The shortage of skilled workers in many sectors and professions in Germany, specifically in engineering, manufacturing and the IT sectors, as well as health specialists, has pushed the Federal Government to try and find other solutions in order to fill the labor gaps.

The Germany Job Seeker Visa is a German National long stay visa that was established in August 2012. The main idea is to lure more qualified experts from abroad to come to Germany to attend interviews and find a job. However, job seekers are not allowed to work in Germany under this type of visa.

Do I Need to Apply for a Job Seeker Visa for Germany?

If you are a national of one of the countries below, you do not need to apply for a Job Seeker Visa:

  • EU/EEA countries.
  • Australia.*
  • Canada.*
  • Israel.*
  • Japan.*
  • the Republic of Korea.*
  • New Zealand.*
  • United States of America.*

*Must apply for a temporary residence permit upon their arrival in Berlin, directly at the Immigration Office.

Nationals of other countries need to first obtain a Job Seeker Visa in order to be able to enter Germany and search for employment.

What Are the Eligibility Criteria for a Germany Job Seeker Visa?

The applicant must also fulfill several criteria in order to be eligible to apply for the Germany job seeker visa, as follows:

  • The possession of a Bachelor or Master’s Degree from a German university or an equivalent foreign degree.
  • Have a relevant (a minimum of 5 years) of experience in your related field of interest/study.
  • Show proof of travel or medical insurance for your entire stay in Germany or until you get your Work Permit.
  • Show proof that you have sufficient funds to cover your whole stay in Germany.

In addition, it is highly recommended that you have German Language ability. Though English proficiency is sufficient to qualify for the visa, it would be better for you if you at least knew basic German.

Germany Job Seeker Visa Requirements

First of all, get a list of all the required documents. The documents for the Germany Job seeker visa are as follows:

  • A duly completed German long-stay visa application form.
  • Your valid passport.
  • Three passport-style photos. The photos must be identical and be of high quality.
  • Proof of accommodation in Germany during your job-seeking period.
  • Proof of purchased health insurance policy for foreign workers in Germany.
  • A cover letter. Explain the objective of your visit, how you plan to find employment, and your alternative career plans if you cannot find a job.
  • Proof of academic qualification. Diploma of your degree or any other proof of academic qualification from a German or non-German university. Attach any certificates of previous work experiences as well.
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV).
  • Proof of financial resources. This could be one of the following:
    • bank statement,
    • a letter of sponsorship by another person, a combination of both,
    • or a blocked bank account.

Note that all documents must be produced in German or English or together with a translation into German provided by a translator recognized by the embassy. All official documents must be provided in a translated, attested and legalized version. Depending on the embassy or consulate in your country they may ask for extra documents. If you fail to comply with the requirements set by the German authorities your visa application may be denied!

Keep in mind that depending on your country of residence they might ask you for extra or fewer documents. Gather the required documents and photocopy each original twice. Also, you are required to hand in the documents during your interview at the appointment center in your country of residence (embassy or consulate).

Germany Job Seeker Visa Application Steps

The application procedure for a German Job Seeker visa is very similar to the application procedures for other types of German visas. To apply for a Germany Job Seeker visa, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Complete the German Job seeker visa application form.
  2. Make an appointment.
  3. Collect the required documents.
  4. Attend the interview.
  5. Pay the fees.

Complete the German Job seeker visa application form

Complete the application form online carefully and correctly, print it twice and sign it at the end.

Make an appointment

Appoint an interview through the website of the German mission in your home country. The appointment might take up to three months, therefore, take care to make the appointment as soon as possible in order to avoid any possible delay.

Collect the required documents

Make sure to collect all the required documents, or the application may be denied.

On the day of the appointment

Show up at the appointment center on time (embassy or consulate). Remember that if you are late even for a few minutes, then they will probably cancel your appointment. Make sure you have all the necessary documentation with you.

Pay the fees

After you pay the Germany Job Seeker visa fee, you will be issued a receipt which will need to collect your processed application.

After Arriving in Germany With a Job Seeker Visa

The Germany Job seeker visa holders can stay in Germany for up to six months in search of a job in their field. Once they find the job they must convert it into an employment residence permit. Once you get a job you have two possibilities:

  • you can either apply for an EU Blue Card, or
  • you can apply for an employment residence permit

Applying for an EU Blue Card

In order to be able to get the EU Blue card you must have an employment offer of at least 44,800 euros annual gross salary. In case you are a specialist in the field of mathematics, IT, life sciences or engineering the annual gross salary must be at least 34,944 euros.

After just 33 months with an EU Blue Card, you can obtain a permanent residence permit in Germany. In case you prove your German Language ability to be of level B1 then you can get the permanent residence permit just after 21 months.

Getting a Germany Employment Visa

As per the German Employment Visa, in most cases, the Employer will sponsor it, but if not you will need to do it on your own. You can get the permanent residence permit after 5 years in Germany with an employment visa.

With this visa, you can bring your family with you through the Family Reunion Visa. To do so, you and the family members must fulfill the requirements for this type of visa.

After You Arrive in Germany With a Job Seeker Visa

With a Germany job-seeking visa in your hands, you can immediately travel to the country. Yet, once here, you should complete another two tasks, which are:

  1. Register your address at the registration office. It does not matter if you will be staying in a hotel, a rented place, or over at some relatives or friends. You always need to register your address in Germany. Thus, within two weeks of arrival in Germany, you should register your address. Find the closest registration office, and go there with your passport, visa and documents regarding the address where you are staying.
  2. Get your Germany Temporary Residence Permit. After you register your address, you can apply for a residence permit for a job seeker person. To apply you should make an appointment with the Immigration Authorities near your place. On the day of the appointment, you will be attending an interview during which you will be submitting some documents regarding your application.