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Applying for a residence permit to look for a job for skilled workers with vocational training

You can obtain a residence permit for job search for skilled workers if you have completed qualified vocational training in Germany. Qualified vocational training exists if you have completed vocational training in a state-recognised or comparably regulated training occupation. The training period must have been at least two years. If you have completed your vocational training abroad, the equivalence of your qualification with the German, qualified vocational training must be determined by the responsible recognition body (e.g. the Chamber of Industry or Commerce). become.

If you wish to work in a regulated profession, the required professional permit must have already been issued or promised when the residence permit for job search is issued. Regulated professions are professional activities the taking-up or pursuit of which is subject by legislative, regulatory or administrative provisions to the possession of certain professional qualifications. Regulated professions in Germany are, for example, doctor, nurse, lawyer, teacher, educator or engineer.

If you are already in Germany, you can obtain a residence permit to look for a job if you were immediately in possession of a residence permit for gainful employment or a residence permit for the purpose of the study-related EU internship.

With the residence permit for job search, you can take up a trial job, which the qualification qualifies you to exercise, for up to ten hours per week.

The residence permit is issued for up to six months.

Process flow

The procedure is as follows:

  • Depending on the immigration authority and concerns, it may be possible to apply via the Internet. Find out whether your immigration authority offers the electronic application for a residence permit.
  • If the application is only possible in person, make an appointment with the Foreigners' Registration Office. During the appointment, your application will be received and your supporting documents will be checked (bring them with you to the appointment). Your fingerprints will be taken to produce an electronic residence permit (eAT card).
  • In the event of an electronic application, the Foreigners' Registration Office will contact you upon receipt of your online application in order to make an appointment at the Foreigners' Registration Office if necessary. During the appointment, your documents will be checked (bring them with you to the appointment) and your fingerprints will be taken for the production of the electronic residence title (eAT card).
  • If your application is granted, the Foreigners' Registration Office will arrange for the eAT card to be produced.
  • After about six to eight weeks, you can pick up the eAT card at the Foreigners' Registration Office.

The eAT card must always be picked up in person.

Who should I contact?

You can also get free advice on the topics of entry, residence and work from the "Hotline Working and Living in Germany" of the Federal Government's portal for skilled workers from abroad.

Phone: 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 substitute and – if this was required for entry into Germany – an appropriate visa.
  • There is no interest in expulsion against you.
  • Your stay does not endanger or impair the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • You own
    - qualified vocational training in Germany, or
    - an equivalent foreign professional qualification
  • The subject of your job search is employment as a specialist.
  • You have German language skills that correspond to the desired activity. As a rule, German language skills at least at level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages are required.
  • If necessary, you have a professional license or a commitment to grant it.
  • You can secure your livelihood and health insurance cover from your own resources without recourse to public services.

Which documents are required?

  • Valid passport or passport substitute
  • Visa, if this was required for entry into Germany
  • Current biometric photo
  • Original certificate of successfully completed vocational training
  • In the case of foreign professional qualifications: notification of the determination of the equivalence of the foreign professional qualification with a domestic qualified vocational training if available
  • In the case of regulated professions: authorisation to practise a profession or a commitment to grant
  • Proof of German language skills
  • Proof of securing one's livelihood (e.g. equity, blocked account, declaration of commitment)
  • Proof of your health insurance
  • Current registration certificate

What are the fees?

Issue of residence permit: EUR 100.00

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


  • Additional fees may apply for the issuance of the residence permit in the form of an electronic residence title, which can also be used as an electronic proof of identity.
  • The timing and form of charging and payment vary depending on the authority.

Fee: 100,00 EUR
Payment in advance: No

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

  • The residence permit should be applied for no later than eight weeks before your visa or current residence permit expires.
  • The residence permit is issued for a maximum of six months.

Processing duration

about six to eight weeks.

Applications / forms

  • Online procedures possible in some cases
  • Written form required
  • Personal appearance required


  • An action may be brought before the competent administrative court against a negative decision of the immigration authority.
  • A preliminary procedure (opposition) does not take place in Lower Saxony.
  • Detailed information can be found in the rejection decision.

  • Portal of the Federal Government for skilled workers from abroad

  • Information portal of the Federal Government on the recognition of foreign professional qualifications:

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)