I am a German citizen who has been living abroad since I was ten years old. I am planning on moving back to Germany in a few month with my family. I have a daughter and non EU citizen husband.

I am very confused about unemployment and health insurance. I have a BA from a non EU country. I heard I can not apply for unemployment until I have work for at least two year, because I am a university graduate. I do not think I till be able to find work immediately and I will be with my daughter house hunting so we can bring my husband over. I really need health insurance especially for my daughter. We can not afford private. What can I do? Do I have to be a student or employed? I won't even be registered until I did a house, which should be about a month. What advice do you have for me?

  • The question is a bit broad. Do you read German? Did you have a look at Wikipedia?
    – Gala
    Jul 9, 2014 at 9:06
  • Hi Gala thanks for your advice... What should I look at on Wikipedia? My German isn't too good :(
    – user2186
    Jul 13, 2014 at 15:32
  • The reason I asked is because Wikipedia in German has a lot of background information that might have helped you understand the system and focus the question. But if you are not comfortable reading German, that's not very helpful…
    – Gala
    Aug 8, 2014 at 22:52

1 Answer 1


I think your best option is to apply to Arbeitlosengeld 2, a.k.a Hartz IV. Basically you apply for some money that should cover for your living expenses + your daughter + health insurance for the three of you. As far as I know, you can ask for it independently from whether you hold an university degree or not. Nevertheless, I strongly encourage you to find someone to speak a good German to go with you to these offices (Arbeitsagentur). At some point they would offer you some job (if you don't find one sooner) which you have to accept otherwise you get a reduction in the subsidy.

In any case, if you don't get the ALG2, you can still get a public insurance for non-employed, called Freiwillige Versicherung. The cost of this is around 160 euros, but it covers your family entirely. Here I'd recommend to call to the AOK center to clarify this issue, usually they have someone who speaks english.

  • 1
    When coming / returning to Germany from abroad, only those are eligible for voluntary public health insurance ("freiwillige Versicherung") who have been in compulsory public health insurance in a EU country abroad for at least the last 12 months (source, see also). And those who kept a so-called "Anwartschaftsversicherung" with a German health insurance.
    – tanius
    Nov 11, 2018 at 4:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.