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Do I have to register as unemployed in person?

6th June 2024

Learn how to register online as unemployed with the Agentur Für Arbeit

Register as unemployed in person

When you become unemployed, it feels like there are 1000 questions to answer and 1000 to-do's to take care of, but the most important thing is to register as unemployed first.
In Germany, there are various ways to register as unemployed without going to the employment agency in person. Here are the steps and alternatives for registering as unemployed:

1. Online registration: You can register as unemployed online via the website of the Federal Employment Agency ( To do this, you need a user account with the Federal Employment Agency. The advantage of online registration is that you can complete all the necessary steps from the comfort of your own home. The user interface is user-friendly and you are guided through the registration process step by step. It is important to have all the necessary documents to hand digitally in order to complete the process smoothly.

2. Telephone registration: It is possible to register as unemployed by telephone. The hotline of the Federal Employment Agency can be used to initiate the necessary steps. This option is particularly useful for people who do not have access to the internet or have difficulties with online registration. The hotline staff are trained and can help with any questions or uncertainties. It is helpful to have all relevant information ready in advance, such as your national insurance number and details of your last employment relationship.

3. Personal appointment: The traditional way is to go to the employment agency in person and register as unemployed. This may be particularly necessary if you need more detailed advice or special circumstances. At a personal appointment, you can speak directly to an employee and clarify any questions or uncertainties immediately. You have the opportunity to receive comprehensive advice and present all the necessary documents immediately. In some cases, this can be the quickest way to complete the unemployment registration process and ensure that no important steps are overlooked.

4. Postal notification: A written notification by post is also possible. It is important that the necessary information and documents are complete to avoid delays. When notifying by post, you should ensure that all relevant forms are completed correctly and that all necessary supporting documents are enclosed. It is advisable to send the consignment by registered post in order to have proof of dispatch and receipt. This can be a particularly useful alternative in rural areas where the next visit to an employment agency would involve a longer journey.

It is advisable to register as unemployed at an early stage, but no later than three months before the end of the employment relationship, in order to avoid disadvantages in terms of unemployment benefit. In urgent cases (e.g. if you are made redundant at short notice), you should register immediately. Early contact with the employment agency enables timely planning and coordination of the next steps, such as participation in further training programmes or support in finding a job.

For accurate and up-to-date information, you should visit the Federal Employment Agency (Agentur für Arbeit) website or contact your local employment agency directly. The website offers a variety of resources and information that can help you better understand and effectively utilize the unemployment registration process. In addition, there are regularly updated FAQs and guides that address specific questions and issues.

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