Job Seekers Visa for Art Job in Berlin - Work Experience Required?


I am a Russian citizen (Novosibirsk) who studied for a film degree in America and got my Masters in film from New York.

I am looking to move to Berlin and am taking intensive German classes currently to learn the language well.

I am just wondering how hard it will be to be approved for a work visa there in the arts? I understand that German and then EU members get preference over me by law so therefore, will it be difficult to get myself hired? I know that Berlin is a hub for the arts and so I could imagine people like me are not in shortage, especially since I don't have any work experience in the field to distinguish as I just earned my degree this year.

I know that since I am not a preferred nation, I will need to return to Russia to begin the visa process from home. I know this will take time –– will this be even more of a deterrent to a future employer when they could simply hire someone right away from either the Germany or EU and pay no money to do so immediately with zero paperwork?

I would also be interested in applying for the Job Seekers Visa.
1. Do you really need 3-5 years experience in your field to apply for it? I have read yes and I have also read no.
2. Can Germany decline your Job Seekers Visa request for a job that can easily be filled by Germans or EU members, one that is not on the whitelist, such as film/work in the arts? Or does your degree/intent not matter?

I know my two options would be a regular work visa and then a Blue Card, but I doubt I would meet the salary requirements for a Blue Card as an entry level, so I guess it leaves a regular work visa to hopefully work out.

Any opinions or experiences would be highly valued. Thank you!

The official requirements for a Job Seeker Visa (JSV) are as follows:
- Hold a Bachelor of Master’s Degree from a German university or an equivalent foreign degree
- Have a minimum of 5 years of experience in your related field of study
- Show proof that you have sufficient funds to cover your stay during the time you are in Germany
- Have travel or medical insurance for your entire stay in Germany or until you get your Work Permit
Of course this tells you nothing about your chances of finding a job while in Germany on JSV.

You are right that for a regular work permit you need to pass the test if any available EU national could do the job instead of you. For a fresh graduate, this is difficult to impossible.
You could try to contact the famous filmmaking academy at Potsdam (near Berlin) to find out whether this is different in the arts world or if there are any loopholes.

Thank you for your reply, I strongly appreciate it.

But here on a website like this one ( … d-arbeiten) it clearly states:
"To obtain a jobseeker’s visa, applicants must simply furnish proof of their university degree and that they can support themselves for the duration of their planned stay. While seeking employment, jobseekers are not permitted to work, whether on a self-employed basis or otherwise."
Mentions nothing of prior experience

But on this website ( it clearly states that you need five years relevant work experience

So I feel that depending on what you read, you get many different answers to that question. Are you positive of the work experience from a personal experience or those of a friend or are you finding that from a website?

Thank you again for all of your help, I am just trying to assess if I am qualified for it in the first place

Well, then the only way to find out is asking the embassy, I guess!

I cannot say for sure about the 5 years working experience if reliable sources seem to contradict each other. In the end such rules are sometimes flexible. If someone comes along that is brilliant in their field then such a thing could likely get waivered. But the main thing I wanted to mention is that one does have an advantage in artistic fields. The reason being is that artistic endeavors often have a personal style. Let me make an example. There are lots of bands in Germany, so why would one need to bring one from outside the EU? Well, if it is the Rolling Stones or Lady Gaga then they are unique – even though there are cover bands that might play their music. And even a less known band that plays original music can be considered unique.  But maybe a Stones cover band, no matter how good, might not get a permit. One assumes most film directors have a personal style. So maybe this will work to your advantage. In the end, getting such a job might be dependent on how impressive the examples of your work are rather than how long you have done it.

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