Most international job seekers apply for jobs in Germany from their home country. However, the German immigration system also provides other immigration options that, in some cases, can significantly improve your chances of landing a job.

3 methods to get a job and a work permit in Germany

March 23, 2022 | xpath.global

Most international job seekers apply for jobs in Germany from their home country. However, the German immigration system also provides other immigration options that, in some cases, can significantly improve your chances of landing a job.

Germany desires qualified immigrants. As a result, in order to obtain a work permit and begin working in Germany, you must meet two basic requirements:

  • Your credentials (university degree or vocational training) must be accepted in Germany.
  • You must find a job that matches your field and level of qualification.

Other requirements may vary depending on your occupation, age, and country of origin*. 

1) Obtaining a job in Germany from outside the country

International job seekers who meet the first requirement – a recognized university degree or vocational training – will typically begin looking for and applying for jobs in Germany from their home country. They can apply for a work visa and relocate to Germany once they have received a job offer. This strategy works better in some industries, such as IT or healthcare than in others. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of this approach:

Pros

  • You are not required to leave your current job until you have accepted a position in Germany.
  • Except for the recognition of your degree, you won’t have many expenses.

Cons

  • Many German employers and recruiting agencies will not consider your application if you are not currently in Germany or do not have a German residence permit.
  • In-person interviews are preferred by some employers.
  • If you are not a citizen of one of the privileged countries*, the visa process can take several months, and some employers may be unwilling to wait that long for you.

2) Obtaining a job using a jobseeker visa

If your job search from abroad is difficult and time-consuming, a jobseeker visa may greatly improve your chances. The jobseeker visa allows you to stay in Germany for up to 6 months while looking for work. If you find work within this time frame, you will be able to obtain a residence permit and begin working right away. Holding a jobseeker visa makes you much more appealing to German employers because you can begin working within weeks and will require less administrative work for the employer than hiring someone who is still abroad.

Pros

  • Holding a jobseeker visa automatically qualifies you as a domestic applicant, at least in administrative terms.
  • The jobseeker visa status informs employers that you will be available to begin working in a matter of weeks.
  • You will be available for face-to-face interviews. This is especially important if you are looking for work in small and medium-sized businesses.
  • After finding work, you can apply for a work and residence permit in Germany at the local immigration office. You can stay in Germany indefinitely and do not need to return to your home country to apply for a residence permit at the German embassy.

Cons

  • The job seeker visa does not allow you to work in Germany, and you will need to bring enough money to cover your expenses for the duration of your stay.
  • Even if German language skills are not required for the job, if you have completed vocational training, you will need to speak German on level B1 to obtain a jobseeker visa.
  • If you do not find work within 6 months, you will be unable to extend your stay and will be forced to leave Germany.

3) Finding a job in Germany while studying or after graduating

Studying in Germany and attending a German university can also be an effective strategy for increasing your chances of landing a job in Germany. If you are just starting out in your career or want to further your education, this approach makes sense. The degree will significantly improve your chances, and you will have plenty of time to look for work both during and after your studies.

Pros

  • Employers prefer German degrees because it is difficult for them to evaluate the quality of foreign degrees.
  • During your studies, you can create a network that will assist you in finding work.
  • Internships are feasible during your studies. Internships are a common way to get your first job in Germany.
  • You can use your time in Germany to learn German and improve your chances in the job market.
  • After finding work, you can apply for a work and residence permit in Germany at the local immigration office.
  • If you haven’t found work by the time you graduate, you can apply for a jobseeker visa for up to 18 months.
  • It is less expensive to study in Germany than in many other countries.
  • During your studies, you can work up to 20 hours per week and at least partially fund your stay in Germany.

Cons

  • If you are a senior in your career, we do not recommend this approach.
  • Despite the fact that you can work up to 20 hours per week while studying, you will need to invest a significant amount of money.
  • Bringing family members to Germany on a student visa can be difficult.

Source: Sascha Markovic

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