Germany Job Seeker Visa

If you are seeking to work and reside in Germany long-term after graduating then you may need to apply for a Job Seeker visa. It is important to understand which activities this visa permits, as well as its limitations and the complexities that may arise should you choose to apply.

Total Law can provide professional legal assistance and help with your visa application throughout the process. Contact us today online or by phone at +44 (0)333 305 9375.

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    Overview of the Job Seeker Visa

    The German Job Seeker visa is a D-type National visa that facilitates eligible individuals looking to enter Germany to search for a job while in the country. Those who qualify may acquire this visa to begin seeking employment on a long-term basis, usually for up to 6 months.

    There are various eligibility requirements and stages to the application process that are important to be aware of, as navigating this process can be very complicated and you are recommended to be fully aware of all steps and to consult expert legal assistance if needed.

    There will be different requirements depending on your individual circumstances so a comprehensive understanding of the utility of a Job Seeker visa is completely necessary.
    The main benefit of this visa is that as long as you qualify, your entry to Germany will not be tied to a particular employer and you won’t need sponsorship, which allows for more flexibility in finding a job. You may also receive assistance navigating the job market and finding opportunities to help strengthen your career.

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    Eligibility Requirements

    The most important requirement regarding the German Job Seeker visa is that you typically must have graduated a Bachelor’s or Master’s course at a German university or the equivalent at a university overseas. The intention of this is to attract skilled professionals and those highly educated into working in Germany.

    In addition, you are also expected to have at least 5 years of experience working in your field and you should be able to sustain yourself financially.

    Ensure you hold the proper documentation that provides proof that you meet the eligibility criteria as these will be necessarily for presentation during the application process, as any absences of which or any errors may delay or hinder receiving a successful response.

    High-angle of The Brandenburg Gate in Germany


    If you meet the eligibility requirements, you may apply for a German visa in person at your local German embassy or consulate where you will be asked to fill out a form, you must make an appointment where you will have to present all the necessary documents to the officials in order to prove you meet the eligibility requirements of the Job Seeker visa.

    You may also submit your Job Seeker visa application online via the TLS Contact website, where you will be able to access the online application form, or by sending it via mail.

    However you choose to apply, after your details have been filled out and submitted, you will be required to book an appointment and an interview where you may be asked to provide proof in the presentation of such supporting documentation as:

    • A fully valid passport
    • Passport-style photograph
    • University degree
    • Travel health insurance
    • Proof of sufficient funds/bank statements
    • Proof of accommodation
    • Biometric data (fingerprints)
    • Proof of intended visit (i.e. to search for work)

    All documents must be translated professionally into English or German to be valid for submission.

    You will be obliged to attend an interview where you will be asked a series of questions to analyse the legitimacy of your desire to reside in Germany and the adequacy of your cultural knowledge, as well as your German language skills.

    You will be required to pay a visa fee for your application which amounts to €75 which you may be required to pay in cash.

    You should allow at least 4 to 6 weeks to hear a response regarding your application, though it is not unusual to have to wait longer in such cases as if the information you have entered isn’t completely accurate or if there are documents missing from your portfolio that would be required for you to prove you meet the eligibility requirements for the Job Seeker visa.

    This emphasises the extreme importance of applying ahead of time before you plan to travel and consulting professional legal advice and assistance in the completion of your forms and compiling of supporting documents.

    For application assistance and professional translation services, contact Total Law today online or by phone at +44 (0)333 305 9375.

    Residence Permits

    Temporary Residence Permit

    Upon entering Germany, you will be first of all expected to register the address you will be residing at with the local registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) within 14 days of arriving in the country.

    You will additionally need to apply for a temporary residence permit at the local foreigners’ authority (Ausländerbehörde) which may be issued to explicitly only permit that which your visa has entitled you to enter the country for.

    These residence permits are typically issued to the length of the validity of your visa, to a maximum of 12 months, though you should be able to extend this should you convert your Job Seeker visa to a German work visa at some point in the future.

    To extend your residence permit, you must visit your local immigration office in person. They should automatically arrange an appointment for you approximately 2 months before the expiry of your current permit. You should be told in advance which documents you need to bring with you. Expect to present your existing residence permit, your passport, and any other supporting documents you needed to present for your initial application.

    If you wish to extend your residence permit, you have to re-visit your local foreigners’ authority months before its expiry and inform them of any changes to your circumstances.

    Permanent Residence Permit

    After 5 years of residence in Germany, it is possible to apply for a permanent residence permit which will allow for indefinite stay and much more freedom regarding activities you wish to undertake without the need of any further extensions or conditions to your immigration status.

    It is still possible to gain a permanent residence permit even if you have resided in Germany for less than 5 years such as if you have a German spouse, if you are a qualified skilled worker, or if you have graduated from a German university on a degree course.

    For this you will be expected to speak the German language at a B1 level and have a competent knowledge of German culture, you will be expected to financially sustain yourself and any family dependants without the need of state welfare (though you will have further access to this on this permit), you must not have a criminal record, and you must have paid at least 60 months worth of statutory pension contributions.

    For help obtaining a German job seeker visa, speak with our team today. Contact Us

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      Limitations of German Job Seeker Visa

      The key limitations of the German Job Seeker visa are that it cannot be extended beyond the typical 6 month period it is issued for, and you will be expected to find employment within this time frame, else you risk facing challenges in transitioning to a visa that may enable you to stay long-term and eventually apply for a permanent residence permit.

      It is important to note you generally cannot work full-time on a Job Seeker visa without first finding employment and then applying to convert your visa to one that will permit this. In some circumstances a limited amount of trial-based work may be conducted, but explicit permission from immigration authorities is expected to be granted before this may be undertaken.

      You will furthermore be precluded from full-time courses of study, the exception being language courses while you continue to search for employment.

      Finding employment will be a key step in acquiring a D-type National Employment visa, so the importance of properly utilising your Job Seeker visa as a potential pathway to this cannot be overstated.

      In addition, though no explicit requirement is stated for the visa itself, you will be expected to have a firm grasp of German culture and the language in order to better navigate the German job market in the particular profession you have claimed you are finding work within.

      There are many activities the Job Seeker visa will allow you to pursue and many freedoms are afforded, such as the ability to find work in one of the world’s strongest economies and convert your visa into a standard work visa should you qualify.

      Healthcare & Insurance

      You are obliged to obtain valid health insurance while residing in Germany.

      In order for the insurance you purchase to be valid, it has to be able to cover the cost of any medical expenses to at least €30,000 for the entirety of your 6-month stay on a Job Seeker visa.

      The majority of Germans choose to pay a monthly fee to the statutory insurer, though you may be able to find insurance policies for as low as €20 per week, though the cost will depend on such factors as your age and any pre-existing health conditions.

      visa application with approved stamp

      Finding a Job

      In order to stay in Germany beyond the 6-month period on a Job Seeker visa, you must find employment before its expiry date.

      You are recommended to have a firm grasp of the German language, culture, and customs in order to better navigate the job market, though there are a few tools at your disposal to help assist your search.

      You may use publicly available job search websites such as that of The International Placement Service of the German Employment Agency to find opportunities. There will also be a variety of private organisations that will have websites you will be able to find job listings on that will let you contact companies directly with a CV and a cover letter.

      There may also be various recruitment agencies in your local area in Germany, and you are recommended to contact your local agency to find out how they may assist your employment search. You are also recommended to inquire if there would be any fees should you choose to utilise their services.

      You may also directly contact German companies that may have placements for your particular field and inquire as to if they have any free positions available.

      German Work Visa

      If you are successful in finding employment, you should be aware of the Germany work visas available to be applied for in order to undertake this work and continue residing in Germany for a longer period. You may be able to convert your existing Job Seeker visa into these, so long as you meet the eligibility requirements.

      The first of which to be aware of is the EU Blue Card. This unique visa is intended for highly qualified professionals who seek to work within the EU.

      To qualify for the EU Blue Card you must first off have a job offer with a minimum annual salary of €43,800, or a reduced total of €39,682.80 for those in certain ‘bottleneck professions’. Such examples include professions within healthcare, IT, or the education sector.

      If you seek a pathway as a skilled professional to obtain a permanent residence permit, the EU Blue Card grants an expedited route for those who are able to acquire it, with only 33 months of residence being required to qualify, compared to the 5 years that would typically be needed.

      A D-type National visa can also be applied for, such as the Employment visa which also first of all requires an employment offer, though less flexibility is given than the EU Blue Card for such activities you may choose to do, such as changing jobs, and you should anticipate a wait of up to 3 months to receive a response on your application.

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        How Can Total Law Help?

        The process by which one obtains a Job Seeker visa can be a lengthy complicated process with its own host of intricate steps that you must navigate with the utmost amount of diligence and detail in order to be successful in receiving a positive response for your application. Even tiny errors in your supporting documentation can delay or significantly hinder the process.

        Total Law has a team of extremely experienced immigration specialists who will treat your application with extreme care, and advise you at every step for the best possible outcome for your individual circumstances.

        They will ensure there are no errors in your documents, and be with you even in the case of if an appeal is necessary in the result of an unsuccessful initial application.
        Contact Total Law today for expert help with obtaining a Job Seeker visa either online, or by phone at +44 (0)333 305 9375.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Unfortunately, failure to find valid employment to transition to another visa that accommodates long-term stay with employment means you will either have to find another type of visa you are eligible for, or you may have to return to your home country.

                  You typically cannot extend the Job Seeker visa.

                  There is no explicit regulation that forbids you from applying for certain jobs, though you should consider the intentions of the Job Seeker visa in helping you find employment that relevantly corresponds to the field of expertise you have gained a qualification within.

                  It is important to reiterate that you must meet a minimum salary when you have found employment to be eligible for such visas as the EU Blue Card, and pursuing a high skilled position will give you a greater chance of fulfilling this when it comes to converting your Job Seeker visa to one which enables long-term residence in Germany.