If you are a graduate of a German university of higher educational institution (Bachelor, Master, Diplo, Magister) and are a non-EU/EEA and Switzerland citizen, you can apply for residency permit up to 18 months for searching for a job after your graduation.

Who is eligible?

German Graduate

You are considered as German university graduate if you have completed your studies in Germany. If you spend for a semester in German university, you are not considered as German graduate.

Consecutive Application

The residence for finding a job can be issued if it is connected to and follows your residence permit for study. In case you have returned to your home country after graduation you can apply for this type of residency with validity up to 6 months. During this period you can take any type of job for your livelihood but upon receipt of an employment agreement, you have to change the type of your residency by referring to local immigration office. 

Application for this type of residency should be submitted to your local foreign nationals registration office.

What kind of occupation can I take after graduation in Germany?

Blue Card

The EU Blue Card is a working and residence permit offered to highly qualified and skilled citizens of non-EU countries. The term of the Blue Card depends on the term of the Employment Contract however, normally the Blue Card is initially granted maximum for 4 years. Applicant by having B1 German Certificate can apply for permanent residency after 2 years. In other cases and when the Contract is unlimited, application for permanent residency can be requested after three years since the time of issuance of the Blue Card. The Blue Card is granted to those that have an employment contract in Germany with payment of minimum of 55,200 Euro (2020) annually. In specific fields that suffer shortage of skilled labor the minimum salary for grant of the EU Blue Card is 43,056 Euro (2020). 

Regular Employment

In case you cannot find a job with the minimum salary requirement of Blue Card, you can get a job that is related to your studies and graduation field but its amount is less than the amount of Blue Card.  This will be considered as regular employment. It is important that your job contract would comply with the labor regulations of employment in Germany.  


In order that you can work as freelancer or self-employed after graduation and get residency permit on that basis you need to meet some requirements including that your skill and qualification is of relevant type to freelancer jobs or self-employment business; that there is commercial interest or local demand for your products or services in German market; that your business activity is likely to have a positive impact on German economy and that you have secured financing through loan commitment or capital. Grant of residence permit for these types of occupations may be subject to the approval of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) and Federal Employment Agency.   

Setting up a Company

Registering a Company in Germany is one of the freelancer/self-employed type of business activity that require creation of a new legal entity independent from the personality of the founder and shareholders. The Company can be owned by yourself as the single shareholder or you may have other partners as shareholders. The Company can be created regardless of the nationality of the founder; i.e. non Germans can also open Companies in Germany. There are different types of Companies in Germany that depending on the liabilities of the founder and shareholders are categorised. One of the major popular companies is the limited liability company or GmbH (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung). UG Company (haftungsbeschränkt) is also another type of GmbH Company that requires no minimum capital requirement for establishment. UG is subject to the GmbH Companies Act and same regulations of the GmbH are applicable on that. Aktiengesellschaft (AG) is the other type of companies that require higher minimum of capital and number of shareholders requirements. In this type, shares of the company have the capability to be listed in the stock exchange.  For further details regarding different types of companies and applicable regulations you can refer to relevant description for each type of company.  

Research Visa

As a qualified scientist or researcher you can apply to a recognised research institute for a temporary residency permit to continue your studies or research activity in your field. Under this title you can work in the institute as the researcher. You can apply for the residency permit based on your research or employment contract and can change it into other types of residency permit depending on the criteria of your job and professional involvement. This option is also offered to professional teachers. Further details in this regard can be reviewed in the research visa section. 

What documents are needed?

University Degree

This application can be made based on your graduation from a German university. However as it may take some time for the university to issue the Degree, you can ask for a confirmation letter from your university stating that you have successfully completed your examination.

2.Common Needed Documents

Valid Passport

German health insurance

Bank statement, guarantee or any other proof on your financial maintenance for term of your stay in Germany

Proof of your address registration in Germany

Filled out application form and photo