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The Job Seeker Visa in Germany

The German Job Seeker Visa allows people who are looking for work in Germany to do so, as long as they have the required qualifications.  The German Job Seeker Visa reflects Germany’s current status as one of the most popular countries in the world for inward migration. Situated at the heart of Europe, with a strong economy, an extensive education system and a country full of opportunities, it is no surprise that Germany is proving to be so popular as a migration destination. However, not everyone can apply for this visa as it is limited to those with recognised qualifications and extensive job experience.

This article will outline the German Job Seeker Visa requirements and answer some of the frequently asked questions we have received about it. However, the information provided here is a general overview and is not a substitute for professional legal advice. Should you require more specialised assistance, please contact our German visa lawyers directly using the contact details below this article.

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Who Needs a Job Seeker Visa?

The German Job Seeker Visa is for people coming to Germany from non-European Union or EFTA countries for employment reasons. Citizens of EU and EFTA countries do not require a visa as they benefit from European Freedom of Movement. However, there are also exceptions for those from other countries if their state has a visa-waiver agreement with Germany. This means they also do not need to apply for Schengen Visas or Business Visas when coming for short stays (of fewer than 90 days in a 180 day period) in the bloc. The list of these countries is quite extensive, including the USA, South Korea, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Applicants for the German Job Seeker Visa need to have the equivalent of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree that is recognised in Germany. This university degree can come from a German university or one that Germany officially recognises. If your job is in a regulated profession such as healthcare, there may be additional requirements such as specific permits and job experience. Applicants also need to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to cover their stay in Germany and have the required travel or medical insurance while staying in Germany.

There is a requirement for those with vocational training to demonstrate a minimum level of B1 per the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Applicants should have a minimum of five years of professional experience when applying for the German Job Seeker Visa.


What Documents Do I Need For a Job Seeker Visa?

Applying for a German Job Seeker Visa does involve a very bureaucratic process. Here is a list of the documents one requires when applying for the visa. Please consider that the following documents must be submitted as originals and as two photocopies:

  • Finished application form,
  • Recent passport-sized photograph,
  • Valid passport or travel documents that have been issued within the last ten years and that will still be valid post-duration of six-month visa,
  • The applicant’s CV with their educational and professional career history as well as certificates and diplomas,
  • A university degree from an institution recognised as equivalent to a German university,
  • A Letter of Motivation outlining information concerning the applicant’s intended job search,
  • Proof that the applicant can financially support themselves for the duration of their stay in Germany (bank statements, payslips from the last three months or another form of financial proof ),
  • Proof of sufficient health insurance for the duration of the stay in Germany,
  • Proof of accommodation in Germany shows that the applicant has somewhere to stay while on the job hunt.

There may be a need for additional documents depending on the industry you seek to work in and your country of origin. Our immigration law team has many years of experience working alongside clients worldwide. Allow our lawyers to oversee your application, assist you with sourcing the relevant documents, and provide expert and personalised service tailored to your situation.


Application Process for the German Job Seeker Visa

Once the application is ready, the candidate needs to bring the documents to the German embassy or consulate in their country. If the application is successful, they will be invited to an interview about the visa at that embassy or consulate. It is important that the applicant presents themselves appropriately and professionally, arrives on time, and outlines why they wish to work in Germany. They should have a copy of the documents that they submitted as part of their application. Furthermore, the applicant should be aware of the contents of these documents as they may be asked questions relating to them. Our lawyers can assist with preparing for this interview once our services have been engaged.

German skills are not necessary for those applying with academic qualifications, however they do help with searching for a job in Germany. German language skills may also assist you in your application process, and they should be considered in advance of making the application.

Should the applicant be successful and eventually find a job in Germany they should then start the process of gaining a residence permit. Such permits may include the EU Blue Card or a residence permit for highly qualified individuals. Our lawyers are available to support clients with such applications.


Validity and Renewal of the German Job Seekers Visa

The German Job Seeker Visa is, generally, valid for six months. However, this period of validity can vary depending on the industry and other matters relating to the application. It is expected that during this time the visa holder will find work in Germany. Should the visa holder find a job in Germany, they need to change from this type of visa to another form of a German residence permit. Should they not do find work, it is not possible to extend the period of validity.

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