Frankfurt at a Glance
Working in Frankfurt
- If you work in finance, Frankfurt is the perfect location, as most of Germany’s banks, as well as the German stock exchange, have their headquarters in the city.
- Frankfurt has an excellent travel infrastructure and even has Europe’s third largest airport.
- You will likely contribute to the German social security system when you work in Frankfurt; this will come directly out of your wages.
- Make sure to be punctual and well-prepared for meetings in Germany in order to make a good impression.
A Financial Hub
Working in Frankfurt is the first choice of expats looking for employment in Germany’s financial sector. Frankfurt’s stock exchange is among the largest in the world. A vast majority of Germany’s stock market turnover is generated in Frankfurt. But even if you are not looking into employment in Frankfurt’s stock exchange, you may find just the right finance job in this city.
Frankfurt’s financial district stretches across parts of the Innenstadt, the Westend, and the Bahnhofviertel. The center of the district is the Opernplatz, which houses the old opera building, which has now been turned into a concert hall. The financial district is where most of the city’s skyscrapers, which make up Frankfurt’s characteristic skyline, have been built.
There are numerous credit institutions located in this city, more than half of them being foreign banks. Many expats working in the city’s financial sector are employed at branch offices of some of the biggest banks in the entire world. On top of that, Frankfurt is home to the European Central Bank (ECB), where decisions concerning the euro are made, the German Federal Bank, as well as to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The headquarters of many national banks are located here, too, including Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, and Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen (Helaba). Helaba is, in fact, housed in the Main Tower, the fourth tallest building in Germany, standing at 200 meters.
Experience the Excellent Infrastructure
Part of what makes working in Frankfurt an attractive option for expats is the city’s excellent infrastructure. Frankfurt’s airport is the third largest airport in Europe and the reason why the city is considered a central European transport hub. Thus, it is easy to establish and stay in touch with your international business contacts, and to develop markets abroad.
In fact, for expats working in Frankfurt, the most important European capitals are no more than two hours away — Frankfurt’s airport allows you to explore Europe as you see fit. But the city also offers great connections to the German railway system and to the European high-speed road network, with the Frankfurter Kreuz giving you quick and easy access the German Autobahn.
Don’t Forget Your Work Permit
Before you can begin working in Frankfurt, you need to apply for a work permit at the Ausländerbehörde (the immigration office) in Frankfurt. You should not have much trouble getting a residence permit including permission to work after having already been granted a respective visa. If you are an EU/EEA national, you do not need a residence/work permit. Swiss nationals are, however, required to get a Freizügigkeitsbescheinigung (also referred to Aufenthaltserlaubnis-CH), a document proving that they are permitted to live and work in Germany. If you are a Swiss national, you need to apply for this within three months of moving to Germany.
While securing a work permit should be nothing more than a formality for most expats working in Frankfurt, the process can be somewhat nerve-wracking for self-employed or self-made expats. For more information on work permit requirements, you should contact the Ausländerbehörde in Frankfurt.
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