Job Seeker Visas: 5 Countries That Offer Work Visas Without An Offer Letter

Are you looking to work abroad? Discover the countries that offer work visas without an offer letter, making the process of finding a job and obtaining a work visa abroad easier. Learn about the visa requirements for countries like Germany, Austria, and more.
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If you’re thinking about moving to another country for work, you should look beyond the usual suspects like the United States and Canada. These countries are frequently inundated with job applications, making obtaining a work visa difficult.

On the other hand, countries such as Germany and Austria offer a job seeker visa, which allows individuals to live in the country even if they do not have an offer letter. This can make the process of finding work and obtaining a work visa much easier.

While many countries require an offer letter before granting a work visa, there are a few exceptions that allow individuals to look for work on their own.

Countries That Offer Job Seeker Visas

If you want to look into these options, here are some countries and their visa requirements to consider:

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1. Germany

Germany offers a job seeker visa that allows individuals to reside in the country for up to six months while looking for employment. If a job is secured within the six-month period, the individual can apply for a German work visa.

Eligibility and Requirements

Eligibility for the job seeker visa is limited to individuals who have completed academic or vocational training, possess five years of work experience, and have the financial means to support themselves during their stay in the country. Furthermore, individuals must possess a degree that is recognized in Germany.

It is important to note that citizens from EU/EEA countries, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Canada, and the USA are ineligible to apply for a job seeker visa.

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Apart from the completed visa application form, individuals need to submit the following:

Eligibility for Germany’s Job Seeker Visa:

  • Completion of academic or vocational training
  • Five years of work experience
  • Financial means to support oneself during their stay in Germany
  • Possession of a degree recognized in Germany

Requirements for Germany’s Job Seeker Visa:

  • Completed visa application form
  • Proof of accommodation, financial support, academic degree, and health insurance
  • A valid passport and its copy
  • Two passport-sized photographs
  • Resume and cover letter
  • Application fee of €75 or ₹6,351.50
  • Minimum bank balance of €5,682 or ₹4.8 lakh

2. Portugal

Portugal introduced its job seeker visa in June 2022, providing individuals with the opportunity to reside in the country and seek employment for up to 120 days, which is equivalent to four months. The visa can be renewed for an additional 60 days or two months and permits only one entry into Portugal.

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Eligibility for Portugal’s Job Seeker Visa

To apply for a job seeker visa, individuals must possess a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent qualification. There is no information available on the years of work experience required for the visa.

Requirements for Portugal’s Job Seeker Visa: In addition to a completed visa application form, individuals must provide the following documents to obtain the job seeker visa:

  • A passport that is valid for at least three months after the estimated return date and a copy of the same
  • Two passport-sized photos
  • Proof of no criminal record and adequate financial resources, valid travel insurance, and return ticket

It is important to note that if the individual fails to secure a job within the required period, they must leave the country. However, they can reapply for a new visa application for this purpose only one year after the previous visa’s expiration.

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The visa fee for Portugal’s job seeker visa is €90 or ₹8,062. For additional information, please refer to the relevant government website.

3. United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) provides a job seeker visa to individuals who want to explore job opportunities in the country. The visa’s validity ranges from 60 to 120 days, i.e., two to four months, allowing holders to search for new job opportunities without a sponsor from UAE, but only for one trip.

Eligibility for UAE Job Seeker Visa

To be eligible for the UAE job seeker visa, individuals must hold a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and show proof of a financial guarantee.

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Additionally, the applicant should have either graduated from one of the top 500 universities in the world according to the UAE Ministry of Education’s classification within two years of applying. Alternatively, the applicant must be at the first, second, or third skill level, as per the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) professional levels of jobs, which are:

  • Level 1: Legislators, managers, and business executives
  • Level 2: Professionals in scientific, technical, and human fields
  • Level 3: Technicians in scientific, technical, and humanitarian fields

Requirements for UAE Job Seeker Visa: In addition to the above, individuals must provide the following documents to apply for the UAE job seeker visa:

  • A coloured photo
  • A copy of the applicant’s passport
  • An attested qualification certificate

The visa fee for the 60-day visa is Dh 1,495 or ₹33,484, for the 90-day visa is Dh 1,655 or ₹37,067, and for the 120-day visa is Dh 1,815 or ₹40,615.

4. Sweden

Sweden is one of the key destinations for skilled professionals looking to live and work abroad. With the introduction of the Sweden Job Seeker Visa, it has become easier for highly qualified persons to seek work or start a business in Sweden.

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If you are a skilled professional looking to live and work in Sweden, the Swedish government has introduced a new Residence permit for highly qualified persons to look for work or start a business, called the Sweden Job Seeker Visa. Here are the eligibility and requirements to apply for this permit:

Eligibility and Requirements

  • You must be located outside of Sweden.
  • You must have an advanced degree (master’s degree, PhD, advanced vocational degree/professional degree).
  • You have the intent of seeking a job or looking into the possibility of starting your own business in Sweden.
  • You should be capable to support yourself financially during the whole residence period.
  • You need to have comprehensive health insurance.
  • You must have a passport that is valid for the whole period of the intended stay.
  • The job seeker visa will be valid for a minimum of 3 months; however, can be granted for a maximum of 9 months.

5. Austria

Austria offers a six-month job seeker visa to individuals it recognises as “very highly qualified workers”. To be eligible for this visa, an individual must achieve a minimum of 70 points based on specific criteria, such as qualification, work experience, language skills, age, and study experience in Austria. The detailed point listing is provided below.

Eligibility and Requirements

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Eligibility criteria for very highly qualified personsPoints
Special qualifications and skills
Gross salary of the previous year earned in a senior management position with a company listed on the stock exchange or a company for which the Austrian foreign trade office in charge issued a positive report about its activities or business segment: €50,000 to 60,00020
Post-doctoral qualification (habilitation) or PhD30
Gross salary of the previous year earned in a senior management position with a company listed on the stock exchange or a company for which the Austrian foreign trade office in charge issued a positive report about its activities or business segment: €60,000 to 70,00020
Gross salary of the previous year earned in a senior management position with a company listed on the stock exchange or a company for which the Austrian foreign trade office in charge issued a positive report about its activities or business segment: more than €70,00025
The second part of diploma programme (Diplomstudium) or half of the required total ECTS points30
Research and innovation activities (Patent applications, publications)20
Awards (recognised prizes)20
Maximum allowable points40
Work experience (adequately reflecting applicant’s qualification or senior management position)
Work experience (per year)2
Six months of work experience in Austria10
Maximum allowable points20
Language skills
German or English language skills for the elementary use of the language on a basic level – (A1 level)5
German or English language skills for the intensified elementary use of the language – (A2 level)10
Maximum allowable points10
Age
Up to 35 years of age20
Up to 40 years of age15
Up to 45 years of age10
Maximum allowable points20
Studies in Austria
The second part of the diploma programme (Diplomstudium) or half of the required total ECTS points5
Completed diploma programme (Diplomstudium) or Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programme10
Maximum allowable points10

Individuals need to achieve a minimum of 70 points according to specific criteria based on different factors such as qualification, work experience, language skills, age, and study experience in Austria. Along with documents supporting the criteria selected in the aforementioned list, individuals also need to submit the following documents:

  • A valid passport
  • A photo (dimensions: 45x35mm) which is not older than six months
  • Proof of accommodation, health insurance and financial resources

The fee for a job seeker visa is €150 or ₹13,426.


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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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