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. However, one needs to be eligible to get this type of visa.
A candidate for Germany Job Seeker visa must fulfill the following requirements and eligibility criteria: possess university degree/vocational training of at least 2 years and have funds on the banking account (approx. 5,200 EUR). For applicants without a university degree, proficiency in the German language is necessary (Level B1).
In this post, you will learn what it takes to get a Germany Job Seeker visa and how you should go about it.
Requirements and Application Process
The statistics demonstrate that foreign professionals have higher chances of getting a job or even a response from employers if they are in Germany instead of the home country.
For this reason, if you are planning to work in Germany but don’t know where to start, application for Job Seeker Visa will most probably save you time on job search and nerves.
Nevertheless, the process of getting a Job Seeker visa isn’t meant to be easy, but worth it.
Job Seeker visa has its requirements are any other visa and the candidate must fulfill them in order to apply. The application takes place in any German embassy of your home country or in Germany if you are already here. Below you can see the main requirements for the Germany Job Seeker visa in 2020.
Below you can see the main requirements:
- Bachelor’s Degree from a recognized in Germany university or vocation qualification (min. duration of 2 years)
- Sufficient funds to prove that you can stay in Germany without any financial dependency on government*
*853 EUR per month or 5,118 EUR in total for academics and 600-700 EUR per months or 3,600-4,200 EUR for vocational specialists
For applicants without a degree but vocational qualifications also to have AT LEAST LEVEL B1 GERMAN LANGUAGE.
Also read which university majors will give you highest chances of getting a job in Germany.
All right, you found yourself meeting all requirements and criteria? Then the next step in getting a Job Seeker Visa will be to apply for a visa!
Make sure your documents are ready and compete, bring them to your appointment in the German embassy, and yes of course, don’t forget to make an appointment before. Because incomplete documentation may result in the rejection of your application.
List of the documents which must be attached to your Job Seeker Visa application:
- Valid passport – issued within the past 10 years, providing a minimum of 2 blank pages.
- Application form
- Declaration of accuracy of information
- Passport-sized photos – no older than 3 months, must meet biometric standards
- Copies of the passport’s data page
- Curriculum vitae
- Motivation letter
- University degree, original and copy, and if applicable: official translation into German or English
- Proof of sufficient financial means
- Proof of housing in Germany
- Proof of travel health insurance
More in detail about each requirement
A candidate must possess a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree which is recognized in Germany. Therefore, you have to get recognition before the visa application. This can be done through Anabin database or office for foreign education – ZAB.
If your degree certificate does not provide information on your course of study, additional documents such as transcripts are required. Bring your original diploma and copy for the visa application.
Vocational training certificate: A candidate without a high degree must prove a completed vocational training with the duration of at least 2 years. It also has to be recognized in Germany. Apply for recognition prior to visa application via ZAB.
German language certificate: *only applies to candidates with vocational training! You should prove at least a level B1 of German language proficiency. This can be made by providing one of the several language certificates: Goethe, Telc, TestDAF, DSH.
Proof of sufficient financial means:
You must have enough funds for the entire 6 months in Germany. Although Job seeker visa holders are allowed to work 10 hours per week it is not enough to sustain them.
For high degree holders, it is 853 EUR per month or 5,118 EUR in total for academics and 600-700 EUR per month or 3,600-4,200 EUR for vocational specialists.
The proof can be:
- Bank statement
- “Verpflichtungserklärung” – Letter of commitment/declaration by someone proving your expenses will be covered
- Blocked bank account
Proof of housing in Germany:
This should include a full address. The proof can contain a rental agreement, hotel reservation, or an invitation letter of the person you know. In the case of private accommodation also must be provided name, full address, and passport copy of the inviting person.
Everyone in Germany needs health insurance, for now, tourist insurance is enough, for the long term you should conduct a better insurance policy.
A CV should show your expertise in a particular field that can demonstrate your ability to find work in Germany. So Germany can see you have some realistic chances with your degree or not.
Germany has a different CV style than some other countries do, check out some examples online to get a better idea of the differences. The CV doesn’t have to be pretty, just informative, and for the Job Seeker Visa, it should include:
List there your professional career, specifying the certificates, diplomas, etc. you have obtained, also add some of your hobbies and interests.
Motivation letter/cover letter:
A motivation letter is a typical German thing, also employers will want to see it all the time you apply for a position. This must include your plans, why you choosed Germany/city, why you want to work there, what are your plans for future, career plans, why you are a good candidate for the job in Germany.
You should also include details about how you’re going to find a job, which job titles you’ve already applied to, and which interviews you’re scheduling/completing, if possible.
At the end of the letter, state about what you’ll do if you don’t find work in Germany. The best way to explain is that you will fly back home in this case.
Other helpful documents
These documents don’t directly influence your approval or rejection but have positive effects on the decision makers and add to your case.
Letters of recommendation
A standard recommendation letter from your former employer/coworkers can add to your application. Have the author sign and date the letter if possible.
Printed interview confirmations/correspondence with companies and recruiters
This shows that you’re proactive about getting a job in Germany and already have a plan (and you should!).
The visa fee amounts to 75 EUR and is payable in USD in cash only. Conversion into USD is made based on the exchange rate at the time of application.
Processing time for Germany Job Seeker visa is 4 to 6 weeks but it can take as long as 12 weeks. However, don’t underestimate the time you need to collect all documents, it can take several months. Your application won’t proceed until all documents are presented at the embassy.
How to apply for a Job Seeker visa?
You must apply at the German embassy in your home country or country of residence. If you are already in Germany you should make an appointment at Ausländerbehörde of your city/area.
The steps will be as follows:
- Complete the German job seeker visa application form
- Make the visa appointment
- Collect the required documents
- Attend the interview at the German Embassy/Consulate
- Pay visa fees
- Wait till your visa is ready
- Pick up the visa
What Is a Job Seeker Visa?
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.
Holders of the visa can also travel outside of Germany for 90 days, all countries in Schengen are vise free for you. Nevertheless, the foreigner can only travel there, job search and work are not permitted.
After you have found the job it 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.
Since 2020 holders of Job Seeking visa can also work up to 10 hours per week.
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.
Last year German companies were unable to fill 337,900 STEM vacancies and more than 1.2 million open vacancies in total.
For people with vocational qualifications nursing, electricians, metalworkers, hospitality, and gastronomy workers offer the best opportunities.
Also read “How to get a job in Germany as an American?“
Who can apply for Germany Job Seeker Visa?
Job Seeker visa was made for non-EU citizens who need a visa to enter Germany. Also, only people with some kind of certified qualifications can obtain the visa.
There are also some non-EU countries whose residents are exempt from obtaining a Job Seeker visa. These include Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Canada, and the USA.
Citizens of mentioned countries can enter Germany without a visa and stay up to 90 days if they wish to stay longer the application for a resident permit for work and job search can be made within Germany.
What Are Eligibility Criteria?
Eligibility criteria are very same to the main requirements for Job Seeker visa:
- provide proof of academic (degree) or vocational training
- qualifications must be recognized in Germany and be equivalent to a German degree or certificate
- applicants with vocational training must provide proof of the German language skills (min. level B1)
Found yourself fulfilling the criteria? Great, check the entire list of requirements mentioned in the beginning and start with the document’s preparation.
Okay, you have received a Job Seeker visa and found the job but what comes next?
After visa holders have received the job offer they can convert this visa into a residence permit for employment. There are two possibilities for employment in Germany:
- they can either apply for an EU Blue Card, or
- employment residence permit (Germany Employment Visa)
Applying for an EU Blue Card
EU Blue card is the most popular way for qualified professions to move to Germany. It has been around since 2012 and helped thousands of people to be able to live and work in the country.
Although, the EU Blue card is suitable only for people with a high degree and good earnings. To be able to get the EU Blue Card one must have an employment offer in Germany with at least 56,800 EUR annual gross salary (2021).
If future employment falls into the STEM category (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) the annual gross salary must be at least 44,304 EUR.
This visa will allow you to stay up to 4 years. After just 33 months working on the EU Blue Card, you can obtain a Permanent Residence Permit in Germany. In case you prove sufficient German Language level (B1) – you can get this permit just after 21 months. Read here more about Permanent Residence Permit in Germany.
Consequently, EU Blue Card is the perfect ticket to the PR in Germany.
The main requirement was already mentioned is the high degree, which can be a bachelor, master, and further. The second is the minimum salary and we already have talked about this.
The last and, nevertheless, an important condition for the EU Blue Card is that the job offered to the applicant must be in his/her field of study or expertise. Clearly, this should be just an offer, but a signed work contract. Otherwise, your application won’t be accepted.
Wondering how much is the average salary for your profession? Check the Gehalt.de – the best German resources which provide information on all salary in the country. You can add filters like location, experience, skills, age, size of the company, and others to see the most accurate numbers!
Regular German Employment Visa
This round is offered to the professionals with vocational training since they can’t pretend on EU Blue Card. German employment visa is a regular residence permit with permission to work.
High degree holders can likewise apply for this visa if their annual salary isn’t high enough for the EU-Blue Card.
The length of this visa usually aligns with the length of your contract but has a maximum of 4 years, the same as the EU Blue Card. If your contract is for two years, your visa will also be for two years, although renewal is possible.
Holders of German employment visas can get the Permanent Residence Permit after 4 years of residing in Germany.
The downside of the regular residence permit FOR DEGREE HOLDERS is that the federal employment agency will prove if there are other applicants from EU countries or Germany. However, if the job, you apply for, belongs to the shortage list, the employer can offer the position to a non-EU national without any approval.
For vocational professionals no such approval is needed, consequently, they have higher chances to receive this type of visa.
The main requirement is your qualifications, whatever it is a high degree or vocational certificate. Luckily, there is no minimum salary requirement, which makes it simpler for an employer to find workers from abroad and simpler for you to find a job.
Same as for the EU Blue card, the candidate must present a signed work contract with the German company. Application for both visas is made from Germany in the Immigration office of your town if you are still here or from abroad in the German embassy.
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