Jobseeker Visa Germany: Answers To Your Questions
Jobseeker Visa Germany. Three words full of hope and bureaucracy. Chris Pyak answers your questions about the jobseeker visa Germany. From “A” like “Anabin” to “Z” like “ZAV”. Click here for additional infos regarding the jobseeker visa Germany. (PS You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)
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Transcript of the Jobseeker Visa Germany Podcast.
Chris Pyak: Job seeker visa Germany is our topic today, and I will answer all your questions regarding the job seeker visa in Germany.
Hello, my name is Chris Pyak. I'm a business coach, and I introduce international professionals to employers in Germany, who hire in English. Let's get started.
The first thing that I discovered when I researched for this show was that it's really, really hard to get answers about job seeker visa in Germany. For example, there is German government agency, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, and they even have a jobseeker visa Germany hotline, which you can reach in Germany under 0049 30 1815 1111. But if you call this hotline, from Skype to landline, then you will be in the hotline forever. I spent, several times, 40 minutes in this jobseeker visa Germany hotline without ever someone picking up, when I did research for this show.
Later, I called the PR department of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, and they told me, “Well, there's a technical problem. You have to call from a landline or a mobile phone, in order to get through to the professionals in the hotline.” So if you are in India, if you are in South Africa, if you are in the United States, you will have to call a German hotline from your fixed phone line, from the United States, from South Korea, from India, wherever you are, and hope to get through. Quite expensive, but hopefully useful.
All the information about job seeker visa Germany, you will also find on the website jobseekervisagermany.com. That's jobseekervisagermany.com, or alternatively, on my main site, immigrantspirit.com.
Germany is a country that is ruled by rules. You can say a lot of things about us Germans, that we have a fear of change, that we don't like to take risks, but we follow the rules, and that is actually quite good for you. The rules that govern the job seeker visa Germany are, first of all, paragraph 18c of Aufenthaltsgesetz.
Jobseeker Visa Germany: Criteria you need to meet.
Moving to Germany is actually quite easy for you if you want to look for a job, if you fulfill just two conditions. Condition number one, you need to have a university degree that is of equal value as a German university degree. The second criteria that you need to fulfill is you need to be able to cover your own costs of living, here in Germany.
Two simple rules, right? Well, not quite, as you have to know how to implement this law. And the rules to implementing this law are written down in the so-called Visumhandbuch of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. That's very good for you. If you know about this [Foreign Language 00:03:05], you can read up on the conditions for either granting or refusing you a job seeker visa Germany, and you don't need to be guessing how and why the bureaucrats in the German Embassy make a decision. You can read up and you will know already how they will decide. So you even can argue with them if they seem to make a wrong decision.
What I will tell you during the following minutes, I will cover all the criterias to get a job seeker visa Germany. All this information is based either on the law or on the information in the Visumhandbuch, so you can really rely on this information being absolutely correct. This is not legal consultation, anyway.
Jobseeker Visa Germany and Your University Degree
I said before, your university degree needs to be of equal value as a German university degree. This is something you need to prove, and you can check it for yourself. There are two ways to evaluate your university degree, a free one, and one for which you have to pay, but which also will deliver your document, that you can take to employers in Germany, to prove the value of your education.
The free ways goes like this; there's a website in Germany, a database called Anabin. Germany is a federal republic, which is ruled by 16 states, and they together have a database called Anabin. In this database, you find every university and every university degree of people who already applied for a job seeker visa or a blue card. You can check this database for free to see if your university and your university degree is in this database.
Sounds good, right? This database is most useful for foreigners, so of course it is completely in German language, and it's really uncomfortable to use, even for Germans like me. At the same time, you should know that German bureaucrats, like in the Embassy, they will also use this Anabin database to check if your university degree is really of equal value.
If you're lucky enough to find your university here, then your university needs to be rated H-plus. If the university is already rated H-plus, then this university is accepted as of equal value than a German university. That's the first step.
But then you have to check also for the university degree, itself. The university degree itself also needs to be rated as of equal value. It means it has to be at least worth three years of a German university, which, in practical terms, often means that, if you have a masters degree, it will probably be fine. Even if it's not getting accepted as a masters degree, they hopefully will still rate it, at least, as a bachelors degree, which is enough for you to get the visa. If it's only a bachelor degree, then you really have to look very carefully.
You need the results from Anabin for your application for a job seeker visa, so if you find your university here and it's rated H-plus, and you find your university degree here and it's rated at least A4, A5, then print out these pages and send them together with your visa application.
Jobseeker Visa Germany and Paid Evaluation of Your Degree
If you can't find your university here, then there is a second option for you … and an option that I personally would recommend because you can use it also later to add valuable documents to your job application with actual German employers … and that is, you can pay the German government to evaluate your university degree for you. There's a website called knk.org. That's the Kultusminister Conference, the Ministers of Culture of the 16 German states, and they have a paid service where you can give your university degree, your documents, and they will evaluate them for you. Not the ministers, but their employees, obviously.
It costs you €200 and can take up to three months, that's the downside. It can take three months and €200 to get your university degree evaluated, but once this is done, you have a document that you can not only use for your job seeker visa Germany application, you can also use it in your actual job applications with German employers, because this is a certificate by German government agencies, and it will calm the fear of German HR departments who often have difficulties to evaluate the value of your foreign degree. This is the biggest hurdle. If you have this behind you and your university degree is recognized, then you are a good way towards your job seeker visa in Germany.
The next thing that you need, is you need to have enough money to survive in Germany for the time of the job seeker visa, which can be up to six months. The amount of money that you will need, at least, is written down in the Visumhandbuch. It's oriented at BAföG. This is a different German law. Don't ask me about it, it's getting too complicated.
The point for you is that, at the moment, the amount of money that you need is at least €720 per month for every month that you want to stay in Germany. This is the legal minimum that you have to have, and you need to prove this as money in your bank account or in other form. You need to actually prove this, that you have this money, otherwise you will not get a job seeker visa. From a real life experience, as someone who lives in Germany, who grew up here in Germany, €720 per month is very, very little money to survive in Germany.
In exceptional cases, you can also provide a guarantee by a person living in Germany, who says that, “I will guarantee that I will cover your cost of living,” but this only acceptable in very rare cases and the [Foreign Language 00:09:15] is very clear about this. So in most cases, you need to have the money yourself.
The next thing that you need to prove is that you need to have a health insurance. You need a health insurance that covers your stay in Germany. Basically, if you get sick, you're not a burden to the German social system.
Let's say you have all these things. Your university degree is recognized. You have at least €720 per month to cover your cost of living while you are in Germany. You have a health insurance, which is the smallest problem. Then, you will need to apply for your visa, and you will have to pass an interview, and you will have to provide a so-called motivation letter or cover letter.
This is where it really gets tricky, because the first obstacles you already passed, but the bureaucrat in the German Embassy is required by law to make a plausibility check for your application. They have to ask themself, and they have to ask you, how realistic is it that you will actually find a job in Germany? So what they will ask from you is that you provide them with a plan. To say, “Once I come to Germany, I will figure this out,” is not good enough. You have to have a realistic plan, how you will find a job during your six-month stay in Germany.
As a business coach, who is working with international professionals in Germany for many, many years, I have worked with thousands of expatriates. I must say, in this point, I'm really on the side of the German law. If you're still living abroad, you probably have no realistic idea how difficult it is, even for people with excellent education, to find a job in Germany.
The reason for this, is this; in Germany there are, at the moment, over 800,000 open jobs. There's a huge demand for highly skilled professionals, and demand is getting bigger and bigger every single year. So that's great, right? But if you look closely, like I do in my profession, I analyze the complete German job market, and then you realize that from all the German companies who are looking for talent, only 1% is hiring in English. 99% of the companies require you to speak fluent German, they advertise their jobs in German, and only 1% of companies hire in English. This is the equivalent to 22,000 jobs that are offered in English, and I know from experience and from analysis that these language English jobs are, most of the time, gone within three weeks.
So there's 22,000 English jobs, at any moment in Germany, available, but at the same time, there's over 1 million immigrants and European citizens moving to Germany every single year. 22,000 jobs and 1 million people who compete for this job, every single year. Most of these people are European Union citizens, which means they don't need a permit to work in Germany. They simply can come and start working wherever they want, because they are fellow European Union citizens.
Does this mean that it is hopeless for you to find a job in Germany? Not at all. It's very realistic to find a job in Germany but, I tell you, also very honestly, not if you simply start applying to job offers. I've worked with over 500 HR managers over the course of my life. If you're a foreigners who is coming with a job seeker visa, or who is still abroad, you don't speak German language, you have no knowledge of our business culture, you have no contacts in Germany, no one who can vouch for you, HR will simply reject your job application.
What you need to do, is to do what I do with my clients, have someone who introduces you, not to the recruiter, not to HR, but to the actual manager. Why? Because the actual manager, he has goals to achieve, he has deadlines to meet, and he has problems to solve. If you can talk to the actual manager about his problems, his goals, then you can offer a solution and this will get you a job.
The German Embassy Interview for Your Jobseeker Visa Germany
The German Embassy, when you apply for the job seeker visa Germany, the German Embassy will want to hear, from you, how you will deal with this obstacle. So few english jobs, so much competition, and you need to have a realistic plan to present to them, in order to get the job seeker visa. The Visumhandbuch is very clear. It's not a requirement that you have a realistic plan. It's not a requirement that you provide a clear idea how you want to search for a job, but if it comes together with other problems in giving you a visa, this might be the tipping point where the bureaucrat in the German Embassy says, “Sorry, no visa for you.”
Your Plan After The Jobseeker Visa Germany
Have a realistic plan prepared with your job seeker visa Germany application, not only for the sake of the visa, but for the sake of yourself. I would hate to see you moving to Germany, spending so much money, so much hope, spending six months here, and then going home, defeated, because you wrote 100, 200, 400 job applications and you didn't even get an interview. Have a real plan.
I would love to help you get a plan prepared for yourself. As I said, I'm a business coach. I introduce international professionals to German employer who hire in English, employers that my clients choose, in the first place, and I also wrote a book who is, in its category, a bestseller on Amazon. It's called How to Win Jobs and Influence Germans. You can get it at Amazon in your home country.
How To Win Jobs & Influence Germans. A Plan for Your Jobseeker Visa Germany
I highly recommend to read my book. If I may say so myself, it's very thoughtful, it's very useful, it's also very funny, just like myself, and I know from many, many hundred readers who wrote back to me, that it really helps you get your plan together, get a clear strategy how you will approach your job hunt, and finally, also get a job in Germany. So I invite you to read my book, How to Win Jobs and Influence Germans, in preparation already for your interview in the German Embassy, so you can present a clear plan in your cover letter, in your motivation letter to the German Embassy.
All the information that I provided here in this little podcast, and much, much more, you can find on my website jobseekervisagermany.com. That's jobseekervisagermany.com, or directly on my main page, which is immigrantspirit.com. And if you sign up for my newsletter there, I will not only give you all the informations that I presented today, but a few additional informations and tips, as well.
I thank you for your time. I hope you got a little bit a clearer picture, what it takes to get a job seeker visa in Germany. I hope you also got a clear idea on how much competition you face in finding a job in Germany, and I hope you'll realize that it will take a lot of work, a lot of thought, and most of all, a lot of empathy from you, to get through to a German employer and make him realize how much value you have to add to him. The jobseeker visa Germany alone is not enough. The jobseeker visa Germany is a means to an end: Finding a great job in Germany.
My name is Chris Pyak, I'm the Managing Director of Immigrant Spirit GmbH and I wish you success. Check out jobseekervisagermany.com for additional information about the job seeker visa in Germany.