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

If you have not yet reached the age of 25 and want to complete qualified vocational training in Germany, but still have not found a training place, you can receive an extension of your residence permit to look for an apprenticeship 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 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 for at least as long after your departure as you previously stayed in Germany to look for an apprenticeship.

The residence permit is again issued for a limited period, but for a maximum period of six months in total.

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 application is granted, your fingerprints will be taken to produce the residence permit in the form 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 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 immigration authority responsible for the place of residence of the applicant is responsible for processing the application.


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

  • They are also looking for a training place for the implementation of 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 fixed).
  • This total period of validity of your residence permit of six months has not yet been exhausted. Alternatively, you have stayed abroad for at least as long after your departure as you were previously in Germany on the basis of your 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:
    • Completion of a German school abroad: The qualification obtained at a German school abroad must be a secondary school leaving certificate (e.g. Hauptschulabschluss, Realschulabschluss, entitlement to transition to the gymnasiale Oberstufe, Fachhochschulreifeprüfung, Hochschulreifeprüfung or foreign school leaving certificate that entitles the holder to study in Germany or at least to study in the country in which the German school abroad is based).
    • School-leaving certificate entitling the holder to university in the Federal Republic of Germany: This may be a German school-leaving certificate obtained in Germany or a foreign school-leaving certificate. The decisive factor is that the school leaving certificate entitles the holder to university admission (university and university of applied sciences) in Germany.
    • School-leaving certificate entitling the holder to higher education in the country in which the school leaving certificate was obtained: This must be determined by means of the anabin database. If the degree is listed in the anabin database, a formal examination of the certificate is not required. Only if the qualification is not listed in the anabin database, it can be checked in individual cases by means of an individual examination by the competent certificate recognition offices of the federal states.
  • You can secure your livelihood and health insurance cover from your own resources without recourse to public services.
  • There is no interest in expulsion against you.

Which documents are required?

In principle, the extension of your residence permit requires the presentation of the same documents as for the first issue:

  • Recognized and valid identity document (for example, passport or passport substitute)
  • Current biometric photo in passport format (45 x 35 mm)
  • Proof of securing one's livelihood (for example, from one's 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 parents with custody cannot submit the application jointly on behalf of their child, a written power of attorney from the absent parent is required; if custody is vested in only one parent, the signature of that parent is sufficient.
  • Proof of German language skills at level B2 (e.g. language certificate)
  • Proof of school leaving certificate entitling to university admission.
  • Proof of departure and duration of stay abroad

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

What are the fees?

Cost amount (fixed):

  • 96,00 for a further stay of up to three months
  • 48,00 Euro for minor 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 minor applicants for a further stay of more than three months


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

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

In certain cases, reductions or exemptions from fees 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
At the latest six weeks to eight weeks before the expiry of the current residence permit, the application should be received by the Foreigners' Registration Office.

Period of Validity: 6 Months
The residence permit is again limited in 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. The production of the electronic residence permit by Bundesdruckerei takes about four weeks to six weeks.

Applications / forms

Forms available: No

Written form required: No

Informal application possible: Yes

Personal appearance required: Yes


  • Objection against the decision of the Foreigners' Registration Office within one month of notification
  • Action before the court named in the notice of opposition if the objection is not complied with
  • 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.

What else should I know?

  • The extension of the residence permit is at the discretion of the competent 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 discontinued, 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) Residence Act and in cases of a legal claim (for example for the purpose of studying). This does not affect the possibility of changing to a stay for the purpose of qualified vocational training (§ 16a Residence Act) after successful completion of the search.
  • The procedure is usually carried out 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 procedure and be detrimental to those affected. In an emergency, incorrect or incomplete information that is not completed or corrected in time vis-à-vis the immigration authority may result in the withdrawal of residence rights already granted, a fine, imprisonment of 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.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sport

Professionally released on



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)