FAQ#004 - Do I Require a ZAV (FEA) Approval for Germany Work Permit? - Immigrate To Germany from India

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

FAQ#004 - Do I Require a ZAV (FEA) Approval for Germany Work Permit?

Firstly, let us understand what is a ZAV Approval. Let's get into some background.
If a foreign (non-European) worker is being hired in Germany, a residence permit also has to be issued so that the foreign worker can live and work in Germany. The Federal Employment Agency (or the FEA) regulates the employments in Germany. ZAV is a service from FEA, which regulates hiring of foreign workers. 

Under most of the scenarios, when you submit a VISA application for a Work Permit, the application usually goes to the ZAV (branch of FEA) in Germany, validated by them and then, if they feel everything looks good - the VISA is approved. This process takes a lot of time as your application is redirected to Germany from where the approval is fetched. Since there are a lot of applicants - they processing time may be high. To reduce this processing time, German Employers usually get a PRE-APPROVAL from ZAV.

If you get the pre-approval from ZAV and submit the ZAV Letter along with your VISA application, the VISA approval can be done directly from the consulate/embassy, significantly reducing the processing time. 

Who needs the ZAV pre-approval?

  • If your annual salary is below 52,000 Euros OR
  • Your Job does not match your degree OR
  • Your skill is NOT in shortage in Germany
If you lie in any of the above categories, your VISA application will have to be approved by ZAV, and may take a lot of time. Therefore, it would be a good idea to get the pre-approval ZAV, and submit it along with your application for faster processing.
You can ask your employer to get a ZAV approval for you. They will send you some forms to sign - which you can sign, scan and send them back. Once the processing is done, you will get the ZAV Letter. The ZAV pre-approval may take 2-6 weeks.
VISA Stamping may take another 1-2 weeks after submitting the application with ZAV Approval.
NOTE: Your application will be accepted even if you do not have the ZAV pre-approval. But it may take more time, as the ZAV approval will now become a part of VISA processing.

Who does not need it?
  • If your annual salary is above 52,000 Euros
  • Your degree matches your job
  • You are a highly skilled worker (Doctor or IT/Software Engineer)

If you fulfill the above criteria, then your application case is a Blue Card case. These cases DO NOT require ZAV Approval. You can submit your visa application without the ZAV approval at the Embassy/Consulate and if everything is correct, the VISA would be stamped within 2 weeks.

NOTE: For applicants from Delhi. Sometimes it becomes really tough to get a VISA appointment & the waiting time is too high (around 2-3 months). In such cases, even if you do not require a ZAV pre-approval (your case is Blue Card Case), insist your employer to get it anyway. If you get the ZAV approval, then you can get an appointment at the VFS within next couple of days. VFS will take your application (ZAV is mandatory for going through the VFS channel) and pass it on to the embassy for processing.
The VISA processing time may take around 2-6 weeks for stamping in this case.
This facility is ONLY for people within the jurisdiction of Delhi.


  1. Hi Monis,

    Thanks for the detailed explanation on the processes.

    Just wanted to know how long it took for ZAV approval and what address you mentioned on ZAV Vorabprüfung as the resident address.


  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Hi,
    I would like to know if you can give some reference for those who don't required ZAV approval because I am having same issue. But I don't have any authenticated source that's why I am unable to convey my point


  4. Hi folks , as an intern engineer how long my work permit needs , two weeks left and i'm still waiting for it !

  5. I am from Prakash Software Solutions Pvt Ltd. wanted to enquire on ZAV approval for below situation –
    One company from Germany wanting to opt for our services and hence we need to send one employee of our Indian company to Stuttgart Germany, who will work there for approx. 1 month and then he will come down to India.
    For above, German company will pay to us and we will pay to our employee.

    So with this do we require ZAV prior permission?
    Looking forward..

  6. Jinal Mehta, Let me know. I can help out !!

  7. Since you mentioned
    ZAV approval Who does not need it?
    (If your annual salary is above 52,000 Euros
    Your degree matches your job
    You are a highly skilled worker (Doctor or IT/Software Engineer)
    Should a person satisfy all the three criteria?
    In my case my salary is below 52000 and about 43000 euro
    remaining two categories matched my profile

    kindly provide your inputs

    1. What have you done in your case? Did you get the ZAV done before applying for the Visa?

  8. Hi Monis

    My company applied for ZAV pre-approval. But we got letter from ferdal employment agency saying I don't need ZAV pre-approval. Now How I can apply for Visa in Delhi. FYI before taking appointment I choose option 'having ZAV pre-approval'. Please share your thoughts

    1. Sahil, were you able to get an answer on that?

    2. Hey, any update on this? Desperately seeking a solution. Thanks!

    3. I have the same issue. I got the contract for 42000 from german employer for EU blue card as mechanical engineer which is skill shortage. My degree is from a recognized institution (In UK)and equivalent to German. Do I need to ask my employer to get Federal employment agency? My Employer called the agency and they informed him that it goes through automatically through embassy of Germany. Can someone advise regarding this issue?

  9. Hi,Can any one know/share their experiences about the processing time for visa Approval with ZAV Approval @Chennai or @Bangalore or Delhi Consulates.

  10. Its almost one month to apply for ZAV pre approval from my employer but yet received the response,


    1. Hey. Did you get the visa approval with ZAV. How many days did it take?

  11. Hey. Did you get the visa approval with ZAV. How many days did it take?

  12. ZAV office must give approval if everything is ok. ZAV must not say on telefone to our employer that zav is not required applicant can directly from his/her country. Or do not share such letter and mentioned like this.
    Because in india atlist it creat lot of confessions at the time of visa interview

  13. I would like to thank you for sharing these great information.

  14. Hi, I have offer letter from company in Germany of 50400 EUR (less than required salary of 53600). My education (BSc Physics) is registered as 'Bedingt Vergleichbar' - Conditionally comparable on Anabin, but my university is H+. I got ZAV approval from BA.
    Is this enough to apply for Blue card?

  15. I have a contract from a company in Germany and my salary is 43000 Euro.
    (other 2 conditions met). do i need ZAV approval ?

  16. Hi,Is ZAV approval enough to get the blue card application Approved from the embassy.

    I mean is the ZAV the final authority to take a call on the visa Approval/Denial of your application once you have submitted to the embassy.

  17. Hi my pre approval is end date is 24th Oct. What should be latest date to plan my travel ? do I need few weeks before ? if so how many weeks.

  18. Can anyone know/share their experience about the processing time for Visa Approval with ZAV Approval @Kolkata Consulate

  19. hi i have been trying to get an appointment in delhi consulate. but couldnt find any luck.
    can somebody help me in this matter?

  20. Hi , I'm currently doing an paid internship in Germany for that i got approval from ZAV for it and now my employer has offered me the same job , do i need to apply for ZAV pre approval again ?

  21. Do i need a ZAV certificate for Grenzgängerkarte (border-cross certificate) ?
    I am living on border with french work permit and i am non-eu.