December 4, 2023

Business Visa

The Business Visa Is Mightier Than Sword

These countries offer a work visa even without an offer letter

  • Countries like the US and Canada are popular places to relocate for work and thus, receive an overwhelming amount of applications.
  • However, Germany, Austria, and others, offer a job seeker visa where individuals can stay in the country without an offer letter in hand.

It’s no secret that countries like the US and Canada receive an overwhelming amount of applications for work visas. In March this year, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it reached the cap for the number of US H1B visas that can be granted for the financial year 2024.

Most countries have stringent requirements for granting a work visa, the first being the availability of an offer letter. However, there are a few countries that allow individuals to stay and look for a job, even without an offer letter.

Listed below are a few such countries and their visa requirements:


Germany offers a job seeker visa where individuals can reside in the country for six months and look for a job. If you procure employment by the end of six months, you’re provided a German work visa.

Eligibility and requirements:

The visa is only open to individuals who have five years of experience, financial resources to support their stay in the country, and proof of completed academic or vocational training. Individuals also need to hold a degree recognised in Germany.

Additionally, individuals from the following countries can’t apply for a job seeker visa — EU/EEA (European Union/European Economic Area), Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Canada, and the USA.

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

  • Proof of accommodation, financial support, academic degree and health insurance
  • A valid passport and its copy
  • Two passport sized photos
  • Resume and Cover letter

The fee for a job seeker visa for Indians is €75 or ₹6,351.50 and the minimum bank balance required is €5,682 or ₹4.8 lakh. You can find more details here.


Portugal launched its job seeker visa in June 2022. The job seeker visa allows its holder to remain in Portugal and look for a job for a period of 120 days i.e. four months. The visa is renewable for another 60 days i.e two months, and allows only one entry into Portugal.

If you fail to secure a job within the requisite period, you must leave the country. However, you can only re-apply for a new visa application for this purpose, one year after the expiry of the previous visa’s validity.

Eligibility and requirements:

There is no information on the years of experience required to apply for this visa but a bachelor’s degree, or equivalent is needed. Additionally, apart from a completed visa application form, the following documents are required for the visa:

  • A passport valid for three months after the estimated date of return and its copy
  • 2 passport sized photos
  • Proof of no criminal record and financial resources, valid travel insurance, and return ticket

The visa fee is €90 or ₹8,062. You can find more information here.

United Arab Emirates

UAE offers a job seeker visa with a validity of either 60, 90 or 120 days i.e. two, three or four months. The visa allows holders to search for new job opportunities without a sponsor from UAE, but only for one trip.

Eligibility and requirements:

In order to apply for a job seeker visa in the UAE, an individual must hold a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, and show proof of a financial guarantee.

Additionally, individuals should have either graduated from the best 500 universities in the world according to the classification approved by the UAE Ministry of Education within the last two years of applying; or alternatively, be at the first, second or third skill level as per the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) professional levels of jobs. These levels 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

Individuals need to submit the following documents to apply for the visa:

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

The visa fee for different categories of the UAE job seeker visa is Dh 1,495 or ₹33,484 for the 60 days visa; Dh 1,655 or ₹37,067 for the 90 days visa; and Dh 1,815 or ₹40,615 for the 120 days visa.


Austria also offers a six-month-long job seeker visa but only to individuals it recognises as “very highly qualified workers”. These 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.

Eligibility and requirements:

Please find below the detailed point listing:

Eligibility criteria for very highly qualified persons Points
Special qualifications and skillsGraduation from an institution of higher education, minimum duration of programme: four yearsin the subjects mathematics, informatics, natural sciences or technology (MINT subjects)Post-doctoral qualification (habilitation) or PhDGross salary of 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 60,000€60,000 to 70,000More than €70,000Research and innovation activities (Patent applications, publications)Awards (recognised prizes) Maximum allowable points: 402030402025302020
Work experience (adequately reflecting applicant’s qualification or senior management position)Work experience (per year)Six months of work experience in Austria Maximum allowable points: 20210
Language skillsGerman or English language skills for the elementary use of the language on a basic level – (A1 level)German or English language skills for the intensified elementary use of the language – (A2 level) Maximum allowable points: 10510
AgeUp to 35 years of ageUp to 40 years of ageup to 45 years of age Maximum allowable points: 20201510
Studies in AustriaSecond part of diploma programme (Diplomstudium) or half of the required total ECTS pointsCompleted diploma programme (Diplomstudium) or Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programme Maximum allowable points: 10510
Sum total of maximum allowable points 100
Required minimum 70

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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