Germany is an attractive place to work among many nations; millions of skilled workers come to find employment and settle in the country. German Job Seeker visa allows qualified professionals from abroad to come to Germany and stay up to 6 months in order to find a job.
Officially there is no age limit for a German Job Seeker visa. You can apply at any age if you feel that you still have a chance to get a job in Germany. However, you shouldn’t be older than 67, as it is the retirement age.
If your age is above the average, you might be wondering if getting a work visa in Germany is still possible. Germany experiences a considerable shortage of skilled workers in many sectors. Therefore, professionals of almost any age are welcome. This applies to fields like engineering, manufacturing, IT, and health, in particular. Read about Job Seeker visa requirements for 2022.
Getting a job with a German Job Seeker visa
The German labor market always offers new opportunities, even for people in older age willing to work and with significant professional experience. The skill shortage will continue to grow, and so the requirements for non-EU/EEA applicants are loosing up.
So what should you know before applying for a Job Seeker visa in older age? The German Job Seeker visa is a short-term residency permit, which allows you to stay in the country for six months and look for a job.
If you have found a place of employment at the end of this period, you can apply for a German work permit or EU Blue Card. Both allow you to work and live in Germany for up to 4 years or whether your working contract is valid.
Note that a Job Seeker visa entitles you to take on employment for up to 10 hours per week. These work hours should be used for a trial period in the company where you plan to be employed in the future. Read more about working on a Job Seeker visa in Germany.
In each country, it might be challenging to find a job if your age is above 45. Logically the younger, the better the chances of getting a job, and the older, the more challenging it is.
Germany, in particular, has an aging population, so the country tries to attract younger professionals. The average birth rate is 1,5 children per woman, which is considered to be one of the lowest in the world.
Older immigrants won’t have new children; it’s also considered to be a disadvantage. Nowadays, Germany digitalizes all sectors; unfortunately, a 50-year-old does not become a Digital Native, or if so company needs to put more effort into coaching and training.
You have to be sure of your hard and soft skills – both are very important in Germany.
The best employment chances for international professionals of older age can be found in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-based (STEM) professions.
Last year, German companies were unable to fill 337,900 STEM vacancies and more than 1.2 million open vacancies in total.
The situation is more difficult in technological and digital fields. Besides, fields like marketing, are often more attributed to the young generation.
Marketing is, by definition, idea-driven and always at the leading edge. So employers want to see employees of a younger age.
Some factors that make a job search, for example, with age 45+ considerably easier, include developed networks and connections. Your friends or family might give you recommendations. On the other hand, older employees have better chances of employment, if they bring contacts that are valuable to the companies.
Besides, older candidates have much more extended work experience and knowledge. Applicants of younger age won’t able to gather them due to their age.
Moreover, if you can demonstrate that you are able to train younger coworkers, your chances of hiring will increase. That way, a company can benefit from your expertise in different ways.
Who can apply for a German Job Seeker visa?
Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries who can prove academic qualifications can apply for a German Job Seeker visa. Nationalities of EU/EEA countries are eligible to enter the country, start their job search, and take any employment without a visa.
From March 2020, also people with completed vocational training of a minimum of 2 years can apply for a Job Seeker visa in Germany; however, they need additionally to prove their German language proficiency (at least level B1).
Foreigners from Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, or the USA will need a residence permit for work purposes. Yet they can enter the country visa-free and apply for a permit in Germany. So there is no need for a Job Seeker visa.
Benefits of a Job Seeker visa
Here are the main benefits of the Job Seeker visa:
- Allows you to stay up to 6 months, looking for a job and visiting interviews
- Freedom of movement in EU/EEA states
- After receiving a job, you can apply for a long-term residence permit without leaving the country.
- On completion of 5 years living in Germany on this permit, you can apply for Permanent Residence Permit, which provides you unlimited stay in Germany.
- No knowledge of the German language is required
Eligibility criteria for a German Job Seeker visa
- Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from a German university or an equivalent foreign degree
- Proof of travel or medical insurance for your entire stay in Germany
- Evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover your whole stay in Germany (4,000 EUR) or 853 EUR per month.
Proving sufficient financial resources is the most critical part of your Job Seeker visa application.
Processing Time for Job Seeker visa
According to the general rule of the consulate, the processing time for a Germany Job Seeker visa takes nearly 4 to 6 weeks.
However, this processing time majorly depends upon how quickly you submit all the documents that are required for the process. In some cases, it can take up to 3 months.
After you get a job in Germany
After holders of the German Job Seeker visa receive the job, they can convert the visa into an employment residence permit. There are two possibilities for employment in Germany:
- they can either apply for an EU Blue Card, or
- employment residence permit (German Employment visa)
Applying for an EU Blue Card
To get the EU Blue Card, you must have an employment offer with at least 56,400 EUR annual gross salary (2022). In case you are a specialist in the field of engineering, qualified communication or technology expert, a medical doctor, and certain other shortage occupations, the annual gross salary must be at least 43,992 EUR.
The permit will allow you to stay up to 4 years. After just 33 months of working on the EU Blue Card, you can obtain a Permanent Residence Permit in Germany. In case you prove sufficient German Language level (B1) – you can get this permit after 21 months. Read more about a Permanent Residence Permit in Germany.
German Employment visa
In most cases, the employer will be your sponsor so that you can apply for a German Employment visa. You can get the Permanent Residence Permit after five years in Germany with an employment visa.
The length of this visa usually aligns with the length of your contract. So, if your work agreement is for two years, your visa will also be for two years. It is possible to extend an employment permit if your contract is extended or by receiving a new one.