Applying for a German Job Seekers Visa
Hello! I am in Germany with my girlfriend on the standard US tourist visa and would like to convert it into the German Job Seekers Visa. In terms of requirements, which documents, and the application process seem clear to me except for two of the requirements:
- proof of accommodation
- proof of income
My girlfriend has been and plans to continue supplying me with housing, food, clothing, etc. Basic needs.
Given that context, I have seen some places online say an Meldebesheinigung is needed as proof of accomodation. If I am staying under the grace of my girlfriend, is this still required? Or would a letter of her claiming support suffice?
In terms of proof of income, I have had trouble determining how much constitutes enough. The only number I could find was 720 per month (Job Seekers Visa = 6 months = 4320). Does this amount change given the support of my girlfriend?
Thank you in advance for any helpful information!
First of all, can you actually apply for the job-seekers' visa while in Germany, or does this application need to be made from outside the country? Even though citizens of US/Canada/Aus/NZ and other countries with privileged status can do many things from within Germany (before the 90 days is up of course) I'm not sure that's universally true, particularly for the JSV.
If you are able to apply from within the country, you will definitely need a Meldebescheinigung, so get that organized. Assuming she's renting, your girlfriend will need landlord sign-off on your living with her. Get thee to the Burgeramt. (Technically you had two weeks after moving in to get it if your intention was to stay, though if the plan was to leave before 90 days it's not required.) As for financial support, probably the best thing would be to bring your girlfriend with you to the Ausländerbehörde, along with some bank statements and proof of income and so on. You didn't mention health insurance. You won't get far without providing evidence that you'll have coverage once your stay extends beyond 90 days.
If you are applying from the US, letters from your girlfriend might be sufficient as proof of accommodation, but you might be asked to show enough savings to cover basic expenses during your job search.
All that being said, I've found the Berlin Ausländerbehörde to be fairly reasonable in their treatment of nice, polite, well-dressed "privileged" foreigners (US/Canada etc.) especially if they speak decent German. You could simply make an appointment, explain your situation, and ask for an extension to your visitor status so that you can search for a job. (Better if you have the Meldebescheinigung already, and proof of health insurance.)
Finally, even if allowed to stay to search for a job, you are not guaranteed permission to work. I'm sure you know this already, but it's worth reminding others. If you have a degree (the higher the better) and work in a professional field and have the right qualifications, then it can be fairly straightforward. Unskilled labour, less so. In other words, your odds are better if you get an offer from a software company than from a kebab shop.
PS on edit: Is your girlfriend German, or an EU national? You didn't explicitly say. Life is potentially easier if she is.
For accommodation, you do need the Meldebescheinigung.
For finances, you can either provide your bank statements that show sufficient funds, or your girlfriend could guarantee for you. Provided she has enough income, she can provide you with a Verpflichtungserklärung. I don't know where you are in Germany and processes differ from state to state, municipality to municipality. In Berlin, she'd need to go to a special branch of the police, show proof of her income, show her ID and then sign an officially registered document that makes her liable for any expenses you may incur - cost of living, medical, even deportation. It's usually valid for up to 5 years, so be sure she knows what she is signing!
Have a look here:
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