Germany has a deficiency of skilled professionals in many sectors like IT, engineering and health. That’s why Germany offers a lot of work opportunities to educated and highly skilled foreigners and encourage them to apply for available jobs. If you are a highly skilled professional and haven’t still got a job in Germany then you can come to Germany with a job seeker visa.

What is a job seeker visa (JSV)?

A job seeker visa is a kind of entry visa that helps you to get a long term residency permit in Germany. You can stay in Germany for up to six months with a job seeker visa and look for a job.

If you successfully find a job during these six months then you can change it to a work visa and stay in Germany for a long term basis.

Can I work during six months duration of a job seeker visa?

You cannot work throughout six months duration of a job seeker visa. You are only permitted to work when you will get a job and residence permit. So immediately apply for a residence permit after getting the job. If you are eligible for the Blue-card, then you can apply for a Blue-card as well.

Do I need a job seeker visa for Germany?

All the citizens of the EU/EEA/EFTA countries, USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and Israel can search for a job in Germany without a visa. The nationals of all other countries require a job seeker visa in order to search for a job in Germany.

>> Germany new skilled immigration law 2020

What are the eligibility criteria to get a German job seeker visa?

  • Qualification: You must have at least 4 years of a bachelor of science degree or 16 years of education with two years of master’s degree.
  • Experience: If your profession is the same throughout your career then you must have at least 3 years of work experience. If your profession is with different backgrounds then you need at least 5 years of experience.
  • Proof of Sufficient Financial Resources: You have to show evidence that you have sufficient funds to support your living expenses during your stay in Germany. You can use one of the following options to show these funds:
    • Blocked Account (Sperrkonto): A blocked account must be with 5,118 euros. It is the most common method to show sufficient funds.
    • Verpflichtungserklärung (Sponsor Letter): A sponsor letter from a friend or relative residing in Germany.
    • Income Proof: Your personal income proof and bank statements for the last 6 months. You can also use income proof and bank statements of your sponsor (Parent or relatives etc.)
  • Health Insurance: You need travel health insurance that must be valid for at least 6 months.
  • German Language: Generally, the German language is not required for a job seeker visa. But it’s better to learn up to at least A2 level so that you will not face any problem.

A stepwise guide to getting a job seeker visa:

1 – Get Anabin-extract or Equivalency certificate from ZAB:


The first step to getting a job seeker visa is to get an Anabin-extract matching your main subject and your university exactly. You can get this extract from the Anabin website. Go to Anabin website and search for your degree and university. If both present in the Anabin list then prints those pages. These pages are called Anabin-extract.

Equivalency certificate from ZAB:

In case your degree and university not present in the Anabin list then get an equivalency certificate from ZAB. Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen (ZAB) is a German institute for the evaluation of foreign credentials. It evaluates foreign credentials and issues an equivalency certificate. You can apply for this equivalency certificate on ZAB official website.

Document requirements:

Generally, you need the following documents to get a ZAB equivalency certificate. You can check country-specific requirements here.

  • Attested photocopies of all your education documents starting from a bachelor’s degree. You require photocopies of both degrees and transcripts. You can get attested to these photocopies from the higher education department of your country.
  • German translation if your degrees are not in the English language.
  • Your identity document (passport or identity card).
  • If you changed your name then official proof of a possible change of name (if not shown on the identification document).

Procedure to get an equivalency certificate from ZAB:

  • Go to the KMK website after getting attested photocopies of educational documents and fill in the online form.
  • Pay a fee of 200 euros. The fee for the 1st-time degree is EUR 200 and subsequently, the fee is EUR 100.
  • Print the application form after filling it out online.
  • Attach the following documents with a printout of application form:
  • Attested copies of degree and transcripts.
  • Passport photocopy.
  • Put all documents in one envelope and send them by courier to Anabin’s address.
  • An original equivalent certificate may get delivered late but a soft copy of the certificate will be received by email within a week of payment of dues. You can use a print of this copy to apply for a job seeker visa.

2 – Start applying for jobs:

This particular step is not obligatory but it can increase your chances to get a job seeker visa. Make one or maximum two-page professional CV, write a one-page cover letter, scan them on your computer and start applying for jobs in your relevant field on Stepstone, LinkedIn, Monster, Xing, and Indeed. If you get any positive response then take a print of this information and attach it with the application form.

3 – Apply for an appointment:

Apply for an appointment in the German embassy after getting the ZAB equivalency certificate. You need your passport number to apply for an appointment.

4 – Open a blocked account:

First, arrange 5,118 euros and then open a blocked account in one of the following German banks:

You will get an account statement after opening a blocked account and transfer of money. Attach a copy of this account statement with the visa application.

>> Comparison of Deutsche Bank, Fintiba, Expatrio, and Coracle blocked accounts
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5 – Arrange accommodation:

Book your 6 months accommodation on any online accommodation portal and attach its print out with the visa application. The most convenient option is that you can cancel anytime after arriving in Germany and relocate to another cheaper accommodation.

>> Tips to find accommodation in Germany

6 – Get travel health insurance:

Buy a travel health insurance from any local health insurance company. If you choose Coracle blocked account then you can get free travel health insurance from them. You have to get a travel health insurance for at least 6 months that must be started from your intended date of travel.

7 – Write a motivation letter:

Must write one or 2 pages motivation letter in which cover the following points:

  • What is your educational qualification and profession?
  • Why you chose Germany for work?
  • Why you chose a particular city to stay?
  • Where you will stay after arriving in Germany?
  • What are your future plans after getting the job?

8 – Make biometric pictures:

Visit any professional photo studio and get biometric pictures. You need 1 biometric picture for the visa application.

9 – Download the necessary documents:

Download the following necessary documents from the German embassy website, fill them, take a print and sign.

  • Jobseeker visa application form
  • Applicants declaration
  • Information provided to applicants in accordance with Section 54 (2) 8 in conjunction with Section 53 of the Residence Act)

10 – Arrange documents according to Germany job seeker visa checklist:

After getting all the above-mentioned documents, arrange them according to this checklist.

  1. Application form
  2. One biometric picture
  3. Proof of accommodation (e.g. hotel reservation)
  4. Motivation letter
  5. Your CV
  6. Blocked account/Sponsor letter
  7. Certified academic degrees and transcripts
  8. Anabin-extract or ZAB Equivalency certificate
  9. Passport copies page 1 and 2
  10. Valid travel health insurance (6 months)
  11. Information about any previous visa refusals
  12. Applicants declaration
  13. Information provided to applicants in accordance with Section 54 (2) 8 in conjunction with Section 53 of the Residence Act)Appointment confirmation e-mail
  14. Additional documents e.g job applications response

You have to provide two sets of A4 size photocopies to the German embassy. So, arrange one set with Originals and two sets with photocopies.

11 – Give an interview and submit a visa application:

Appear in the German embassy on the day of the appointment, submit your visa application and give an interview. The processing time for the job seeker visa is three months. After the final decision, you have to receive your passport personally or they will send it by post. Receive your passport, book a flight ticket, pack the luggage and fly to Germany.

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