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Register as a jobseeker - Can you register as a jobseeker in person?

29th May 2024

Registering as a job seeker online and in-person at the Agentur Für Arbeit

As of January 1, 2022, the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency) in Germany has launched an innovative digital service. This service allows job seekers to register digitally. It offers the same benefits as registering in person, including convenience and easy access.

Previously, individuals had to visit the employment agency in person to sign up. Now, they can conveniently register from home. This new method saves time and offers more flexibility.

To register online, job seekers must provide a form of identification. This could be a German ID card with electronic capabilities or a similar document. This step is vital for the security and validity of the process.

The online registration and identification process can be done at any time, day or night. This freedom means people can register from a location that works best for them. The goal is to simplify the job-seeking process and open it up to more individuals.

Choosing to register online is an option, not a requirement. Those who prefer to sign up in person can still do so. The ultimate decision lies with the individual.

For further details on how to register for job-seeking online, please check out the Bundesagentur für Arbeit's official website.

Key Takeaways:

  • Starting from January 1, 2022, the Bundesagentur für Arbeit offers online registration for job-seeking individuals.

  • Online registration is equivalent to in-person registration and provides convenience and accessibility.

  • Identification proof such as a German ID card with an electronic function is required for online registration.

  • The online registration and identification process is available 24/7.

  • Individuals still have the option to register in person if they prefer.

Understanding the Difference Between "Arbeitslos" and "Arbeitssuchend Melden"

It's key to understand the difference between "arbeitslos" (unemployed) and "arbeitssuchend melden" (registering as job-seeking). Although frequently interchanged, they signify distinct statuses with varying outcomes.


To be "arbeitssuchend" infers actively seeking employment. This status is for those currently employed but foresees the termination of their job. They notify agencies of their job-hunting status. This proactive step aims to secure aid in seeking fresh employment. Importantly, this status doesn't imply unemployment or eligibility for benefits.


In contrast, "arbeitslos" means without a job and possibly receiving unemployment benefits. Those categorized as such have lost their jobs and are in the midst of job hunting. Differing from "arbeitssuchend," those classified as "arbeitslos" can receive financial assistance - like unemployment benefits - if they qualify.

The core difference between "arbeitssuchend melden" and "arbeitslos" is tied to current job status and the potential to receive benefits. The former is a proactive step for those foreseeing a job change. In contrast, the latter describes those already facing unemployment.

When and How to Register as Job-Seeking

The timing of registering as job-seeking varies with the situation. If you see the end of your job coming, like when your contract or a long notice period is ending, registering at least three months prior is advisable. This way, you can get help from the employment agency earlier in finding a new position.

In Berlin, you can register as job-seeking at your local employment agency, found through the Bundesagentur für Arbeit's online search.

If your job ends suddenly or with a short notice, it's vital to register within three working days of being informed. This prompt action helps you get essential support quickly. By doing so, you increase your chances of securing work fast.

The Bundesagentur für Arbeit has an online tool to locate your nearest employment agency in Berlin.

Registration Deadlines

1. Anticipated end of employment contract: Deadline to register is at least three months before the contract ends

2. Short notice period or sudden job loss: Deadline to register is at least within three working days after being notified

By following these registration periods, you ensure you meet legal requirements and get necessary agency assistance. Timely job-seeking registration is key to a successful job hunt.

The Legal Basis for Registering as Job-Seeking

In Germany, the legal foundation for registering as job-seeking is found in Section 38, Paragraph 1 of the Third Social Code (SGB III). This code states that if someone's employment or training contract is about to end, they must register as job-seeking. The person must do this in person, at the latest, three months prior to the contract's end.

When individuals find out about the contract ending in less than three months, they must register within three days of this realization. Meeting these deadlines is vital to prevent any waiting time for unemployment benefits.

When individuals register as job-seeking, they open a gate for the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency) to lend a helping hand. It gives them access to the agency's diverse services and resources, aimed at aiding them in their job searches.

Signing up at the employment agency is pivotal to receive support. This step ensures access to job openings, personal counseling, training, and tailored resources. By complying with this legal demand, individuals show they are serious about finding a job. They are actively paving their way to a new career.

Benefits of Registering as Job-Seeking

  • Access to job listings and vacancies

  • Guidance and counseling for job search strategies

  • Assistance in preparing application documents

  • Training and qualification opportunities

  • Information about social security benefits

Responsibilities of the Employment Agency

  • Providing job search support and advice

  • Offering vocational training and retraining options

  • Facilitating recruitment and placement services

  • Administering unemployment benefits

  • Connecting individuals with relevant job market initiatives

How to Register as Job-Seeking

Registering as job-seeking offers several paths. Each choice caters to different preferences and conveniences.

1. Online Registration: The Bundesagentur für Arbeit's official website is the go-to for easy registration. There, an eService simplifies the process, enabling access to job offers and tailored recommendations. Signing up involves creating a user profile, which comes at no cost.

2. Phone Registration: Opt for a direct, one-on-one approach with phone registration. Calling the toll-free number, 0800 455 5500, allows you to share personal details for registration.

3. In-Person Registration: If face-to-face support is more appealing, registering at a local employment agency is an option. It does, however, entail waiting and offers the benefit of personalized help from agency staff.

Registering as job-seeking is a different step from declaring unemployment and seeking benefits. It's crucial to manage these steps separately to access the full support during your search.

Important Considerations and Documentation for Registering as Job-Seeking

When you're looking for a job, there are important things to remember. If you're fired or you quit, tell the employment agency quickly. This is important for your registration.

Before you register, it's smart to collect some documents. You'll need your ID, social security card, work contract or termination letter, and a resume. Having these things ready will make your registration go smoothly.

In Berlin, you can easily find the local job center's info online. Just use the Bundesagentur für Arbeit's search tool. It will show you where to go and who to contact for help.


Signing up online as someone seeking work is both easy and practical. This step lets the employment agency know you're looking for a job. By being proactive this way, you open the door to their help in finding a new job. It's key to understand the difference between actively looking for a job and actually being unemployed.

Just because you're looking for a job doesn't mean you're without one. But, it does mean you could get help on time and maybe some benefits if needed. To do this right, you must follow the rules, such as meeting deadlines and showing the necessary paperwork.

Being 'job-seeking' means you're on the hunt for work. On the other hand, being 'unemployed' means you don't have a job and might be able to get financial help. So, remember the distinction.

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