Guide to Job Seeker Visas in Germany

20 June, 2023
job seeker visa

Introduction Are you searching for a job in Germany that aligns with your qualifications? Germany
offers job seeker visas, which allow individuals with specific qualifications to stay in the country for
an extended period while they search for suitable employment opportunities. In this blog post, we
will provide you with a comprehensive overview of job seeker visas in Germany, including the
eligibility criteria, application process, and required documents.
Eligibility Criteria for Job Seeker Visas

Graduates from German Higher Education Institutions: If you have graduated from a German higher
education institution, you may be eligible for a job seeker visa. This visa allows you to extend your
residence permit for up to 18 months, provided your livelihood is secure. However, this permit only
permits probationary employment of up to ten hours per week.

Completion of Professional Vocational Training: Individuals who have successfully completed
professional vocational training may also be eligible for a job seeker visa. This type of visa is valid for
up to one year, subject to specific preconditions.

Foreign Qualification Comparable to a German Higher Education Qualification: According to Section
20 subsection 2 of the Residence Act, applicants with a foreign higher education qualification
comparable to a German degree may be granted a job seeker visa for up to six months. If you find an
employer within this period, you can apply for the necessary residence permit, such as the Blue Card
EU or branch permit, directly in Germany.

Job Seeker Visa Process and Conditions

The job seeker visa aims to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that primarily focus
their employment search at a regional level. It is important to note that the job seeker visa does not
grant immediate employment rights and cannot be renewed. Once you have resided abroad for at
least the same duration as your previous residence permit in Germany, you may be eligible to apply
for a new residence permit.

Professional Recognition and Approbation If you hold a profession such as a doctor, pharmacist,
dentist, nurse, or possess a special professional skill recognized outside of Germany, and wish to
continue practicing in Germany, you must have your studies and qualifications evaluated by German
authorized officials. This evaluation process includes translating and legalizing your academic and
professional documents.

Additionally, it is necessary to learn the German language and engage in the approbation procedure.
For a successful process, it is advisable to seek guidance from an experienced lawyer who can assist
you through the process.

Residence Permit for Professional Qualification Recognition Paragraph 16d of the Residence Act
outlines the provision of a residence permit for up to 18 months for individuals seeking recognition
of their professional qualifications acquired abroad. During this period, the holder of the residence
permit is allowed to work independently for up to ten hours per week, irrespective of their
educational activity.

If the job requirements closely relate to the applicant's profession, the residence permit allows
unlimited employment without the need for consent from the Federal Employment Agency.
However, employment in a closely related field must comply with the Minimum Wage Act. After the
equivalence of professional qualifications is determined in Germany, the applicant will be granted
the right to practice the profession or obtain the required license.

Required Documents for the Approval Process
-To initiate the approval process, certain documents must be submitted, including:
-Completed application form
-Certificate of lack of criminal record (issued within the last month)
-Medical health certificate (issued within the last month)
-Detailed curriculum vitae (CV)
-Copy of residence permit (for individuals who have lived in Germany for more than three months)
-Passport (attested copy or photocopy)
-Appointment letter from a hospital in Germany offering a job after obtaining a work permit
-Proof of German language proficiency (minimum certificate A2, as per § 2 subsection 10)
-Previous work permit (if applicable)
-Certified German translations of academic degrees and relevant professional certificates

If you are interested in evaluating your professional qualifications and pursuing employment in your
field in Germany, a job seeker visa can provide you with an opportunity to do so. By following the
outlined steps and submitting the necessary documents, you can proceed with the recognition of
your qualifications and obtain a German residence permit. For personalized support throughout the
application and approval process, consider seeking assistance from our law firm.
Remember, whether you choose to complete the process manually or utilize online resources, the
ultimate goal is to embark on a successful journey towards a fulfilling career in Germany.