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Applying for a residence permit to carry out a qualification measure

You can be granted a residence permit to carry out a qualification measure if a recognition procedure has been carried out at a body responsible in Germany for the recognition of professional qualifications and the recognition body has established that the qualification measures are necessary for the
- the recognition of your professional qualification (determination of equivalence to a domestic professional qualification) or
- for the granting of a licence to practise your profession (admission to the profession)
are required.
Qualification measures include adaptation and compensation measures in theoretical and practical form (internships in the company, theoretical courses, mixed forms), preparatory courses for examinations and language courses.
The residence permit for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications is a temporary residence title. It is issued for the duration of the qualification measure, but for a maximum of 18 months.
With your residence permit for the purpose of exercising foreign professional qualifications, you may exercise an occupation independent of the qualification measure for up to 10 hours per week.

Process flow

The residence permit must be applied for at the aliens' registration office responsible for your place of residence. The procedure is as follows:

  • Depending on the foreigners authority and your concerns, it may be possible to apply via the internet. Find out whether your foreigners authority offers electronic application for the residence permit.
  • If the application is only possible in person, make an appointment with the Aliens' Registration Office. During the appointment, your application will be accepted and your supporting documents will be checked (bring them with you to the appointment). Your fingerprints will be taken for the production of an electronic residence permit (eAT card).
  • In the case of an electronic application, the Aliens' Registration Office will contact you after receiving your online application to arrange an appointment at the Aliens' Registration Office if necessary. During the appointment, your documents will be checked (please bring them with you to the appointment) and your fingerprints will be taken for the production of the electronic residence permit (eAT card).
  • If your application is granted, the Aliens' Registration Office will arrange for the eAT card to be produced.
  • After about six to eight weeks you can collect the eAT card from the Aliens' Registration Office.
  • The eAT card must always be collected in person.

There are fees for the issuing of the residence permit. The timing and form of payment vary depending on the authority.

Who should I contact?

The foreigners authority responsible for the applicant's place of residence.

Free advice on the topics of entry, residence and occupation is also available from the 'Hotline Working and Living in Germany' from the Federal Government's portal for skilled workers from abroad. Telephone: 030 1815-1111 Service hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


- You have a recognised and valid passport or passport replacement and - if required for entry - an appropriate visa.
- There is no interest in deportation against you.
- Your stay does not endanger or impair the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.
- The authority responsible for the recognition of your professional qualification in Germany has determined by means of a decision that you lack practical or theoretical knowledge or skills to achieve full equivalence and that adaptation, compensatory measures or further qualifications are required to establish the equivalence of your foreign professional qualification with a domestic professional qualification.
If you exercise an activity, the commencement or exercise of which is bound by legal or administrative regulations to the possession of certain professional qualifications (e.g. in the case of doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, educators or engineers, so-called regulated professions), it must be clear from the decision that adaptation or compensatory measures are necessary for the granting of the professional practice permit.
- You have successfully registered for a corresponding qualification measure.
- The qualification measure is suitable to enable the recognition of the professional qualification or the access to the profession.
- You have at least A2-level German language skills.
- In the case of predominantly in-company vocational training, the Federal Employment Agency has approved the qualification measure if the approval is not dispensable (the approval is usually obtained from the Foreigners' Registration Office).
- Your livelihood is secured.

Which documents are required?

- Valid passport
- Current biometric photo
- Visa, if required
- Deficit notice from the recognition authority
- Proof of at least sufficient German language skills at level A 2
- Proof of the intended qualification measure, if necessary further training plan
- Proof of livelihood
- rental contract
- Proof of health insurance

What are the fees?

Issue of residence permit: EUR 100.00

Under certain conditions, a fee reduction or fee exemption may be considered.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

  • The residence permit should be applied for at least eight weeks before the expiry of your valid visa.

Processing duration

about six to eight weeks

Legal basis

Section 16d (1) Residence Act

Applications / forms

- Forms: Forms can be obtained from your foreigners authority, possibly they are also offered online.
- Online procedure possible in some cases
- Written form required: yes
- Personal appearance necessary: yes


  • An action may be brought before the competent administrative court against a negative decision of the Foreigners' Registration Office.
  • A pre-litigation procedure (opposition) does not take place in Lower Saxony.
  • Detailed information can be found in the negative decision.

- Portal of the Federal Government for skilled workers from abroad
- Central Office for Professional Recognition:
- Recognition in Germany:

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sport


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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