management staff with special professional experience. In certain cases, the Department of Foreigners can grant a permanent residence permit following the visa. The spouses and children who are still minors are entitled to Family following. They are also entitled to work.



Self-employment is distinct from employment. An activity aimed at making profits is either employment or self-employment. Self-employment is characterised by the fact that workers do not have to follow individual instructions of the client. Their behavioural obligations result solely from the contract or from secondary duties arising from the contract. The self-employed workers are free to determine the work themselves. In particular, they determine the amount of work and the working hours.

The residence permit, limited to a maximum of 3 years, can be granted if:

  • there is an overriding economic interest, or a specific regional requirement,
  • the activity is expected to have positive effects on the economy and
  • the financing of the implementation is guaranteed with proprietary capital or loan earmarked.

If the project is successful, a permanent residence permit can be granted.