Score a new chapter in your life: Germany job seeker visa

So you are thinking about starting the next chapter of your life? Do you need some time to figure out if Germany is really the place for you and also weigh in your career options?  Job seeker visa Germany are then words that might ring sweet to your ears.

Citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway have it easy; they can come here with just an id card, few bags and a pinch of motivation to start the adventure here.

For the rest of us, it’s not that easy however. Options are limited to find a job in Germany. Although it is possible to find a job remotely and then move to Germany, chances of success are much higher if you can meet potential employers here directly.

Enter the German job seeker visa, a permit that allows you to enter the country to find the job of your dreams.

Germany job seeker visa application

I know that finding jobs can be tough and now on top of all the struggles, you need to deal with German bureaucracy. It’s not fun, but fear not for I am right here to talk you through all the steps necessary to get you a job seeker visa in Germany.

What is a job seeker visa for Germany?

The legal basis about the German job seeker visa can be found here under section 18c. The full name for it is “Temporary residence permit for qualified skilled workers seeking employment”.

This permit allows the holder to stay in Germany for up to 6 months to look for employment. The natural “conclusion” of this permit is then to switch to a more standard employment visa or an EU blue card, once you have found a job here.

Where to start: job seeker visa Germany requirements

You need to tick a few boxes to increase your chances to obtain the job seeker visa for Germany.


Only holders of bachelor or master’s degree are eligible to apply for a job seeker visa in Germany, but is your degree recognized here? There is this handy online tool made by the German government to assess that exactly.

You can check the online portal to see if your degree is recognized here. If your degree has been rated H+, your chances increase substantially.> If you are unable to find detailed information about your diploma, you can also turn to the central office for foreign education. They will assess your degree and provide a statement that it is comparable to local German degrees in your field for a small fee.

On that note; If you have graduated from a German university, you are eligible to apply for a different kind of residence permit which allow you to find a job related to your field up to 18 months from your graduation. You can more information about that here.


Although, the official guidelines don’t mention it, eligibility is also based on your experience in your particular field of study. This is because Germany wants to welcome workers with high chances of employment. These naturally increase with a bit of experience. For occupations with a big shortage of workers, experience becomes therefore a little less important.

Proof of livelihood and health insurance coverage

As for any other permit, Germany will let people in on the basis that they can support themselves during the job hunting process. So in short, you need to have enough money for that six months period (currently, at least 720€/month for that whole period), as well as appropriate health insurance.

Language skills

This should put a smile on your face. Knowing German is actually not a requirement! But it certainly helps to show efforts to learn it. Consider even taking a basic A2 or A1 class to boost your chances.

What documents should i bring?

Your job seeker visa application Germany starts with gathering all the requireddocuments. This may vary from consulate to consulate, so do check again, but in general:

  • A valid passport
  • A completed application form which you can find here.
  • Biometric photo
  • An updated CV
  • University degree + statement that it is recognized in Germany
  • Health insurance certificate, travel insurance is also accepted. Ask your provider for that.
  • Bank statements, salary slips, or other proof of income showing that you would be able to cover your expenses during your stay here
  • Proof of available accommodation in Germany if you are abroad, or an Meldebescheinigung if you are in Germany already.
  • A motivation letter. This document details what your exact plan is to find a job in Germany. More info on that here.

Make sure to collect every document and make copies. You are required to bring originals, but they will keep the copies in some cases.

Booking an appointment

If you are in Berlin

Once you have gathered all the documents, make sure to make an appointment online here.

I do not recommend risking for walk-in appointment, as they only give out limited slots every day -which means you have to be at the foreigners office mad early. I’m talking 3-4 AM to be one of the first one to get there, so when the gate is open at 6 AM you could get one of the waiting numbers. After collecting the ‘number’ you have to wait until 7 where they officially open their doors to enter the building and wait for your number to be called.

Bring all the documents and copies, your biometric photo, and the €56 application fee which you can pay in cash or using EC (bank card, not credit card). Turkish citizens can apply for the visa at no cost.

If you are abroad:

Book an appointment with your local German mission. You can find your local one here.


Can i work with a German job seeker visa?

Please note that you are not allowed to work with this visa. Job seeking visa is purely intended for you to seek and apply for jobs. Once you have a job offer, you should be able to change your job seeker visa to a work permit.

What is a good time to start the application when i’m already in Germany?

If you have entered the country already and you are using this as a way to extend your Initial 3 months visa, ideally, allow around 4 to 6 weeks before your current visa runs out to book for an appointment online.

How can i write a compelling motivation letter?

The motivation letter is very important and shouldn’t be underestimated. It should lay the plans for your job search, the action points and the scope of it. Ideally, it should also demonstrate how you can develop a solid situation/career in the future as well. It should also give detail on what your alternative plans are, in case your search doesn’t work out. This is probably to make sure you can go home if you aren’t successful.

Are there any experiences about applications i can read about?

You can read this one, this one, or this one. They are pretty informative about to best approach your Germany job seeker visa application.

How long do i have to wait to hear about my case?

Expect 3 to 4 weeks after submitting your application to hear from your local German mission.

How i can get help or guidance?

You can of course decide to talk to immigration specialists. For more general questions, you can also call a dedicated hotline setup by in cooperation with many different German administrations. They can answer your questions in English. More info about this hotline this way.

Extra tips:

  • If you have any doubt at all, don’t hesitate to call your local German mission to clear them up. They’d rather give you info on the phone than discovering you misunderstood something during your appointment.
  • Contact your health insurance provider and ask them to give you a confirmation letter that you are insured.
  • Print out bank statement over a few months as proof of income or sufficient fund during your stay.’
  • On the day of your appointment, dress appropriately and be on time. It’s a pretty grim place and I know no one is keen to be hanging out there, but it’s better to be early and have enough time to ask around and find where you have to be.
  • Hand in all your documents and explain your situation. If you have all the documents needed, they would then ask you to go downstairs to pay the application fee at the machine. After the payment, you would get the job seeking permit stamped into your passport.
  • This permit can not be extended and is primarily intended for foreign graduates to seek employment in Germany. However, if you currently have a residence permit which allows you to work here (employment or freelance), you can change it to job seeker visa.
Photo by Alexis Fauvet on Unsplash

I hope this short intro to the whole Germany job seeker visa topic helped to clear the path ahead of you. Don’t hesitate to share your experiences in the comments. or ask anything. Good luck to you!

Source: 1, 2, 3,


  • Reply Proshunjeet Sengupta 27/06/2020 at 17:58

    We as a couple (Myself & Spouse) are looking to start with the ground-work for coming from India to Germany on a Work seeker visa. Request a clarification out of your experience. I have pursued my Master of Business Administration in Marketing & Finance and B-Tech Engineering Degree in Electronics & Communications. I have industry work experience working as a Business Analyst, which means I am into totally different profession versus my educational/ study courses which I have completed.

    Kindly suggest, if I can still apply for the Work seeker visa to Germany because the Pre-requisite of Job Seeker visa states that the applicant should “Have a minimum of 5 years of experience in your related field of study”. Could there be any rejection basis this during my visa interview at the German Consulate?
    I would love to hear from you.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 06/07/2020 at 09:40

      Hey Prashanjeet. I cannot comments on individual cases for stuff like this, sorry.

  • Reply Ozzy 04/06/2020 at 18:19

    Hello everyone!

    My current job is based on my jobseeker visa, but after almost a year, I would like to change my job. To be precise, I would like to work in profession which is not related to my University degree, but in which I have experience. I don’t know is that regulated the same in every German state. I’m currently in Thuringia and my current Aufenthaltstitel ist related to my employer. So my question is, am I allowed to change my job and to work in other filed different from my University degree?
    Thank you for answer.

  • Reply Joy 01/05/2020 at 16:02

    I’m a mechanical engineer and I’m not finding my occupation in the occupation list. Please advise if my occupation is in demand.

  • Reply Arnold Masvosve 16/04/2020 at 12:55

    Thank you so much I got my job seeker’s visa. I combined what you wrote here and what I also got from another blog site.
    . Only this virus thing is now stopping me from moving to Germany.

    Thank you so much for your help

  • Reply Ruchi 06/04/2020 at 23:05


    If I’m in Germany with language Visa, Can I search job side by side in this VISA?

    Kind Regards,

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 07/04/2020 at 20:43

      Hey Ruchi. Not EU citizens that have a student visa may be able to work only 120 days a year. that’s about 20h a week during a semester.

  • Reply Peyman 30/03/2020 at 21:39

    Hey dear
    Recently germany embassy accepted my visa request as a job seeker. But I dont want to get my visa rightnow because of life situation and coronavirus. I want to know how long my visa is valid and if I can postpone my visa for 6 monhts or more? And I read before that this visa will be count down from the day I stamp it in embassy. Is it true or not? Thanks

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 03/04/2020 at 20:49

      Hey Peyman. Check with your local mission what the last update is. Your permit might automatically be prolonged as long as you cannot travel to Germany, due to the current situation.

  • Reply Haydar Ali Ismail 19/03/2020 at 13:57

    Hi, thank you for that your post, it’s really helpful!

    As a background, I came from Indonesia and I’m currently in my last semester in Germany for a master’s degree. I got a dilemma due to my previous employer offering me a job in Singapore. The problem is that I am not that sure yet if the business will go big. So I am having a dilemma whether I should just stay in Germany to not miss an opportunity to work in Europe or go back to Asia and maybe go back to Europe sometime later. However, I heard that getting the job-seeking visa is as easy as a blink of an eye if I just graduated.

    I have a question that might be too specific and I don’t really find the answer just yet (maybe because it’s very specific). So my question is if let’s say I went back to Asia and things didn’t end well after a year, can I still apply for the job-seeking visa in Germany as easy as if I just graduated? Any information is appreciated! Thanks!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 19/03/2020 at 21:55

      Hey Haydar. I have no idea. I guess it depends on your profile, and maybe even the Beamter processing your case…

  • Reply SANJAY TIWARI 06/03/2020 at 21:44

    Hello Reader and Admin,
    I have a query. I have Job seeker visa (from 21 jan till 20 july). I am in Cologne.
    1) I am trying to seek to job. If in case i could not land on to job then can i extend this visa.
    If yes then how ?
    2) Furthermore if i will get job within this duration what should i do becuase i am confused with temporary resident permit and blue card are both of them are same or different.
    3) Is Blue card related application is being done by employee or employer

    If you can give me tips and tricks to find job in germany.

    Thanks and Regards,

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 09/03/2020 at 21:24

      Hey Sanja. You can ready more about the blue card this way. Visa extensions maybe granted on a case by case basis. I can imagine you could obtain an extension if you could prove you already have a serious offer and you just need more time to process your work visa/blue card.

  • Reply Godfrey 05/03/2020 at 09:25

    Hello I am from African
    Holding a human resources degree,
    Is it possible for the one who hold a job seeking visa, failing to get a jobs of his/her professional to seek employment in any casual jobs like in construction, cafe,cleaner etc

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 09/03/2020 at 21:16

      Hey Godfrey. Yes.

  • Reply Rajan Baraiya 12/02/2020 at 23:13

    Thank you very much for this information.
    Currently, I am a student of MSc. Data analytics at Ireland and Want apply for a job seeking Job of Germany.
    I have two major questions,
    1. As I am a fresher and studying from Ireland, Can I apply for it?
    2. Can German language student apply for the Job Seeking Visa from Berlin ?
    Rajan Baraiya

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 16/02/2020 at 20:49

      Hey Rajan. 1. The prerequisites are clearly stated in the post. 2. ?

  • Reply sam 04/02/2020 at 07:04

    i need to german job seeker visa if any budy know please guide me

  • Reply MAK 29/01/2020 at 22:52

    Hi – I need some guidance.
    I have German work visa valid till Feb 28, 2020. But currently I am residing in my home country as the employer who offered me job has some issue and currently he has no assignment for me in Germany. Please suggest me should I travel to Germany and apply for Job Seeker visa there or my current visa status can be converted to Job Seeker. I am too much depressed as I got chance to own this visa but now I couldn’t travel due to unavailability of work with my employer. Please suggest me should I stay here in my home country and apply for job seeker visa here or should I travel to Germany and convert my visa to Job seeker visa there.
    Please note that the employer name is mentioned in my visa and it is also mentioned that I am eligible for the Blue card.
    Kindly respond me as soon as possible as I have very short time to make decision.


    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 03/02/2020 at 15:04

      Hey Mak. It seems like you know all the parameters to take into account yourself. Applying for a job seeker visa seems certainly possibly and nothing speak against ist. It seems like a personal decision to me in your case.

    • Reply Anthony 14/04/2020 at 22:58

      Thanks for this useful information. I have Higher National Certificate From Polytechnic which is equivalent of Bachelor’s degree. I want to know if the certificate will be accepted
      Also what’s the maximum age for this

  • Reply Ramse 27/12/2019 at 13:51

    Hello everyone,
    I am working in cybersecuritya ND I have 3.5years of experience. Am I eligible for Jobseeker visa. Is there any minimum specific requirement ?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 30/12/2019 at 15:39

      Hey Ramse. I cannot comment on individual cases on so little info. Please get in touch with an immigration expert.

      • Reply Adebayo 08/06/2020 at 09:56

        I have Higher National Certificate in Insurance From Polytechnic which is equivalent of Bachelor’s degree. I want to know if the certificate will be accepted
        Also what’s the maximum age for this

  • Reply yvonne 23/12/2019 at 18:03

    Can I leave Germany for a whale and come back with job seeker visa?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 30/12/2019 at 15:47

      Hey Yvonne. I suppose yes. Hard to say on so little details?

  • Reply JAGMOHAN 23/12/2019 at 09:03

    Hello All,

    I need guidance to know that Is there any AGE LIMIT to apply for the Germany Jobseeker visa. Kindly guide. Thank you so much. Regards, JAGMOHAN

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