SRH Fernhochschule - The Mobile University

Jobseeker Visa & Residence Permit

Have you completed your Bachelor's or Master's degree and do you wish to work in Germany?

SRH Distance Learning University

Looking for a career in Germany?

We want to support our international graduates in finding a job in Germany. Please find all the important information regarding a jobseeker visa and residence permit here.

How to get your jobseeker visa

Whether you need a visa or not depends on which country you come from. For example, within the European Union, you do not need a visa to move to Germany. Please note that the visa process can take a long time, so make sure you start the application process as soon as possible before applying for jobs in Germany. Find more information on the official German government website

To prepare you for the German and European job market, we offer our students free access to the job placement platform JobTeaser. For more information, please visit our E-campus.

Frequently Asked Questions

Everyone who wants to stay in Germany for longer than three months needs a visa. 

There are a few exceptions: 

a) If you are from an EU or EEA country (Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway), you do not need a visa. You only need a valid personal ID card or passport. If you want to live in Germany for longer than three months, you need to register as a resident of the city where you will be living. 

b) If you are from Andorra, Australia, Brazil, El Salvador, Great Britain, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Canada, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, South Korea, Switzerland, the USA, or Switzerland – you do not need to apply for a visa either, but you will get a stamp in your passport when you enter Germany. 

Not quite sure if you need a visa? Then check with the German embassy in the country where you live whether you need a visa or not. Find more information on the official German government website

You also have to register in your new home after moving in and apply for a residence permit after you have found a job. 

The documents you need for the jobseeker visa are usually given on the website of the German Embassy where you apply. The typical documents are the following: 

  • Degree certificate of SRH Distance Learning University, 
  • a valid passport with at least two free pages, 
  • a recent passport photo (note if there are any special requirements for the photo, e.g. light background or similar), 
  • proof of funding, preferably a blocked account (visa regulations regarding financial proof can differ from country to country), 
  • confirmation of health insurance coverage. 

Please note: During your job search in Germany, you may work on trial for up to ten hours per week as part of an application process. 

If you are an international student coming from a non-EU country, you will have to provide evidence that you have sufficient financial resources to cover your living expenses in Germany for one year. This evidence is an important condition of getting your visa and your residence permit. 

International students have to set up a blocked account (Sperrkonto), which is a special type of bank account. You can choose where to set up your blocked account. 

Find more information on the official German government website.  

Please check to see which of the following situations apply to you: 

You are a resident of an EU country or of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, or Macedonia, and you are insured at home. In this case, your medical insurance probably covers your stay in Germany. Germany has signed social insurance agreements with these countries to ensure cross-border coverage. With your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you are also insured in Germany. To be sure, please check with your insurance provider. 

You are a citizen of a non-EU country, and you are insured in your home country, but not covered for travel abroad. In this case, you must get insurance from one of the statutory medical insurance companies in Germany (e.g. AOK, BEK, BKK, DAK, IKK, KKH, TK). Doctors charge the insurance company directly for any medical treatment you receive. It may be worthwhile to compare services and payment options offered by the various companies. 

You are a citizen of a non-EU country, and you have sufficient medical coverage for international travel or study. In this case, you may be exempt from obligatory insurance. Please check with your insurance company and be sure to bring your proof of insurance with you. 

In Germany, all residents and visitors staying for longer than three months must register with the city government. Once you have found housing and moved in, you must inform the Residents’ Registration Office (Bürgeramt) in your city of your correct address or town within two weeks. You will need the following documents to register: your personal ID card or passport (and visa) and your tenancy agreement, with a statement from your landlord confirming that you have moved in. 

Please note: Anyone who lives in Germany and moves to a new location is required to inform the Residents’ Registration Office of their new place of residence within two weeks of moving in. 

The formalities for obtaining a residence permit depend on which country you come from. 

  • If you have a visa for Germany, please remember that you have to change your visa into a residence permit after you have found a job. This must be done at the Registration Office for Foreigners (Ausländerbehörde) in your city. You may apply for the EU Blue Card or a residence permit for qualified professionals at the competent Foreigners’ Authority. Please bring your proof of employment, SRH university degree certificate and health insurance confirmation with you. Initially, a German residence permit that allows you to take up employment will be issued for a limited period of time. If you continue to be employed and wish to have your permit extended, you will be able to do so without any issue. 
  • If you do not need a visa for Germany, please apply for your residence permit within the first 90 days after arriving in Germany. You will receive a certificate confirming your right of residence when you register at the Residents’ Registration Office. 
  • Swiss nationals: Please apply for a "Residence Permit-Switzerland" within 90 days after arriving in Germany. 

The EU Blue Card is a residence title for graduates which is intended to facilitate and promote the permanent immigration of highly qualified persons from outside the EU to Germany. 

Two years after receiving your German residence permit, you can apply for a settlement permit – this permit will give you almost the same rights as German citizens and it has no time limit. The only condition is that you are still employed in Germany at that point in time.