If you have become unemployed or if you have learned that you will soon be losing your job or vocational training place, you are required to register as a jobseeker with your local Employment Agency (Agentur für Arbeit).
Please note: You must register in person as a jobseeker with the local Employment Agency no later than 3 months before your employment ends. If you learn that your employment will be ending less than 3 months beforehand, you must register with the local Employment Agency in person within 3 days. However, in order to meet this deadline, you can also register as a jobseeker by telephone (free hotline: +49 (0)800 4 5555 000) or online. You can then go to the Employment Agency in person at a later date. If you do not register within the time limit, you risk being subject to a waiting period, during which you will not receive any benefits under Book III of the Social Code (unemployment benefit I).
Once you have registered as a jobseeker, your local Employment Agency can immediately offer you assistance in looking for a new job or vocational training place. If necessary, and if you are looking for work in another country, the Employment Agency will refer you to specialised advisers from the international personnel service at the European Employment Services (EURES) and/or put you in touch with the International Placement Services (Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung).
Besides assistance in looking for a job or vocational training place, you and your family members can also receive advice and support from the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) in the following areas:
- careers advice,
- vocational training,
- continuing vocational training, including for people in employment,
- vocational integration of people with disabilities.
You can also receive financial support during the many steps on the way to finding a new job, for example
- funding for continuing training,
- travel expenses in connection with interviews or financial assistance for application documents,
- job application coaching,
- language skills development.
Further information on the individual services available can be found on the Federal Employment Agency’s website.
- If you want to transfer your unemployment benefits to another country, you must submit an application to the employment service of the country where you are receiving unemployment benefit.
- You normally need to have been registered as unemployed for 4 weeks before you can transfer your benefits to another country.
- You will then receive a U2 form from the institution with which you are registered as being unemployed; this allows you to go to another country and carry on receiving your unemployment benefit there.
- Within 7 days after leaving the country, you must use the U2 form to register as unemployed with the employment service of the country where you are looking for work.
- After leaving the country, you can continue to receive your unemployment benefit for 3 months. This period can be extended to a maximum of 6 months.
- If you do not find a job, you must return to the country from which you are receiving unemployment benefit before the end of this period. If you only return once this period has already ended, there is a risk that in some EU Member States you could lose all entitlement to unemployment benefits (this is not the case in Germany).
Please note: It is very important that you comply with these conditions. Otherwise you could lose your entitlement to benefits. Many unemployed persons lose their entitlement to benefits because they are unaware of the conditions set out above. They leave the country where they were last employed without registering with the employment service there, they are too late in registering with the employment service in the country where they are looking for work, or they only return to the country from which they have received unemployment benefits after the end of the benefit transfer period. It is therefore essential that you contact the employment service of the country from which you are receiving unemployment benefit to find out more about your rights and responsibilities.
People who become unemployed after last working in Germany are not left to fend for themselves, but instead receive support from the state in certain circumstances. Not only do you receive financial assistance; you can also use the services offered by the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) as you look for a job. The Employment Agencies and job centres have a wide range of support mechanisms at their disposal (such as vocational training and continuing training), which are enshrined in Books II and III of the Social Code (Sozialgesetzbuch).