Can I stay in Germany after my studies?

Working in Germany as a Non-EU Citizen with a German University Degree: Overview of the Most Important Rules and Regulations Citizens of non-EU-countries who have gained a degree from a German university can extend their residence permit in order to look for an appropriate vacancy for employment with the degree obtained (Article 16 Section 4 Residence Act [Aufenthaltsgesetz]). In 2011, a total of 7,392 foreign graduates took up employment in Germany and received a corresponding residence permit.

Please note the following:

  • Since August 2012, the residence permit can be extended to a maximum of 18 months.
  • During this “search phase”, there are no limits in taking up employment.
  • Once a job appropriate to the candidate’s qualification has been found, it is not necessary to verify whether privileged personnel from the EU are available. Further, the approval of the Federal Employment Agency is not required.
  • It is possible to receive a permanent residence permit earliest 2 years after the corresponding job acquired has been consequently pursued for 24 months, as well as the payment of pension fund fees.
  • The rules and regulations listed above apply to graduates of Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral studies at German universities, irrespective of the field of study taken up for the degree.

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