As an EU citizen, you are allowed to enter Germany to look for work and reside in Germany (Section 2 (1) no. 1a of the Freedom of Movement Act/EU (Freizügigkeitsgesetz/EU). All you need to enter the country is a valid passport or identity card. You initially have the right to live in Germany for the purpose of seeking work for 3 months. Once you have been resident here for more than three months, the foreigners authority (Ausländerbehörde) can ask you to credibly establish that you meet the requirements for exercising the right to free movement. This means that you must state that you are looking for work, but at this stage you are not (yet) required to provide any evidence. Only when you have been resident here for more than 6 months can the foreigners authority require you to provide evidence that you are looking for work and that you have a genuine prospect of securing employment. You are considered not to have a genuine prospect of securing employment if, given your skills and curriculum vitae, it seems objectively impossible for you to be placed in employment.
As soon as you have found a job, a certificate from your employer or an employment contract is sufficient evidence of your right of residence.
Your personal details are normally taken from national passports or identity cards, and no translations of these have to be provided. However, marriage, birth and death certificates are usually used for the documentation and registration of family relationships.
In some EU countries which have signed the Convention on the issue of multilingual extracts from civil status records of 8 September 1976 (), international versions of marriage, birth and death certificates can be issued. These international certificates are recognised in the member states of the Convention without any further formalities (such as an entry confirming legalisation or an apostille certificate).
Certificates from other countries have to be duly authenticated in that country and then translated into German by a sworn translator. The authentication can be carried out either by the competent agency in the individual’s home country (apostille certificate), or by the competent German mission abroad (legalisation).
Family members who are not themselves EU citizens (third-country nationals) may require a visa to enter Germany, depending on their country of origin. The visa should be applied for in good time beforehand at the German consulate or embassy. It is generally issued within 15 days and is free of charge.
As proof of their right of residence in Germany, EU citizens’ family members who are third-country nationals receive a residence card (Aufenthaltskarte) within 6 months. In order to receive this, they must produce a valid passport or a travel document issued in lieu of a passport, and prove that they are family members of EU citizens who are either already living in Germany or are entering the country with them. A certificate that this information has been provided is issued immediately. No other conditions have to be met. Family members, with a right of residence, of EU citizens employed in Germany have the same rights and responsibilities as the EU citizens. For example, they may take up employment or engage in self-employment from the first day of their residence in Germany.