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Applying for a residence permit to look for a job after completing your studies

As a foreign graduate of a German university, you can apply for a residence permit to look for a job after completing your studies.

The employment you are looking for must be one that you are qualified to do on the basis of your qualifications. The desired gainful activity may also be self-employed.

This residence permit can be issued for up to 18 months. The residence permit serves only the one-time purpose of seeking employment and cannot be extended beyond this maximum period.

While looking for work, any gainful employment is permitted and does not require a permit.

Process flow

  • Find out whether your immigration authority allows you to submit your application online or has 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 upon receipt of your application to make an appointment.
  • During the appointment, your identity and documents will be checked (please bring your documents, preferably original, to the appointment).
  • If your request is granted, your fingerprints will be taken for the production of a new electronic residence title (eAT card). The Foreigners' Registration Office commissions Bundesdruckerei to produce the eAT card. After completion, you will receive information and can pick up the residence permit at the responsible office. The eAT card must always be picked up in person.
  • If your application is rejected, you will receive a rejection notice.


  • You have a recognized and valid identity document (for example, passport or passport substitute).
  • You have a valid residence permit for the purpose of studying (§ 16b or § 16c of the Residence Act).
  • You have successfully completed your studies in Germany and the validity period of your residence permit will expire in the near future.
  • You can secure your livelihood and health insurance coverage without using public benefits.
  • There is no interest in expulsion against you.

Your stay does not endanger or impair the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Which documents are required?

  • Recognized and valid identity document (for example, passport or passport substitute)
  • Current biometric photo in passport format (45 x 35 mm)
  • Valid residence permit for the purpose of studying (§ 16b or § 16c of the Residence Act)
  • Proof of successful completion of studies in Germany
  • Proof of securing one's livelihood (e.g. employment contract, equity, blocked account, declaration of commitment)
  • Proof of health insurance coverage
  • Current registration certificate

In individual cases, the Foreigners' Registration Office may require less or further proof.

What are the fees?

Fee 98,00 EUR


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

Fee: 98,00 EUR
Payment in advance: No

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

The application should be received by the Foreigners' Registration Office no later than 8 weeks before your valid residence permit expires.

The residence permit is issued for a limited period of 18 months. The extension of the residence permit beyond this maximum period is excluded.

Processing duration

The duration of the application processing depends on the local conditions as well as on the factual accuracy of the information in the application and the completeness of the application documents.

Applications / forms

Forms available: No

Written form required: Yes

Informal application possible: No

Personal appearance required: Yes


  • Appeal against the decision of the Foreigners' Registration Office
  • Action before the court named in the notice of opposition if the objection is not complied with

Portal of the Federal Government for skilled workers from abroad, here: Perspectives after graduation:

Information from the Federal Employment Agency on access to the labour market for people from abroad (e.g. Migration Check for Employees, Leaflet on Employment of Foreign Workers in Germany):

Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs:

International Placement Service (ZAV):

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sport


Ministry of the Interior and Municipal Affairs 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)