Residence Permit for Job Seeking

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

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.

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. In order to qualify, your new job needs to match your higher education degree.

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 appropriate to your qualification. The residence permit for job search is valid for up to 6 months and cannot be extended. You may not work with this residence title.

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
  • Proof of financing (720 EUR per month or 8,640 EUR for one year) or presentation of 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 § 16 section 1 AufenthG)
  • Proof of financing (720 EUR per month or 8,640 EUR for a year; alternatively a Declaration of Commitment
  • Sufficient health insurance (Annex 6)

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 § 17 section 1 AufenthG).
  • Proof of financing (720 EUR per month or 8,640 EUR for one year) or presentation of 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