Dresden has one of the most dynamic and highly specialized economies in all of Germany. Since emerging from a period of high unemployment in the 1990s, Dresden's economy has grown rapidly over the last 20 years, and is now the biggest in eastern Germany. In fact, its GDP per capita of 31,100 EUR is close to that of most cities in western Germany, many of which have a GDP per capita of 35,000 EUR.
Its local economy is now highly specialized, and is organized into roughly three major sectors/industries: the pharmaceutical sector, the semiconductor industry, and the electrical engineering sector. Major firms based in Dresden include Volkswagen, AMD, GlaxoSmithKline, and Infineon Technologies. Expatriates working in Dresden tend to be employed in one of these three industries, or as English teachers.
Germany is a full member of the European Union, and therefore EU/EEA and Swiss citizens will not need a permit to work in Dresden. However, if they wish to work in Dresden for more than 90 days, they must register with the local authorities.
Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens, as well as citizens of some Eastern European nations and new EU member states, will need a permit to work in Dresden. In order to be granted a work permit, your prospective employer must prove that no German or EU/EEA/Swiss citizen can fill your prospective role, and therefore you must have secured work in Dresden before applying. These permits are usually temporary, but they can be renewed on expiration. Although permanent permits for working in Dresden do exist, it is unlikely that they will be granted to non-EU citizens.
Expatriates living and working in Dresden will be required by law to pay income tax on their earnings. The income taxation system in Germany is similar to many other European nations in that it follows a progressive, sliding scale system, where your earnings determine the amount of income tax you are required to pay. Also, like many countries in Europe, the income on which you will be required to pay income tax depends on your residency status. If you live and work in Dresden for more than 183 days in a year, you are considered a resident for tax purposes and must pay income tax at German rates on your worldwide income. If you live and work in Dresden for less than that amount of time, you must pay income tax at German rates on your Dresden income only. The income tax rates for expatriates working in Dresden in 2015 are as follows:
In addition to income tax, expatriates working in Dresden that pay over 972 EUR of income per year are also required to pay a 5.5% solidarity tax on their earnings.
For more detailed infromation,please refer to our dedicated articles on Social Security & Taxation in Germany.