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Job Seeker Visa (JSV) in Germany: Everything you need to know

Job Seeker Visa (JSV) in Germany: Everything you need to know

Germany is emerging as one of the most attractive study-abroad destinations in the world in recent years. Skilled professionals and students should all look into furthering their careers in Germany. It is not all easy but people are most welcoming what with the German Job Seeker Visa or JSV. Read this article to know everything about the Job Seeker Visa in Germany.

What is a German Job Seeker Visa?

It is simply a visa for, as the name suggests, job seekers that allows them to stay for up to 6 months in Germany to search for a job. This visa is for skilled professionals who want to explore job options in Germany, before making a commitment and getting a work permit. 

Introduced in 2012, this visa was made to address the shortage of skilled workers. It is intended for people with relevant qualifications and skills to land a job in Germany.

Why get a Job Seeker Visa in Germany?

There are several advantages to obtaining a job seeker visa in Germany:

  1. Extended stay: The job seeker visa allows you to stay in Germany for up to six months, which gives you enough time to search for a job and attend interviews.
  2. Access to the job market: This visa legally lets foreigners look for employment opportunities, and gives them access to a German job market.
  3. Flexibility: With this, you can easily switch to a work visa or a Blue Card if you find a job in Germany.
  4. Career opportunities: Germany is known for its strong economy and job market. It is the 2nd largest economy in the world after all. Obtaining a job here could give you great career opportunities and increase your network.
  5. Language skills: While searching for a job, you will have the opportunity to improve your language skills in German, which is a valuable asset in the job market and can help you stand out from other applicants.
  6. High standard of living: Germany is known for its high living standard, its healthcare system, and its excellent education system. 

Eligibility Criteria for JSV

To be eligible for JSV, you must have:

  • A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from a German university or an equivalent foreign qualification recognized in Germany.
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience in your field.
  • Sufficient funds to support yourself for your stay.
  • Health insurance coverage for the entire duration of your stay.
  • A clear plan for your job search in Germany, including information about the companies and industries you plan to target.
  • Language Proficiency, at least A2.

JSV is not a work permit. People can only stay for a maximum of six months and once they find a job, they have to acquire a work permit. 

How to Apply for a Job Seeker Visa?

To apply for JSV, you need to follow these steps:

  • Check your eligibility: You must meet the above-mentioned criteria to apply for JSV.
  • Gather the required documents: To apply for a Job Seeker Visa, you will need to provide the following documents:
    • Valid passport with 6-month validation.
    • Cover letter explaining the objective, job-seeking plans, and alternative career plans of your visit to Germany.
    • CV
    • German university degree or an equivalent qualification recognized in Germany
    • Proof of *health insurance coverage for the entire duration of stay. This can be of three forms:
      • Private German health insurance that starts at your tentative travel date
      • Public German health insurance, which consists of a letter from your German healthcare provider, as well as travel health insurance for the first three weeks.
      • A private foreign (including Indian) health insurance including the policy you choose that starts at your tentative travel date
    • Proof of sufficient funds to support yourself for the entire duration of your stay. This can be of three forms:
      • bank statement,
      • a letter of sponsorship by a German resident, a combination of both,
      • or a blocked bank account ( €5,604 or ₹4,99,064)
    • Proof of initial accommodation (30 days)
    • 3 Recent biometric photographs
    • Document verification fee (not charged if documents are already verified)
  • Schedule an appointment: Once you have all the required documents, you need to schedule an appointment with your area’s German embassy or consulate. The appointment should be scheduled in advance because, several times, there is a waiting time of several weeks.
  • Attend the appointment: At the appointment, you need to submit your application and provide biometric data i.e. your fingerprints and a digital photo. It is possible that an interview will follow the appointment to discuss your job search plans and qualifications.
  • Wait for a decision: The processing time for a Job Seeker Visa varies, but usually, it takes around 4 to 6 weeks. If approved, you will receive a Job Seeker Visa.
  • Find a job: Be sure to plan out your target companies and align your visit accordingly.

Once you have a job offer, you can apply for a work visa or a Blue Card, which allows you to work and live in Germany for a longer time period.

*Requirements for a health insurance 

  • In case of sickness, there should not be a reimbursement limit and the deductible limit should also not be higher than €300 per annum. 
  • Pre-existing conditions should already be mentioned. 
  • There should be no termination clause if a person reaches a certain age, and/or the status of the residence permit changes. 
  • The insurance should be renewed automatically and have no time limit. 

Challenges Faced by Job Seekers in Germany

Moving to a new country is bound to have challenges. We are sharing them so applicants can better prepare themselves. 

  • Language barrier: Germans are very protective over their language. Though many of them can speak English fluently, they certainly prefer their own language. Foreigners are encouraged to learn at least the very basics of the language so they can hold conversations, especially in the job market as many industries do not have a lot of English-speaking jobs. 
  • Competition: With great institutions come a highly competitive environment and the job market is not spared. Job seekers are advised to have confidence in their skills in this challenging environment. 
  • Work culture: Germans vociferously value punctuality and efficiency. Persons coming from different work cultures are encouraged to give credence to these values and be able to adapt.
  • Recognition of foreign qualifications: The whole process of converting their credentials to the German standard can be time-consuming. People should prepare accordingly. 
  • Cost of living: Living in any major city in Germany can be high, though it is relatively cheaper than in other foreign countries. Applicants should manage their budgets accordingly.
  • Bureaucracy: Getting a job seeker visa is a slow-paced bureaucratic process. Again, job seekers need to plan their visits accordingly.

Though these challenges exist, the advantages of working in Germany far outweigh them. 

Can the Job Seeker Visa be extended?

Yes! Well, not exactly extended but applicants can re-apply. The same is the case for the residence permit.  The process of re-applying is pretty much the same, except that you will be re-applying from Germany. 

It is advised to start the process at least 2 months before your current visa will expire so that you do not get stuck in the bureaucratic process. Sometimes, it can take up to 8 weeks to get an update from the authorities. 

Your current visa will not be extended on grounds of the ongoing new visa application. If your visa expires mid-way through your new job-seeker application, you will be deported and will have to continue the process from your home country. 

JSV is a great opportunity for skilled professionals who want to explore job opportunities in Germany. Remember, the visa is only valid for six months, so it is important to make the most of your time in Germany and to start your job search as soon as possible. 

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