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German Job Seeker Visa

Germany has a strong economy and a buoyant employment market. As a result, it welcomes skilled workers to join the workforce. Those looking for work can move to Germany with a Job Seeker Visa, which gives them up to six months to find relevant employment.

Those from the EU and 12 other countries do not need to apply for this visa. Those who do need to apply should make sure they understand the eligibility criteria, application requirements and the process itself.

What is a Job seeker visa?

Those from the EU, EEA and Switzerland can enter Germany without any visa, but they do need to register with the local authority. Those from Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Canada, or the USA can also enter Germany without a Job Seeker Visa but need to register for a residency permit as soon as they arrive.

Citizens from all other countries hoping to find work in Germany will need to apply for, and be issued with, a Job Seeker Visa before they arrive. This allows individuals up to six months to find work in Germany. There are strict requirements for this visa, and applicants are expected to be skilled, experienced, and educated.

Once employment has been found, it’s necessary to apply for a working permit or visa before the employment begins. If relevant employment hasn’t been found after six months, the individual will have to return to their home country.

Is it easy to get a work visa in Germany?

If you have a job offer from a German company, then you can apply for a working visa or residency permit. Those who have found employment during the course of their job seekers visa can apply for this in Germany and do not need to return home.

How much is a Job Seeker Visa for Germany?

As a form of long-term residency visa, the Job Seeker Visa has a fee of €75.

Healthcare for Job Seekers

Those moving to Germany to seek work are not eligible to register with the public healthcare system and will need to take out private travel medical insurance for this period. Once in employment, you will be automatically enrolled into the public healthcare system.

Eligibility of Applicants

This type of visa has certain eligibility criteria as follows:

Applicants need to hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree, ideally from a German university, but an equivalent foreign degree may be accepted. A minimum of five years’ work experience in a related field.

Enough funds that will cover living costs for the duration of stay in Germany (six months). Valid travel or health insurance to cover the entire period. Somewhere to live in Germany.

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Required Documents

Applicants will need to provide many documents

This includes some that are proof of the above eligibility criteria. You will need the following:

  • A valid passport with at least 18 months until the expiry date.
  • A photocopy of your passport
  • Three biometric passport photos
  • A cover/motivation letter (in German) outlining your intentions for employment and reasons for them. It should also outline your plan should you fail to find relevant employment.
  • Degree certificate Certificates for other relevant professional qualifications.
  • A detailed Curriculum Vitae (CV) in the German language and German format.
  • Proof that you have secured accommodation in Germany for the period of job seeking.
  • Proof that you have the necessary funds to cover six months’ living costs. Note that this will need to be a higher amount if you are moving to one of the more expensive cities such as Munich. You can prove this in a number of ways; a letter of obligation or Verpflichtungserklärungfrom a sponsor resident in Germany, a bank account statement, or a blocked bank account.
  • Evidence of your personal status in your home country, e.g. birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.
  • Proof of health insurance cover

At Expatrio, we can help set up a blocked account for visa applicants which can be used to deposit funds. See our Blocked Account service page to get the process of opening an account started today.

Is ielts required for a German Job Seeker Visa?

It is not necessary to hold an ielts certificate (proof of English language skills). You will need to be proficient in German, however, although proof of this is not required for the Job Seeker Visa application.

3 Steps to your visa

Health Insurance

Everyone who comes to Germany for work or studies needs to register for healthcare insurance.

Funds

You’ll need to prove you have the funds to cover living costs for one year or the duration of your stay.

Visa paperwork

You'll need: passport, biometric photo, certificate of enrollment, proof of: finances, health insurance, and residence; plus the visa application filled out.

Application Process

The first step is to download the necessary visa form from the German consulate website in your home country and make an appointment for a visa interview at the embassy or consulate offices. Appointments need to be booked up to three months in advance, so it’s best to book it as soon as you can and use the intervening time to gather all the necessary paperwork. In some countries you can fill out the form and even scan the items online.

On the day of your appointment, bring all the documents listed above in the Germany job seeker visa checklist, even if you have already scanned them in online. You will need to attend a short interview of about ten minutes. During the German Job Seeker Visa interview, the questions may concern your motivation for moving to Germany, or you may be asked to clarify elements of your application.

How long does it take to get a German Job Seeker Visa?

If your visa is approved, it will take around 4–6 weeks to be processed. You should allow up to 4–5 months for the entire process, however.

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