10.1.2 Seeking employment in Germany after graduation

Many international students want to seek employment in Germany after graduation. After successful completion of studies, you need to apply to the Foreigners' Registration Office for an extension of the residence permit according to § 16 paragraph 5 AufenthG. (5.1.3) If the application for extension takes place at a later date, the residence permit will be issued and dated according to the day of the completion of studies, corresponding to § 16 paragraph 5.

In accordance with the current legislation of the Aufenthaltsgesetz § 16 V AufenthG, a residence permit may be extended for up to 18 months:

  • in order to seek employment appropriate for the obtained university degree, or
  • for setting up a business in accordance with § 21 paragraph 2a AufenthG, and
  • if the position may be filled by a foreigner in accordance with §§ 18-21 AufenthG.

To be granted an extension, evidence of appropriate employment-seeking efforts (applications, etc.) must be submitted to the Foreigners' Registration Office.

While the job search continues, you may take up any employed or self-employed work. The 18-month duration of the residence permit is intended to assist the graduate in finding employment that is appropriate to the obtained university degree. Every new university degree successfully obtained in Germany initiates the legal consequences of paragraph 5, meaning that the period of 18 months will be valid again in its entirety.

You can find more information on work opportunities in Germany online at Make it in Germany.