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Applying for a residence permit to carry out a qualification measure

You can obtain a residence permit to carry out a qualification measure if a recognition procedure has been carried out at an office responsible for the recognition of professional qualifications in Germany and the recognition authority has determined that the qualification measures for the
- the recognition of your professional qualification (determination of equivalence to a national professional qualification) or
- for the issuance of a licence to practise a profession (access to the profession)
are required.
Qualification measures include adaptation and compensatory 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 permit. It is granted for the duration of the qualification measure, up to a maximum of 18 months.
With your residence permit, you may pursue employment independent of the qualification measure for up to 10 hours per week in order to exercise foreign professional qualifications.

Process flow

The residence permit must be applied for at the immigration authority responsible for your place of residence. 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.

Fees apply for the issuance 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

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 required for entry - 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.
- The authority responsible for the recognition of your professional qualification in Germany has issued a decision stating that you lack practical or theoretical knowledge or skills to achieve full equivalence and that the adjustment, compensatory measures or other qualifications are necessary to determine the equivalence of your foreign professional qualification with a domestic professional qualification.
If you carry out an activity the commencement or exercise of which is bound by legal or administrative provisions to the possession of certain professional qualifications (e.g. doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, educators or engineers, so-called regulated professions), it must follow from the decision that adjustment or compensatory measures are necessary for the granting of the professional licence.
- You have successfully registered for a corresponding qualification measure.
- The qualification measure is appropriate to enable the recognition of the professional qualification or access to the profession.
- You have at least German language skills at level A2
- In the case of predominantly in-company vocational training, the Federal Employment Agency has approved the qualification measure if approval is not dispensable (approval is usually obtained from the immigration authority).
- Your livelihood is secured.

Which documents are required?

- Valid passport
- Current biometric photo
- Visa, if required
- Deficit notice of the recognition authority
- Proof of at least sufficient knowledge of German at level A 2
- Proof of the intended qualification measure, if necessary. Continuing education plan
- Proof of subsistence
- Proof of your health insurance

What are the fees?

Issue of residence permit: EUR 100.00

Under certain conditions, a fee reduction or 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

§ 16d Abs. 1 AufenthG

Applications / forms

- Forms: Forms can be obtained from your immigration office, if necessary they are also offered online
- Online procedures possible in some cases
- Written form required: yes
- Personal appearance required: 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.

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)