Army wife - work visa? - Germany

Army wife looking for answers to get a work visa.

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horse.fly88
Hi! My husband is in the army and we are stationed in Germany. I am looking for jobs off post and I need a work visa. How does it work with me being a military spouse? Where do I go? What do I need to do?

Thanks in advance!
dbert4
Your SOFA card is an, "Aufenhaltsbescheinegung" and allows one to work in Germany as a permenent resident, you're supposed to already have one. But if not have him get one from you.
horse.fly88
Really? Awesome thank you so much!
holyloch
You should really have the SOFA stamp (stamped into your official passport); you'll never be asked for it but it's the stamp that dictates your rights and protection under the agreement.
joesjungle
Um, that is bad advice. Your SOFA stamp allows you unlimited entry and exit into Germany. It is not for any other purpose.
Darkknight
Um, that is bad advice. Your SOFA stamp allows you unlimited entry and exit into Germany.
Bzzzt. Thanks for playing... Its used for many official purposes, including proovig your tax and work status.
lookingforgalpals
I believe you can go to your local Rathause, and they should be able to tell you. If not ask the Family Readiness group for your husband unit. Where are you stationed? We are at Panzer, and I know a couple places that might be able to help as well. Good Luck!
horse.fly88
We are stationed at Vilseck.
horse.fly88
I have a sofa stamp.
Darkknight
And I have a Sofa, with a stamp stuck to it
Melf
and I have a stamp but no sofa!
chicagolive
The SOFA stamp allows you unlimited entrance and exit from said host country without hold or reason of entry. It also excepts you from having to pay or deal with certain offices or services will in host country the SOFA stamp is not a work permit unless you are already a Local National(meaning a German citizen or a person with a similar status). Also if you so choose to want to work on the local economy first it will be very hard to find a position with a local German firm,there are foreign companies that hire easier and companies that service the military and expat community. Besides these your chances are slim, I also take you must have a pretty good grasp of the german language if you are looking for off post work, and know this since you spouse is military they will tax the crap out of you. Might not even make it worth it unless you are talking about some University level type work.

It might help more if you gave us a little of your back ground and maybe we can give you a little more help on the feasibility of this working out for you.
dbert4
I KNOW this from experience, not simply blowing hot air out of my ass. The SOFA card, no longer a stamp is the basis for otaining a "Arbeitserlaubnis" or Arbeitsbescheingung" (work permit). If you find a job, the employer will apply for your work permit.

And you WILL get it because legal RESIDENTS of Germany aka holders of a valid, "Aufenhaltserlaubnis" are eligible for them. Likewise holders of a NATO "Aufenhaltsbescheinegung" are eligible. The NATO "Angehörige" aren't considered as legal residence of Germany, they don't exist here for most purposes. But for work purposes you are eligible for a work permit.

And, "Chicagolive" is only partially correct. Unless you speak good German, in most cases you will be limited to working for companies which work wholly or mostly with the Americans. The Community Bank for example, their jobs are German jobs as are most German AAFES vendors. Some of the businesses selling cars or other things to Americans might be a place to work.

Those who work on the German economy being spouses of military or Gov civilians, DON'T find that the German "Finanzamt" "will tax the crap out of you" because of your spouse. They find that while the income of their spouse isn't considered for tax purposes, likewise nor are they able to use family members as dependents for tax purposes. What that leaves one with is being considered as, "single" for tax purposes and therefore in a higher tax category. Since you already have health insurance via your husband, you wouldn't have to pay the German health insurance tax which helps.

But in any case, if you're able to find a job on the German economy versus menial labor with the Americans such as AAFES, MWR or other NAF positions TAKE the German job!
holyloch
Ok, the SOFA stamped in my official passport and the one stamped in my spouse's passport grant rights and protections. The link for the following is here.
dbert4 is correct. This quote is from the above link,

"The NATO SOFA and SOFA Supplementary Agreement conferred numerous privileges and immunities on the relevant forces. These include, for example, immunity as regards civil, administrative and criminal jurisdiction, and privileges with respect to social insurance, customs and taxation and motor vehicles. In addition, they – especially the SOFA Supplementary Agreement – include provisions on the use of premises and the employment of local German staff by forces stationed in the country."

The link is to the German Federal Foreign Office. Also if you get a job on the economy don't pony up the church tax if you aren’t a supporter of the religion.
[edited for spacing]
chicagolive
Well like I had said "dbert4" (and yes it is a SOFA card)what she will pay will depend on what she wants to do and who she wants to work for since she will command-sponsored. There are somethings yes you are exempt from but even that has exemptions. That is one reason I said the she really needs explain out what it is she wants to do, and yes you can get hit hard in taxes. Most Americans are not used to this tax system here, and if you are working on the economy(again depending on where and for who)you will have to pay alot or not really much at all. Some companies here do give you the option of being paid in dollars or in Euros which also effects said agreements. If a person is sticking to the "normal" wants to a service member spouse coming to Germany then they have really nothing to deal with, but if she is like some of my friends who wanted to continue on there careers in a actually good job then their is alot to consider and ask about.
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