Many expatriates working in Karlsruhe are drawn to the city by its thriving economy, which is based heavily around energy production and technological research and development. During the 1990s, Karlsruhe was known as the internet capital of Germany, as the local university provided the vast majority of internet services for the country. Although this is no longer the case, the city remains a hotbed of technological innovation, and it is estimated that around 20% of jobs in region are in research and development at companies in the Technologieregion Karlsruhe, the local business group for technology companies. Karlsruhe's energy sector is headed by EnBW, one of the largest energy companies in Germany, which has its headquarters in the city. EnBW had a total revenue of 19.2 billion EUR in 2012.
Whether or not you will need a permit to work in Karlsruhe depends on your nationality. As Germany is member of the European Union, citizens of EU and EEA states and Switzerland will not need a permit to work in Karlsruhe. However, citizens of some new EU member states and certain Eastern European countries will need a work permit, so you are advised to check with your embassy; non-EU citizens will also require a work permit. In order to apply for a permit to work in Karlsruhe, you will need to have employment secured in the city, as your employer will need to sponsor your application. They will need to prove that your prospective role cannot be filled by a German national or an EU/EEA citizen in order for the permit to be granted.
Expatriates working in Karlsruhe will be required to pay income tax on their earnings. If you live and work in Karlsruhe for more than 183 days in a year, you are classed as a resident of Germany for tax purposes, and will pay income tax at the German rate on your worldwide income. If you reside in Germany for less than 183 days in a year, you are a non-resident, and will pay tax at German rates on your German income only. Germany has a progressive, sliding scale tax system, which means that the amount of income tax you pay is determined by your total income. The German tax rates for expatriates working in Karlsruhe for 2015 are as follows:
On top of the income tax, a 5.5% solidarity charge is also levied for people in the higher income brackets. This extra charge is applicable on those paying income tax in excess of 972 EUR (1,944 EUR for married couples).