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Are you a non-EU Citizen & Want to work in Germany? – Job Seekers Visa Is All You Need

Written by mrafeeq · 12 min read >
Germany Job Seekers Visa To Work In Germany
Germany Job Seekers Visa To Work In Germany

Photo by Maheshkumar Painam on Unsplash

Are you looking for a job in Germany? Then, you should apply for a German job seeker visa. This critical document will allow you to find a job and work in Germany. The job seekers visa, or job seekers visa, is one of the German visas for non-EU citizens, and it allows candidates to stay in Germany to look for a job. The holder can also go to other Schengen countries for short visits. German job seekers visa is a scheme launched by Germany for skilled and eligible professionals from non-EU countries who want to work in Germany. The idea behind this is to get people who specialise in technical and scientific fields in Germany and help the german economy grow.

Good reasons to get a job in Germany

Many people decide to move to Germany or to move there again. For many reasons, not only for the high quality of life its citizens enjoy (high standard of living, low unemployment rate and good working conditions). But also because it is one of the world’s leading democracies, its legal system is considered among the most efficient in the world. Furthermore, Germany has a highly educated workforce and is a significant exporter in several sectors.

There are a lot of good reasons to get a job in Germany. Germany has the largest economy in Europe and fifth in the world. The population is stable and prosperous. The unemployment rate is low, and there are more open jobs than people are looking for. In addition, Germany is one of the few countries that grant visas to foreigners, even if they have not yet secured a job offer.

And most important, salaried employment in Germany offers job seekers better pay, work conditions and social security benefits compared to most other countries around the world.

The largest economy in Europe is a magnet for people from other countries seeking employment. The German economy creates jobs at a substantial rate and a high pay level.

Job prospects for qualified workers are excellent in Germany — the unemployment rate is about 6 per cent. In addition, Germany has one of the highest minimum wages — 12 euros per hour as of Dec 2021 — though there are no required vacation days or holidays.

The UN’s Human Development Index has ranked it the best country to live in. Germany enjoys a high standard of living. Incomes are above the European average – at about 30% above those in work. Germany also offers good quality of life with low crime rates, well-maintained streets and infrastructure and a generally high standard of living.

Who needs a job seeker’s visa?

Do I need a job seeker’s visa? The answer depends on why you want to live in Germany. If all you want is “to spend some time in Germany”, getting a job seeker’s visa might not be necessary. But if you intend to find a job, you will need a job seeker’s visa.

Does everyone who wants to enter Germany need a job seeker’s visa?

People from Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Canada, or the USA do not need to apply for a Job Seeker Visa to work in Germany. However, they must register for a residency permit once they arrive in Germany. Citizens of all other countries must apply for and receive a Job Seeker Visa before entering Germany.

If you are planning to move there only to find a job or start your own business, getting a German job seeker’s visa is your best option.

What is the German Job Seekers Visa?

The job seekers visa is for all non-EU citizens who want to look for a job in Germany. The visa does not allow you to work, but it will let you stay in Germany for six months. This means that you can look for a job during the validity of your visa. When they find the job they want, they have to convert it into a residence permit. You can apply for an EU Blue Card or an employment residence permit when you get a job in Germany.

The Job Seekers Visa is a temporary residence permit. It gives you the right to live in Germany and seek employment. However, your residence permit will expire if your situation changes and you no longer need the visa. For example, your residence permit will expire if you find a job or leave Germany to live in another country. This differs from other residence permits that allow you to stay in Germany permanently or for many years, even if your situation changes.

If you have a German university degree, the visa is issued for 18 months. For other qualifications, the visa is issued for six months.

How to obtain a Job seeker visa to find a job in Germany?

The procedure for this type of visa is similar across countries, but there are some differences in handling applications in various countries. The requirements can also vary depending on the job you are looking for, the salary offered, and other factors.

There are several ways to apply for a German Job seekers visa, and some choices depend on your country of origin. Whether or not you have a job lined up in Germany or if you have enough money to support yourself while looking for work, you may be eligible for a German Job seeker’s visa.

You must meet the following conditions to qualify for this visa: You cannot work in Germany on a job seeker’s visa. The only exception is if the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) has granted you a permit. Second, you have enough funds to support yourself during your stay without working. You can prove this by showing that you have at least EUR 1,200 in your bank account (or, in some cases, by showing that someone else has guaranteed you will not need welfare payments). Third, you have applied for medical insurance with your local health insurance company (Krankenkasse) or applied for travel insurance to cover your entire six months stay in Germany. Fourth, you have signed up for a German or language course at an approved institution (this requirement does not apply if you are 55 or older or already speak German at an advanced level). Finally, you have an adequate apartment or housing situation or proof that you will be able to find one within two months of receiving permission to stay.

To be granted this visa, Complete the online application form, print the form, including the barcodes, twice and sign both copies (application forms are required for each applicant separately; all children need separate forms).

Compile your supporting documentation:

  • Two printouts of the online application form, including barcodes
  • Valid passport signed by the holder, issued within the last ten years and valid for at least three months beyond the visa’s validity. The passport needs to have at least two subsequent blank pages.
  • Two photocopies of the passport biodata page
  • Current UK residence permit (BRP)/ visa (foreign residents only).
  • Two photocopies of the permit/ visa
  • Two fully biometric passport photos, 35 x 45 mm, no older than three months. Digitally altered passport photos cannot be accepted.
  • Academic degree: We will need to see the original degree certificate or a copy, either notarised by the notary public or certified by the issuing educational institution. Any document in a language other than German, English or French must be translated into one of these languages by a certified or sworn translator.
  • Cover letter about your plans to work in Germany – Your CV – Educational and professional qualification credentials – 2 copies
  • plus two photocopies of the original/certified copy and translation
  • Cabin database printouts list your degree and the awarding institution or “Statement of Comparability” outlined above (set of 2 copies).
  • If available: two copies of any additional evidence of further preparations for finding a job in Germany (i.e. correspondence with prospective employers, job offers, agency enquiries etc.).
  • Evidence of sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay, such as
  • German or UK bank statements for an account in your name for a minimum of three months showing that you hold a continuous and sustainable balance equalling EUR 5,682
  • OR blocked account holding a minimum of EUR 947/month
  • OR formal obligation “Verpflichtungserklärung.”
  • OR a combination of the above.
  • Confirmation of medical insurance cover commensurate with statutory German public health insurance (“gesetzliche Kankenversicherung”).
  • Proof of personal status in your home country, such as birth certificate, marriage certificate, and others (translated into English) 

Important to Note: The list of documents varies from country to country. Please check with your local German Embassy website in your country to check if any additional documents are required.

Where to book your appointment/ apply for your visa:

Please apply directly with the German Embassy having jurisdiction over your residence.

Who can apply

You need to have a university degree or an equivalent certificate. You cannot apply for this visa if you have no formal education.

To be eligible for the German Job Seekers Visa, you must be:

  • A Non-EU citizen -At least 18 years of age.
  • Have a valid passport/travel document which will remain valid for at least three months after you enter Germany.
  • Have enough money to support yourself when you intend to work in Germany. You must also have medical or health insurance coverage for the period you intend to work in Germany.
  • Have completed an apprenticeship or have a college degree or higher.

How much will it cost?

Visa fees are €80 for Schengen (A or C) visas and €75 for national (D) visas. However, fees can be waived or reduced for specific categories of applicants. Details are available here.

The Visa fee is payable as soon as your visa application is submitted. However, visa fees will not be reimbursed should your application be denied or should you decide to withdraw your application.

How long can you stay in Germany as a job seeker?

This visa entitles you to stay in Germany for six months and search for a job.

German Street
Photo by Tobias Reich on Unsplash

What are the processing times?

For some visa categories, it will require approval by other German government agencies, such as the Federal Employment Agency (“Bundesagentur für Arbeit”) or the local immigration office (“Ausländerbehörde”). If you have previously lived in Germany, this will add to processing times, as the immigration office may need to look into your previous immigration record.

Based on previous experience, most applications will usually be processed within two weeks in this visa category.

Do I have to have a university degree?

The Jobseeker visa category requires you to hold a German, a recognised or a comparable foreign academic degree. If you have a foreign degree, please check whether your degree and the awarding educational institution are equivalent in the official Anabin database. If either is not listed, please have the degree formally assessed through a “Statement of Comparability for Foreign Higher Education Qualifications” issued by the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB).

Some regulated professions, such as medical doctors, nurses, teachers, architects, auditors, tax advisors and more, require a formal license to practise their work in Germany. Please consult the database on recognition in regulated professions.

Do I Need the Germany Job Seeker Visa?

Not everyone needs this type of visa to search for employment in Germany. For example, those from the EU, EEA, and Switzerland countries may enter Germany to seek a job without obtaining a work visa.

Furthermore, Germany also has a special visa exemption from the following countries: Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Canada, and the United States of America. Therefore, nationals from these countries are not required to obtain a job seeker visa if they decide to move to Germany. They must, however, register for a residency permit upon arrival.

Is it necessary to have good german skills?

There are some ways around the problem for non-fluent Germans who live outside the country. For example, an excellent german skills certificate may convince an employer to hire you as an interpreter or assistant in one of their foreign branches. Or you may land an unskilled job that requires no speaking ability, such as a mail clerk in a large company.

However, if you want a highly skilled position in Germany, like an engineer or manager, getting one without fluent German skills is nearly impossible.

Where can I find free language schools?

You can learn a lot of languages for free with the right motivation and discipline. Don’t fall into the trap that your progress will be slow because you can access tools 24/7. It takes more than technology alone.

The single most crucial factor in self-study is regularity and consistency. Unlike paid language classes, you can’t rely on a curriculum or class schedule that someone else made for your study sessions; instead, it’s up to the individual student to set their practice routine with whatever tools work best (books/TV shows).

Few Amazing Tools to Learn German for Free

Using an app to learn German is the best way to start. You can find tons of different language apps that will help you hone your skills in no time!


There’s pretty much no way you haven’t heard of this one.


FluentU is a language-learning platform that provides interactive courses and immersive content. It’s the perfect tool for travellers, business people or anyone who wants to learn languages!


Memrise is a great companion to any other course as it helps you learn vocabulary.


This course is an excellent way to learn grammar and vocabulary step-by-step. In addition, it can take advantage of comprehensive, high-quality public resources from governments worldwide!

Deutsche Welle

Deutsche Welle (DW) has a vast wellspring of German content funded by the German government. You can browse their language courses by level from the homepage or take their placement test to figure out the best place for you to start. mples.

Watching video content in German will allow you to explore the language and sounds, all while having a fantastic time learning.


The series contains clever wordplay and pokes at common misconceptions about the German language. However, it has just 13 half-hour episodes, so it’s not an enormous time commitment!

Easy German

German videos are an excellent resource for learners who want to speak the language. These short interviews with native speakers include subtitles in both German and English, but they all talk medium-fast, so it’s not hard to keep up!

ZDF Mediathek

ZDF is a German TV network that puts a ton of content online.

German Media is known for its high-quality productions; medium-fast and subtitles are essential. However, they have made these media available in every region, showing one tiny detail: German language speakership, without exceptions.

Having a visa might make the difference between getting that dream job or not.

Being a foreigner in Germany is not always easy, especially if your country of origin is outside Europe. Therefore, you will face many challenges, and you must have a lot of patience and dedication if you want to make it here.

The language barrier is one of the biggest problems of moving here. You might say that people here are friendly, but they don’t go out of their way to make you feel at home. In addition, it seems that foreigners are often seen as a threat to the German job market because there are not many jobs available for native Germans.

Get familiar with the German job market and labour laws.

Most people first find a job when they plan to move to Germany; this is easier said than done. It’s more complicated because the German economy works differently from other European countries. Because of these differences, getting familiar with German laws and regulations is necessary before coming to the country and looking for a job.

In general, a German employer will not grant you a work permit. He can merely give you a job contract(ArebeitsVertrag). If you plan to move to Germany, your prospective employer must apply for a German work permit or German work visa at the local German labour agency (Arbeitsagentur) / Federal Employment agency and register with this agency upon hiring a foreign worker.

The application process is time-consuming, and it can take several months to issue a work permit. Please be aware that this may cause problems if you plan to start working before your work permit arrives. In addition, there is no guarantee that the employer will receive a favourable decision from the labour agency regarding the approval of a work permit/work visa for you.

In Germany, it is compulsory to have a university degree to get a paid job offer. You can only apply for internships or volunteer work if you do not have one.

Language skills are another critical criterion when applying for jobs in Germany. Knowledge of German and English is essential for nearly all job vacancies in Germany.

Understand the difference between a job seekers visa and a regular working visa

A job seekers visa is a temporary residence permit issued to an alien to search for a job in Germany. A regular work permit is a residence title issued by the Foreigners Office of the Federal State if the criteria for issuance are met. In short: A job seeker’s visa is a first step, which may lead to a regular work permit.

A job seeker’s visa is not issued for employment purposes but to look for a job. Therefore, the permission to stay in Germany expires as soon as it becomes evident that the applicant will not find employment within the period indicated on the visa.

Please note that having a job seeker visa does not allow you to start working immediately in Germany. It only means visiting the country and looking for a job during your stay.

Can I bring my family members?

The disadvantages are that it is impossible to have family members join you during your stay on a job seeker’s visa. In addition, you are not entitled to social support benefits if you are not employed.

A job seeker visa does not entitle holders to claim unemployment benefits if they become unemployed. But the long-term benefits far outnumber the short-term practical difficulties.

Tips for getting a successful outcome with your application

Getting a German Job seeker visa is not as difficult as you might have heard. The right advice, help, and support can be a smooth process. The first step is to make sure you are eligible. You probably are if you have been offered a job in Germany or have sufficient funds to support yourself whilst you find work.

The next step is to ensure that your application is correct and complete. This means checking that all the required documents are provided, particularly those relating to your current circumstances in your home country and any previous jobs.

The final step is to ensure that your application meets all the German Embassy’s requirements. This includes providing certified translations and ensuring that all the required fees are paid correctly.

If your language skills are not perfect, you should spend some time in Germany before applying for jobs there. It will also help if you already have experience related to what you want to do in Germany (e.g. if you’re going to work in finance, it might be better if you first spent some time working in another financial institution).

EU Blue Card Germany

The EU Blue Card is a German residence permit for skilled workers. You can apply for this at an immigration office ( Ausländerbehörde ) if you are from outside the European Union and have an academic degree, with a salary at least 1.5 times higher than what’s considered average in Germany.

Germany EU Blue Card Salary

To get an EU Blue Card for Germany, you must be offered a salary of at least €56,800/year (€4,733/month). However, if you work in an “in shortage” profession, the minimum salary may change to  €44,304/year (€3,692/month).

If your salary is lower than €56,800/year, you must ask for approval from the German Federal Employment Agency to be granted a Blue Card. More about this Blue card will be covered in a different post. 

Note: Above salary requirement for 2021 is 1.5 times the German national average, which changes yearly!

Conclusion: Germany is a good choice if you want to work in Europe. The German economy is one of the strongest economies globally, and if you work there, It will be easy for you to find a job. So, all you need to do is apply for a German job seekers visa and get legal permission to work in Germany.

Reviewer: Thajudeen Razak, Munich, an IT Engineer and beneficiary of this visa.


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