Can You Work in Germany with Job Seeker Visa?

Job Seeker visa a perfect opportunity for non-EU citizens to come to Germany and search for a job. I admit it’s much easier to find a job when a candidate is already in the country as he/she will apply from abroad. Although not all people can afford 6 months of “vacation” in Germany. For this reason question about part-time employment during the stay on Job Seeker Visa in Germany comes up.

Holders of the Job Seeker Visa are allowed to work up to 10 hours per week in Germany. The new immigration law, which was introduced in March 2020, made it possible for foreigners on Job Seeker visa to undertake employment in Germany. These 10 hours can be used for a regular part-time job or as a probation period in the company.

Therefore, as a holder of the job seeker visa, you can work in Germany up to 10 hours per week. The job can also be unrelated to your qualifications unless it doesn’t require any special skills and certificates. In this post, you will learn which jobs are suitable for job seeker visa and how you can get one.

Working on a Job Seeker Visa in Germany

The Job Seeker Visa is short term visa for qualified applicants who want to come to Germany and look for a job. The duration of the visa is 6 months without the possibility to extend, but the working visa can be obtained within Germany if a job offer is provided. 

By obtaining this visa, a skilled worker gets access to the German job market. Both academic and non-academic professionals are able to apply for a job seeker visa. 

During the job search, one can work in Germany for up to 10 hours per week. Holders of the visa can also travel outside of Germany for 90 days, however, the employment is possible only in Germany.

They can take occasional jobs until the moment they receive an offer for full-time employment accordingly to the qualifications. After that, the job seeker visa can be converted into a working residence permit within Germany.

To apply for the Job Seeker visa you need to have a degree or complete vocational training, as well as have some funds on the banking account to support yourself.

Before coming to Germany and spending money here, applicants must have a good understanding of their chances of getting a job here.

Best chances to receive a job in Germany with a degree can be found in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-based (STEM) professions. 

For people with vocational qualifications nursing, electricians, metalworkers, hospitality, and gastronomy workers offer the best opportunities.

Both can work during the stay on a job seeker visa in Germany up to 10 hours per week. If the part-time job requires particular skills and certificates, they should match your already obtained qualifications. Otherwise, employers in Germany won’t able to hire you.

Jobs for Job Seeker Visa Holders in Germany

Since you can only work 10 hours per week and your stay couldn’t be longer than 6 months, there are only particular jobs available for you. Most common ways to earn some money on a side in Germany its non-qualified part-time jobs or so-called student jobs.

  1. However, the first issue you might face while looking for a part-time job in Germany is that most of them require one to speak the German language at least on some level.

This will be a problem for someone who comes to Germany to look for an English speaking position or for a job without German skills needed, and therefore his/her language skills are close to zero.

You might be lucky to find a student job for English speakers such as city guide, English tutor, translator, waiter, barkeeper, and some positions in the tourism industry.

2. Another negative factor is that fewer employers will agree to hire someone for such a long period of time, up to 6 months. Any job will require some prior training and so they would rather invest in someone with more long term plans.

One can have good chances when applying for some short term projects, festivals, events, where workers are hired only for a short period of time anyway. There are many events and celebrations in Germany, where foreigners can work as a waiter or other support staff for good money and with the short term agreement.

3. Another restriction regarding allowed working time can also stay on your way. If it’s project job, workers will be usually hired full-time or at least 20 hours per week, less often it will be 10 hours per week.

Consequently, one shouldn’t rely on a side job in Germany as a source of existence during the stay on the Job Seeker visa. For this reason, the German government will require a fixed amount of money on your banking account before you come to Germany (around 5,200 EUR).

This way a Job Seeker Visa holder can support himself while staying these 6 months in Germany.

If you decide to work during the stay in Germany anyway here are potential jobs one on a Job Seeker visa can have:

  • City Guide
  • Waiter/Barkeeper
  • Kitchen personnel
  • Courier
  • Translator
  • Freelancer
  • Pet Sitting
  • Babysitting
  • Cleaning

In most cases, a foreigner doesn’t need some special qualifications and skills to work in above mentioned positions.

If you don’t speak German finding a job will be more difficult, in this case, you can opt for particular industries with highest availability of English speaking jobs. This include:

  • Highly Skilled Professional
  • Teaching English
  • Tutorial teaching of English subject at university 
  • IT
  • Tourism
  • Gastronomy
  • Job in International Company

How To Find a Job in Germany?

The most important step in this process it’s actually to find a job, especially if you rely on this source of income. I would advise you to start searching for a part-time job even before you come to Germany, so you can attend some interviews already upon arrival.

Almost all jobs in Germany could be found at recruitment websites (Jobbörsen), or on companies’ websites. If the company language is German it will be described in German, if English accordingly in English.

Most popular websites for all types of jobs: 

Other helpful resources:

Where to find English speaking jobs in Germany?

The interview process for a simple part-time job isn’t complex like for a full-time job. Sometimes candidates will be required to complete a day or two of internships so the employer can see him/her in action.

If the job is English speaking, your interview will happen in English but for German jobs, you will need to prepare for an interview in German. Also, your CV must be in German style.

How Much Will You Earn?

Since you can only work 10 hours per week, don’t expect this job to cover all your living expenses. The average salary for unqualified student jobs in Germany is between 9 EUR and 19 EUR depending on the region, position, requirements, and others.

Although the average pay is 12 EUR. So if you calculate when working all available hours in the months – 40 hours, you will earn 480 EUR. Living expenses in Germany are much higher than that, one should calculate at least 900 EUR for one month.

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