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Applying for an extension of the residence permit for the purpose of looking for a training place in order to carry out qualified vocational training

If you have not yet reached the age of 25 and would like to complete qualified vocational training in Germany, but have still not found a training place, you can obtain an extension of your residence permit for the purpose of seeking training if you meet certain requirements.

Make sure that the residence permit is issued for a maximum of six months. An extension of your residence permit is only possible if this 6-month period has not yet been exhausted. The extension must be applied for in good time before the end of the validity of your previous residence permit.

If you have already been in possession of a six-month residence permit, the residence permit can only be issued again if you have stayed abroad after your departure for at least as long as you have previously stayed in Germany to look for training.

The residence permit will again be issued for a limited period of time, but for a maximum period of six months.

Process flow

  • Find out whether your Foreigners' Registration Office allows you to apply online or whether you have a special application form.
  • If the application is only possible in person, make an appointment at the Foreigners' Registration Office. In the case of an online application, the Foreigners' Registration Office will contact you after receiving your application to make an appointment.
  • During the appointment, your identity and documents will be checked (please bring your documents, preferably in the original, to the appointment).
  • If your application is granted, your fingerprints will be taken for the purpose of obtaining a residence permit in the form of a new electronic residence permit (eAT card).
  • The Foreigners' Registration Office commissions the production of the eAT card from the Federal Printing Office. After completion, you will receive information and can pick up the eAT card from the responsible office. The eAT card must always be picked up in person.
  • If your application is rejected, you will receive a rejection notice.

Who should I contact?

The Foreigners' Registration Office responsible for the applicant's place of residence is responsible for processing the application.


In principle, the same requirements must be met for the renewal of the residence permit as when the residence permit was first issued. That is:

  • You are still looking for a training place for the purpose of carrying out qualified vocational training (vocational training in a state-recognised or comparably regulated training occupation for which a training period of at least two years is specified).
  • This total period of validity of your residence permit of six months has not yet been exhausted. Alternatively, you have stayed abroad after your departure for at least as long as you were previously in Germany on the basis of the residence permit.
  • You have not yet reached the age of 25 at the time of application.
  • You have a good knowledge of German at level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
  • You have one of the following school leaving certificates:
    • Graduation from a German school abroad: The degree obtained at a German school abroad must be a secondary school leaving certificate (e.g. lower secondary school leaving certificate, secondary school leaving certificate, entitlement to transfer to the upper secondary school, advanced technical college entrance examination, university entrance qualification examination or foreign school leaving certificate that entitles the student to study in Germany or, in any case, to study in the country in which the German school abroad is located).
    • School leaving certificate that entitles you to access higher education in the Federal Republic of Germany: This can be a German school leaving certificate obtained in Germany or a foreign school leaving certificate. It is crucial that the school-leaving certificate entitles the holder to access higher education (university and university of applied sciences) in Germany.
    • School leaving certificate entitling the holder to enter higher education in the country in which the school-leaving certificate was obtained: this is to be determined using the anabin database. If the degree is listed in the anabin database, there is no need for a formal examination of the certificate. Only if the degree is not listed in the anabin database can it be examined in individual cases by means of an individual examination by the responsible certificate recognition offices of the federal states.
  • You can secure your livelihood and health insurance coverage from your own resources without recourse to public benefits.
  • There is no interest in expulsion against you.

Which documents are required?

In principle, the extension of your residence permit requires the submission of the same documents as for the initial issuance:

  • Recognised and valid identity document (e.g. passport or passport substitute)
  • Recent biometric photo in passport format (45 x 35 mm)
  • Proof of securing your livelihood (e.g. from your own assets, payment of a security deposit into a blocked account, bank guarantee, declaration of commitment, scholarship, donations from third parties)
  • Proof of health insurance coverage (for example, confirmation of health insurance coverage or insurance policy).
  • Proof of active search for a training place.
  • In the case of minors: consent of all persons with custody to the planned stay (declaration of consent); if the custodial parents are unable to submit the application jointly on behalf of their child, a written power of attorney from the absent parent is required; if only one parent has custody, the signature of that parent is sufficient
  • Proof of German language proficiency at level B2 (e.g. language certificate)
  • Proof of school-leaving certificate that entitles you to university admission.
  • Proof of departure and the duration of the stay abroad

The documents and information must always be submitted in German. In individual cases, the Foreigners' Registration Office may require less or more proof.

What are the fees?

Cost amount (fixed):

  • 96,00 for a further stay of up to three months
  • EUR 48.00 for underage applicants for a further stay of up to three months
  • 93,00 for a further stay of more than three months
  • EUR 46.50 for underage applicants for a further stay of more than three months


Additional fees may apply for the issuance of a new residence permit in the form of an electronic residence permit (eAT card), which can also be used as an electronic proof of identity.

The timing and form of fee collection and payment vary depending on the authority.

In certain cases, fee reductions or exemptions may be considered (e.g. for persons entitled to asylum or recognised refugees). Lower fees may apply for Turkish nationals.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

Application Deadline: 6 - 8 Weeks
The application should be received by the Foreigners' Registration Office no later than six weeks to eight weeks before the expiry of the current residence permit.

Period of Validity: 6 Months
The residence permit will again be issued for a limited period of time, but for a maximum total period of six months.

Processing duration

Processing Time: 6 - 8 Weeks
The processing time may vary depending on the workload of the Foreigners' Registration Office. It takes about four weeks to six weeks for the Federal Printing Office to produce the electronic residence permit.

Applications / forms

Forms available: No

Written form required: No

Informal application possible: Yes

Personal appearance required: Yes


  • Appeal against the decision of the Foreigners' Registration Office within one month of notification
  • Bringing an action before the court specified in the notice of objection if the objection is not complied with
  • An appeal against a negative decision of the Foreigners' Registration Office can be brought before the competent administrative court.
  • A preliminary procedure (opposition) does not take place in Lower Saxony.
  • Detailed information can be found in the rejection notice.

What else should I know?

  • The extension of the residence permit is at the discretion of the responsible immigration authority. Applicants are therefore only entitled to a decision free of errors of assessment.
  • During the possession of the residence permit, gainful employment is not permitted.
  • If the search for a training place is abandoned, a change of purpose of residence is usually only possible for employment as a skilled worker in accordance with §§ 18a (skilled workers with vocational training) or § 18b (skilled workers with academic training) of the Residence Act and in cases of a legal entitlement (e.g. for the purpose of studying). This does not affect the possibility of changing to a residence for the purpose of qualified vocational training (Section 16a of the Residence Act) after successful completion of the search.
  • The procedure is usually conducted in German.
  • All information provided to the Foreigners' Registration Office should be correct and complete to the best of our knowledge and belief, so that the request can be processed without major delays.
  • Incorrect or incomplete information can slow down the process and be detrimental to those affected. In the event of an emergency, incorrect or incomplete information that is not completed or corrected in time to the Foreigners' Registration Office may result in the revocation of residence rights already granted, a fine, imprisonment for up to three years or expulsion from the federal territory.
  • Due to the complexity of the right of residence, this description is for information purposes only and is not legally binding.

Portal of the Federal Government for Skilled Workers from Abroad

Multilingual information portal on living in Germany for people who are new to Germany. Funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration, The Federal Government Commissioner for Anti-Racism

Information on the assessment of foreign school leaving certificates from the Central Office for Foreign Education

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sports

Professionally released on



Ministry of the Interior and Local Government of the State of Brandenburg, Department 21

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)