U.S. Travelers in Europe
With a valid U.S. passport, you can stay up to 90 days for tourism or business during any 180-day period. Do not overstay! You must wait an additional 90 days before applying to re-enter the Schengen area.
Searching for a job is neither a tourist or business activity
The German legal definition of what is understood to be a business traveler is defined in
- § 16 BeschV business travelers
can be found below in an english translation.
Proof that the conditions stipulated in § 16 BeschV are fulfilled must be supplied.
Remember: Ignorantia juris non excusat
As always for all stays > 3 months, this is different from country to country
- so it is wise to check the rules and opportunities offered for the country in question (which you have not stated)
For Germany this would start with:
Residence Visa / Long Stay Visa - Federal Foreign Office
Citizens of the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the Republic of Korea, as well as EU citizens may apply for their residence permit after entering Germany without a visa.
Employment in Germany
However, in cases where an employment is intended to begin directly after arrival in Germany, a visa (which includes the work permit) has to be issued in advance, since it is not possible to start working in Germany before having the obligatory work permit.
One form of a Visa for a US-Citizen is the Jobseeker Visa.
Once you have found a job, the residence/work permit process can start immediately (i.e. you don't have to wait to the end of the 6 months)
If you are confident that 6 months is sufficient, you can make the initial application in the U.S. With an Invitation letter from your Boyfriend, the housing conditions of the application can be fulfilled. This would also have the advantage that the greater part of the needed paperwork has been completed/submitted.
When applying for the jobseeker visa in Germany, you should apply about 2-3 weeks before you want to start looking for a job.
During a job interview most potential employers will ask about citizenship and work permits. Having such a jobseeker visa will be more convincing that a tourist entry stamp.
Regulation on the Employment of Foreigners (Employment Ordinance - BeschV)
§ 16 business travelers
No approval requires the issue of a residence permit to persons who
being employed abroad by an employer domiciled in the commercial sector,
for an employer based abroad, to conduct domestic meetings or negotiations, to draw up contracts, to conclude contracts or to supervise the execution of a contract or
create, supervise or control a domestic business for an employer based abroad
and who, within the scope of their employment while remaining habitually resident abroad, do not spend more than 90 days in Germany within a period of 180 days.
Schengen Code Artical 6
- Entry Conditions for thrid-country nationals
- 3 A non-exhaustive list of supporting documents which the border guard may request from the third-country national in order to verify the fulfilment of the conditions set out in paragraph 1 (c) is included in Annex I
Schengen Border Code Annex I
Supporting documents to verify the fulfilment of entry conditions
The documentary evidence referred to in Article 6(3) may include the following:
(a) for business trips:
(i) an invitation from a firm or an authority to attend meetings, conferences or events connected with trade, industry or work;
(ii) other documents which show the existence of trade relations or relations for work purposes;
(iii) entry tickets for fairs and congresses if attending one;