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What do you need to register as unemployed?

16th May 2024

Here you will find the most important information at a glance.

Registering as unemployed is an important step in order to receive benefits such as unemployment benefit and to carefully plan your career restart. However, this process requires certain preparations and documentation to run smoothly and effectively. Here is an overview of what you need to register as unemployed with the Federal Employment Agency.

1. personal identification documents

First of all, you will need a valid identity card or passport. This document is required to officially confirm your identity. It is important that the document is valid and that the information it contains is up to date.

2. social security card

Your social security card is required to claim your social security entitlements. This card contains your national insurance number, which is essential for all matters relating to unemployment, pensions and health insurance.

3. certificate of registration

If you were not born in Germany or your nationality is not German, a current registration certificate is required. This confirms your place of residence and your registration address in Germany.

4. certificate of employment from your last employer

One of the most important documents for registering unemployment is the certificate of employment from your last employer. This certificate contains details of your last employment relationship, including the start and end of the employment relationship, the type of work and, if applicable, the reasons for the termination of the employment relationship.

5. letter of termination or cancellation agreement

If you have given notice or have been dismissed, you will need the written letter of termination or the cancellation agreement. These documents are crucial in order to understand the reason for your unemployment and may affect your entitlement to unemployment benefit.

6. curriculum vitae

Although not always required, it is helpful to bring an up-to-date CV with you when you register as unemployed. The CV gives an overview of your professional career and qualifications and helps the employment agency to find suitable job offers.

7. proof of qualifications and further training

Certificates or references that prove your professional qualifications and further training may also be required. These documents help the employment agency staff to get a clearer picture of your skills and specialisations.

8. bank details

To receive unemployment benefit, you must provide your bank details. Make sure you have the IBAN and BIC of your account ready so that payments can be allocated correctly.


In addition to the documents already mentioned, it can be helpful to have references or letters of recommendation from previous employers to hand. These can be particularly useful if you are seeking support from the employment agency in your new job search. They demonstrate your skills and reliability, which can give you an advantage when being placed in a new job.

It is also advisable to make an appointment with the employment agency in advance. This can usually be done by telephone or via the Federal Employment Agency's online portal. A pre-booked appointment helps to avoid waiting times and ensures that you have all the necessary documents with you and can clarify all relevant questions directly.

By preparing thoroughly and bringing all the necessary documents with you, you ensure that your unemployment registration process runs as smoothly and quickly as possible. It underlines your professionalism and organisation, which can leave a positive first impression with the agency.

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