Working in Germany: the official website
for qualified professionals

Job seeker visa

If you’re having difficulties searching for a job from abroad, you can apply for a residence permit that enables qualified professionals to enter Germany for the purpose of seeking employment in accordance with Section 20 (1) (2) AufenthG (German Residence Act).

To find out whether you require a visa to enter Germany, see Who needs a visa?.

What are the requirements to issue a visa for jobseekers?

  • You can provide proof of vocational or academic training.
  • Your qualifications are recognised in Germany or are equivalent to a German degree or diploma. If you are seeking employment in a regulated profession, i.e. in healthcare, a professional practice permit is mandatory. For more information on the recognition procedure please see Recognition.
  • Have you completed vocational training? If so, you must provide proof of possessing the German language skills required for the job you are seeking. Generally speaking, a minimum level of B1 in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is required.
  • You are able to prove that you can sufficiently cover your costs of living, as you are not able to enter into remunerated employment during this time. Proof of being able to cover living costs can be provided in the form of a blocked account or a declaration of commitment.

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During your stay in Germany, you may work on trial for up to ten hours per week as part of an application process.

What opportunities does the visa for jobseekers offer?

The visa or the residence permit for jobseekers can be issued for a period of up to six months.

Important: Please note that the residence permit for job seekers cannot be extended. After your residence permit has expired, you may only re-apply for the same visa once you’ve spent the same duration abroad that was spent in Germany while seeking employment.

If you have found employment that is in line with your qualifications, you are able to apply for the EU Blue Card or a residence permit for qualified professionals directly in Germany at your local Foreigners’ Authority without having to come to Germany beforehand for this purpose.

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You may also apply for a residence permit for jobseekers if you are in Germany and already hold a residence permit that enables you to obtain employment.

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