Hamburg Welcome Center - Entry & Residence

Hamburg Welcome Portal Residence Permit for Job Seeking

You can apply for a job seeker's residence permit if you hold an accredited degree and wish to find qualified employment in Germany.

Symbolic picture: Residence Permit for Job Seekers in Hamburg, Germany

Residence Permit for Job Seeking - Hamburg Welcome Portal

Nationals of the member states of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) do not need a residence permit for an employment in Germany. They enjoy unlimited freedom of movement.

Foreign nationals (non-EU and EEA) can apply for a job seeker's residence permit if they hold an accredited degree and wish to find qualified employment in Germany. If you manage to find qualified employment while on a job seeker’s residence permit, you can then apply for a residence permit for employment.

You can apply for a job seeker's residence permit at your relevant immigration authority or the Hamburg Welcome Center. Here, you will be provided with information about the application process.

Job seeking residence permit with a recognised university degree

If you have a German or recognised foreign university degree, or a foreign university degree equivalent to a German university degree, you can apply for a residence permit to search for a job that matches your qualification. The residence permit for job search is valid for up to 6 months and cannot be extended. With this residence permit, you are allowed to work up to ten hours a week on a trial basis. 

If you have found an appropriate job during this period, you can apply for a Residence Permit for Employment, for Researchers or the EU Blue Card.

Requirements

  • Entry with a German visa for the purpose of job search. The German Mission Abroad in your home country is responsible for issuing visas.
  • Exception: Nationals of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the United States of America can enter without a visa.
  • Proof of a German or a recognised foreign university degree, or a foreign university degree equivalent to a German university degree
  • You need to be able to secure your livelyhood without using public funds. Alternatively you can present a Declaration of Commitment
  • Sufficient health insurance (Annex 7)

You can apply for a residence permit for the purpose of job seeking at your relevant immigration authority or the Hamburg Welcome Center. You can find information about the necessary documents on our page Forms.

Job seeking residence permit with a German degree

If you were on a student's residence permit and have successfully completed your studies at a German university, you can extend your residence permit by a maximum of 18 months with the purpose of finding qualified employment in Germany. During this process, you may take up any kind of job to support your livelihood.

Requirements

  • You must have completed a university degree (Bachelor, Master, Diploma, etc.) in Germany
  • The residence permit for job seeking can be granted only if it connects to a residence permit for the purpose of studying (according to § 16b or §16c AufenthG)
  • You need to be able to secure your livelyhood without using public funds. Alternatively you can present a Declaration of Commitment
  • Sufficient health insurance (Annex 6)

Job seeking residence permit with recognised vocational training

If you have a German professional qualification or a foreign professional qualification equivalent to a German professional qualification, you can apply for a residence permit to look for a job that matches your qualification. The residence permit for job seeking is valid for up to six months and cannot be extended. With this residence permit, you are allowed to work up to ten hours a week on a trial basis. 
If you have found a suitable job within this period, you can apply for a residence permit for employment.
Requirements

  • Entry with a German visa for the purpose of seeking employment. The German mission abroad in your home country is responsible for issuing visas.
  • Exception: Nationals of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the United States of America may enter Germany without a visa.
  • Proof of a qualified German or equivalent foreign professional qualification.
  • Language skills that correspond to the desired activity; usually at least B1.
  • You need to be able to secure your livelyhood without using public funds. Alternatively you can present a Declaration of Commitment
  • Sufficient health insurance

You can apply for a residence permit for the purpose of job seeking at your relevant immigration authority or the Hamburg Welcome Center. You can find information about the necessary documents on our page Forms.

Job seeking residence permit after vocational training in Germany

If you have successfully completed a qualified vocational training in Germany, you can, under certain conditions, be granted a residence permit valid for up to 1 year. You can take any job during this period.

If you get an employment offer during this period, you can apply for a Residence Permit for Employment. You can also get a Residence Permit for Self-Employment.

Requirements

  • The residence permit for job search can only be granted, if it follows a residence permit for the purpose of vocational training (according to § 16a AufenthG).
  • You need to be able to secure your livelyhood without using public funds. Alternatively you can present a Declaration of Commitment
  • Sufficient health insurance

You can apply for a residence permit for the purpose of job seeking at your relevant immigration authority or the Hamburg Welcome Center. You can find information about the necessary documents on our page Forms.

Residence Permit Job Seekers

Residence Permit for Job Search

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