Germany Job Seeker Visa

In a global landscape where professional opportunities transcend geographical boundaries, the pursuit of career advancement is not confined by borders. Germany, renowned for its robust economy, rich cultural heritage, and world-class education system, stands out as a premier destination for individuals seeking both career growth and personal development.

The introduction of the German job seeker visa aims to attract skilled talent from around the world, establishing itself as a crucial pathway for international individuals aspiring to work and settle in this European powerhouse.

With a diminishing unemployment rate and a globally esteemed job market, many foreign individuals are drawn to Germany in search of employment. While securing a job and residency in Germany is achievable, specific initial procedures must be followed.

For those interested in working in Germany, the option of obtaining a job seeker visa exists. This visa permits individuals to stay in Germany for a designated period, during which they can actively seek employment. It's important to note that not everyone requires this visa for job hunting in Germany, and further details will be provided shortly.

The German job seeker visa is among various immigration routes that enable individuals from third countries to enter the country and explore employment opportunities within a specified timeframe. Upon successful job acquisition within this timeframe, individuals can proceed to apply for a work visa and a residence permit.

Securing a job seeker visa for Germany is a rigorous process that necessitates eligibility, fulfillment of specific requirements, and precise completion of the application process. In the following sections, we will delve into comprehensive details to guide you through the process.

What is a job seeker visa?

The job seeker visa in Germany enables individuals from outside the EU to enter or reside in the country while actively seeking employment opportunities. This visa permits non-EU nationals to stay in Germany for a designated period, typically six months, during which they can explore the job market, attend interviews, and establish connections with potential employers.

Functioning as a long-term visa, the Germany job seeker visa allows a stay of up to six months specifically for job search purposes. However, eligibility for this visa is subject to meeting specific requirements, and not everyone qualifies for this type of visa.

Issued to those intending to secure employment in Germany, the German job seeker visa provides the opportunity to reside in the country for an extended period, usually six months, for the purpose of job hunting. Subsequently, successful applicants can apply for a work permit to continue residing in Germany for the long term.

It's important to note that individuals who have already secured employment with a valid contract do not need to apply for a job seeker visa. Instead, they can directly apply for a work visa.

Who is eligible for the German job seeker visa?

Individuals seeking job opportunities in Germany must meet specific criteria. To qualify for a job seeker visa, applicants must hold a university degree, which should either be conferred by a German university or fully recognized in Germany. Alternatively, an equivalent vocational qualification is acceptable. All relevant documents must be in either English or German. Furthermore, the degree or vocational training should be closely related to the field in which employment is sought.

The necessity for a job seeker visa depends on the applicant's citizenship or nationality. Citizens of the EU, EEA, and Switzerland can enter Germany to search for a job without obtaining a visa beforehand. Similarly, residents of certain countries, including Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Canada, and the USA, are exempt from obtaining a job seeker visa but are required to register for a residency permit upon arrival in Germany. Individuals from all other countries must apply for a job seeker visa to gain entry to Germany.

What are the requirements for application?

Here is a list of documents that may be required during the job seeker visa application process. It is advisable to verify with the website of your local German embassy or Foreigners' Authority for any additional document requirements.

  1. Job seeker visa application form: Complete and sign the application form for your job seeker visa.
  2. Valid passport + a copy: Submit a valid passport issued within the last ten years, containing two blank pages, and with a minimum validity of three months beyond your intended departure from Germany. Some embassies may require a longer validity period depending on your nationality.
  3. Identity pictures: Provide passport-sized photographs adhering to the visa photo guidelines specified by the German embassy or consulate.
  4. Proof of accommodation: Include evidence of accommodation during your stay in Germany, such as hotel reservations, rental agreements, or an invitation letter if you plan to stay with a friend or family member.
  5. Proof of financial means: Demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support yourself in Germany. This can be achieved through one of the following:
    1.  Proof of a blocked account (Sperrkonto) in your name, reflecting a minimum balance of €947 per month.
    2.  A declaration of commitment (Verpflichtungserklärung) from your sponsor, affirming their commitment to cover all your expenses.
  6. Evidence of valid health insurance: Submit proof of valid travel health insurance meeting the specified requirements, with a minimum coverage of €30,000 for medical expenses.
  7. Proof of academic qualifications: Provide evidence of your academic and professional qualifications, including university degrees, transcripts, vocational training certificates, etc.
  8. Proof of degree recognition: Ensure that your degrees and academic qualifications are fully recognized in Germany for a job seeker visa. You can check acceptance through the Anabin database or submit a declaration of comparability from the Central Office for Foreign Education (Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen - ZAB). Full details regarding degree recognition are available here.
  9. Your resume: Include a copy of your comprehensive CV containing personal information, academic background, and professional qualifications.
  10. Cover letter: Submit a cover letter or motivational letter outlining your reasons for applying for a job seeker visa in Germany and detailing your plans in the event of visa approval.

How Do I Apply for a Job Seeker Visa for Germany?

To initiate the application process for a job seeker visa in Germany, adhere to the following steps:

  1. Confirm your eligibility by checking the requirements.
  2. Identify the appropriate application office.
  3. Schedule an appointment for submission.
  4. Compile and organize your required documents.
  5. Fulfill the visa fee payment.
  6. Submit your comprehensive application.
  7. Retrieve your issued visa upon approval.
  8. Enter the country to commence your job-seeking journey.

Ensure Eligibility: Before initiating the job seeker visa application, confirm that you meet the eligibility criteria. This includes having a recognized university degree in Germany, completing the necessary steps for degree recognition, or possessing the requisite work experience.

Identify Application Office: Upon confirming eligibility, determine the appropriate embassy or consulate in your country for submitting your job seeker visa application.

Schedule Appointment: After identifying the designated application office, schedule an appointment. Note that you must secure an appointment in advance, as visits to the embassy or consulate are not allowed without prior approval. Keep in mind that appointment availability may vary, and it might take several weeks depending on the workload of the embassy or consulate.

Prepare Documents: During the waiting period before your appointment, gather the required documents (refer to the comprehensive list below). Ensure that all documents comply with the embassy's specifications, and some may necessitate translation into German and legalization for submission.

Pay Visa Fee: Make the necessary payment for the visa fee and attach the payment slip to your application. It is crucial to pay the visa fee, as your application will not be considered without it.

Submit Application: On the scheduled visa appointment day, submit your application at the embassy or consulate. Be prepared for a possible interview related to your application. Embassy or consulate staff may inquire about the purpose of your job seeker visa application, your intended work in Germany, and the duration of your stay.

Retrieve Visa: Upon a positive visa application outcome, collect your visa, allowing you to enter Germany and stay for the visa's specified duration. During this period, actively seek employment to extend your stay. In the event of a visa denial, the embassy or consulate will provide notification with the reasons and available next steps.

Enter the Country with a Job Seeker Visa: Once you have obtained your visa, enter the country and commence your job search. To apply for a German work visa by the end of your visa validity, it is essential to register your temporary address at the local registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) within two weeks of arrival. 

Additionally, obtain a temporary residence permit for a job seeker from the local foreigners' authority (Ausländerbehörde) in Germany. It is mandatory to acquire valid health insurance upon arrival, as travel insurance covers only emergencies.

How much does the German job seeker visa cost?

The fee for the German job seeker visa is €75, given its classification as a long-term visa. Please note that the visa fee is subject to potential changes, and in the event of rejection, the fee is non-refundable. Therefore, it is advisable to consult the official website of your local immigration authority for the most up-to-date information.

Am I allowed to work with a German job seeker visa?

During the validity of your job seeker visa, engaging in regular employment is not allowed, with the exception of a trial job limited to 10 hours per week.

Once you secure suitable employment in Germany, your visa will be converted into a residence permit for employment and a work permit. It is crucial to coordinate this process with your prospective employer and the immigration office in your region.

Where to Submit the Application?

To apply for a job seeker visa, visit the nearest German embassy, consulate, or a designated visa application center in your residing country that represents Germany. It's important to note that if Germany lacks an official representation in your current country of residence, you may be required to submit your application in a neighboring country.

What is the Processing Time?

The processing duration for a German job seeker visa typically ranges from four to six weeks. However, this timeline may vary depending on the specific embassy and the completeness of your application.

What is the Validity Period of the German Job Seeker Visa?

The German job seeker visa is a national D visa with a validity period of six months. It is crucial to be aware of the visa's expiration date and ensure compliance with the allowed stay duration. Failure to adhere to the specified timeframe may result in penalties.

Can my Family Accompaniment with a Job Seeker Visa in Germany?

Generally, bringing your family to Germany on a job seeker visa is not permitted. However, if you secure employment and obtain a work visa, you can then apply for visas for your immediate family members, including your partner and children.

Can I Extend the Germany Job Seeker Visa?

The German job seeker visa is not extendable. In the event that you do not secure employment within the visa's validity period, you must return to your home country. If you wish to reapply for the same visa, you can do so after spending an equivalent duration outside of Germany as you did while seeking employment in the country.

However, if you successfully find employment in Germany during your job-seeking visa period, there is no need to return home for a working visa or residence permit application. You can proceed with the necessary procedures for obtaining the required permits while remaining in Germany.

What Steps Should I Take Upon Receiving a Job Offer?

Upon securing employment in Germany during your job seeker visa period, the terms of your employment will be finalized, and you will be issued a work contract. Subsequently, you can apply for an EU Blue Card, an alternative work visa, or a residence permit for qualified professionals. The application for your work visa and residence permit must be submitted to the competent Foreigners’ Authority (Ausländerbehörde or Ausländeramt) in your region. Upon approval of your work permit or Blue Card by the authorities, you can commence your new job.

In the unfortunate event that you do not secure a job before the expiration of your job search visa, you must regrettably return to your home country. At that point, you may consider reapplying for a new visa.

Is German Language Proficiency Required?

Proof of language proficiency is not a mandatory requirement for a job seeker visa in Germany. However, it is strongly recommended to enhance your German language skills, as this significantly increases your chances of finding employment. If you possess vocational qualifications, you may be required to furnish evidence of language proficiency at level B2 (CEFR).

What is the Success Rate of Finding a Job in Germany with a Job Seeker Visa?

There is no predetermined success rate for securing employment under a job seeker visa in Germany, as it varies based on factors such as language proficiency, field of employment, qualifications, work experience, and more. To enhance your chances of finding a job with a job seeker visa, it is highly advisable to actively search for job opportunities and apply for various positions before obtaining your visa. This proactive approach provides you with a starting point upon your arrival in Germany.

Pros and Cons of German Job Seeker Visa

Here are some pros and cons of applying for a job seeker visa in Germany:

Pros Cons
You can enter the country to look for work. You cannot extend the visa
You can convert your visa to a work visa. You must find employment in six months
No language skills are required for the visa application. Language skills are needed for better chances of finding a job
Opportunity to work in one of the best world economies.  


The German job seeker visa provides a unique chance for individuals seeking employment to explore the dynamic German job market. Serving as a gateway to building a successful career, it offers a fresh start in one of Europe's leading economic hubs. This visa proves advantageous not only for international students graduating in Germany but also for individuals in their home countries aspiring to work in Germany.

Don’t know what to do? Get free expert Guidance! Contact Us Today.


The Think Europe Services website is owned and operated by Think Europe Services Sp. z. o. o., a private international company operating independently from the Polish government. Please note that the information on this website is not intended as professional or legal advice. We make every effort to maintain the accuracy of the content, but it's important to be aware that certain terms, like immigration eligibility criteria, may be subject to change without prior notification. ..see more

In reference to our Job Search Service, we specialize in Resume Crafting, LinkedIn Enhancement, and Resume Promotion. It's crucial to emphasize that we do not promote job opportunities on behalf of international employers or serve as agents for any foreign companies. Our Registration number is KRS 0001007806, our tax identification number is NIP 9512557041, and all our services are exclusively offered at our Registered Center.

Please bear in mind that the content provided here is meant solely for informational purposes and should not be regarded as legal or tax guidance. It is recommended that you seek advice from your own legal and/or tax consultant(s). We do not offer legal or tax advice, and the information we present is of a general nature, not customized for any particular company or workforce. Moreover, it does not represent how we operate in a specific jurisdiction. We do not assume responsibility for the accuracy or timeliness of this information, and we are not liable for any losses that may occur as a result of using or relying on it.