Information portal for the recruitment of international professionals

Are you planning to hire an international specialist and looking for support at a certain point in the process? Or are you looking for the right contact person in Cologne to help you with the administrative process? On this page, we have compiled an overview of the most important links, institutions and contacts for the recruitment of foreign skilled workers in Cologne. To help your professionals settle in quickly and feel at home in our beautiful city.

FAQs regarding international professionals

In this list you will find relevant topics concerning the settlement of international professionals in Cologne. We have compiled the most important links, institutions and contacts for you.

  • The Cologne Education Portal advises foreigners on topics such as school-leaving qualifications, career choices, vocational qualifications and further education. (only in German)
  • The adult education centre offers a wide range of (further) education courses. (only in German)
  • The Cologne Chamber of Industry and Commerce offers training opportunities for companies and their employees. An overview of the courses on offer can be found on this website(only in German)

Are you a foreigner living in Germany and your partner wants to come to Germany? Then you can apply for a residence permit for family reunification.

  • The application form and information on how to apply can be found on the website of the City of Cologne.
  • Make it in Germany provides a good overview of what you need to consider when applying for family reunification, with specific information on the reunification of spouses and children.

The VHS Köln offers a wide range of language and integration courses. (only in German)

The permanent settlement permit is a permanent residence permit and entitles you to take up gainful employment.

You can have your foreign qualifications recognised in Germany if they are considered equivalent.  The competent body may be an authority, an office or a chamber. 

If you are from a non-EU country and want to work in Germany, you will need a residence permit.

If you have moved to Cologne, you must register with the City of Cologne.

  • On this website by the City of Cologne you can make an appointment online at a customer centre of your choice.
  • The City of Cologne provides an overview of registration law in Germany in 15 different languages on its information page.
  • With this portal you can search for and reserve kindergarten places in Cologne.
  • On Kitanetz you can find information about nurseries in Cologne. (only in German)

  • The online search engine will provide you with the addresses of nurseries and day care centres in North Rhine-Westphalia. (only in German)

On the following pages you will find interesting tips on events, leisure activities and offers in Cologne:

  • provides an overview of a wide range of concerts, cultural activities and events. (only in German)
  • At Mit Vergnügen Köln you will find lists of restaurants, the most beautiful places in Cologne and much more(only in German)
  • The City of Cologne lists the top events and highlights in Cologne on its website. (only in German)

The new Skilled Immigration Act, which will gradually come into force, is designed to shorten the time it takes for a foreign skilled worker to enter Germany.

  • Make it in Germany has put together the most relevant information about the new Skilled Immigration Act.
  • Make it in Germany gives a brief overview of who needs a visa to work in Germany.
  • This table from Make it in Germany shows which German language skills are required for each visa category.
  • The government's overview shows in detail the visa and entry procedures for different entry purposes.
  • The Central Office for Skilled Migration can help you meet the legal residence requirements for a visa. (only in German)

Why Cologne

Discover our unique metropolis

Situated on the banks of the River Rhine, Cologne is a dynamic and culturally diverse metropolis in the heart of Europe. World-leading companies work hand in hand with tech-driven startups.  Nowhere else is it easier to make connections. Because in Cologne, we pride ourselves on our welcoming way of life: open to people, cultures and business ideas.

Learn more about Cologne

Recruiting international professionals - KölnBusiness

Get started in Cologne

Ready to start your success story in Cologne? Our International Desk acts as a one-stop agency for international companies and startups wishing to set up business in Cologne.

Get started!
Recruiting international professionals - KölnBusiness

Quality of life in Cologne

Cologne offers a high quality of life and a unique lifestyle. The world-famous "Rhenish" temperament proves that high productivity and a laidback attitude to life are not incompatible.

Cologne's quality of life