Work in Germany & Van der Elst visa

Many foreigners who come to Poland to find a job are interested in the following question – is a Van der Elst visa needed to work in Germany as part of a secondment (or in another EU country)? We will try to answer this question in this article.

Despite the Schengen area, all national visas give work permits only in the country that issued them. The development of trade allows, however, to go beyond national borders, therefore official employment is possible in recognized international companies with branches in Poland and Germany or connected with each other by appropriate contracts. All EU companies as well as Polish companies that have employed foreigners can send their employees to work in Germany. But for this purpose, a foreign worker must apply for a Van der Elst working visa.

The employment process in such a company for a foreigner will be as follows:

  1. The first stage is the employment of a foreigner in a Polish company with a branch in Germany (or another EU country) or concluding a contract with a German company for the provision of services.
  2. The second stage – obtaining a work visa or a Polish Card.
  3. Arranging a Polish employer for a business trip to Germany and registering the employee at the German embassy (applying for a Van der Elst visa).

What is a Van der Elst visa? This is a document that must be obtained to work in one of the EU countries, based on the work visa of another EU country issued to a non-EU national.

Many international companies with branches in Poland or Germany or related to each other under relevant contracts allow work in Germany under an employment contract in Poland. It should be noted that the duration of such work will be limited.

List of documents, costs and conditions for obtaining a Van der Elst visa:

  1. Application – in 2 copies, completed in German.
  2. Two appropriate biometric photographs.
  3. Passport. It expires 6 months after leaving Germany.
  4. Type A work permit, application for the status of a foreigner, residence permit – original and 2 copies.
  5. Registration in Poland – confirmation that you have already been registered for at least 4 weeks – 2 copies.
  6. Agreement between a Polish and German company with a translation into German.
  7. Certificate from a Polish company which contains information about: employment contract, method of calculating remuneration, proof of social insurance, date of commencement and termination of the service in Germany, place of service and description of the service.
  8. Employment contract indicating the possibility of traveling to work in Germany.
  9. Copy of the company’s KRS.
  10. Extract from the German commercial register (handelsregisterauzug) of the German company.
  11. Health insurance from ZUS (Social Insurance Institution), i.e. A1 – confirming the legality of work in this country, and the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card).
  12. An application for a Van der Elst visa is accepted by the German consulate in Warsaw.
  13. The application must be submitted in the original together with two copies (in German).
  14. The application is submitted in person by an employee who intends to obtain a visa.
  15. The fee for processing the application is 75 EUR and is payable in PLN.
  16. The process of obtaining a visa takes 2-3 weeks.

Additional information:

  1. To make an application, you must arrange a meeting at the German consulate.
  2. Foreigners with a long-term residence permit in the EU may work in Germany for up to 3 months during the year without a Van der Elst visa.

To sum up, if you have a Polish work visa or a residence permit in Poland, and the employing company is in Poland, you can be sent on a business trip to Germany or another EU country, after obtaining a special Van der Elst visa at the consulate of the country to which it belongs .

Work in Germany & Van der Elst visa


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