1.2 Residence Permit to Seek Employment

After a stay for the purpose of study, according to § 16b AufenthG (German Residence Act) and a successful completion of your studies you can apply, with our help, for a residence permit to seek employment in Germany according to § 20 (3). With this residence permit, you can gather work experience, complete internships or also work as a freelancer for 18 months after completion of your last examination. The goal is to find work that corresponds with your qualification (university degree).

enlightened  We can offer the service of submitting the application documents to the LEA Higher Education Office. If you want to submit your application to the LEA department yourself, please read the information on our Visa Service homepage.  


The following documents need to be submitted in the given order online in ONE PDF file to: visaservice@hu-berlin.de

  1. Application form for HU visa service (cover sheet)
    Please fill out this form so that we have an overview of all your information and contact details. This should be the first sheet of the entire PDF, followed by all other documents.
  2. Passport
    Please colour scan the pages in the passport with the personal details. The scan of the passports must also show the signature..
  3. Last residence permit
    Colour scan) with the additional sheet (Zusatzblatt) or copy of the last residence card.
  4. Certificate of successful completion of degree OR letter from the supervisor stating that the thesis has been submitted and passed with a grade of at least 4.0 and that all other coursework has been completed (Important: the date of submission must be visible).
  5. Transcript of records (Leistungsübersicht) from the examination office (Prüfungsbüro).
  6. Exmatriculation certificate (Exmatrikulationsbescheinigung) if already available, otherwise the current Studienbescheinigung.
  7. Proof of sufficient financial resources, bank statements of the last 6 months are mandatory as proof of financing; employment contract, internship contract or similar can be submitted additionally.
  8. Proof of health insurance, (the reference for proof of statutory health insurance must be no more than 3 months old) more... 
    The private health insurance must cover the duration of the stay in Berlin or be valid for at least 12 months.
  9. Current registration certificate (Meldebescheinigung).
  10. Proof of completed work applications (at least three applications, e.g. in the form of acknowledgements of receipt).
  11. Data privacy statement, the form can be edited and signed in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC under "Tools".


As soon as your documents have been processed, you will receive an e-mail from us with an appointment at the LEA office in Berlin-Charlottenburg. You will have to appear there in person to hand in your fingerprints. You will need to bring the following with you:

  • Passport
  • 1 current biometric passport photo, more...
  • Fee (cash or EC-card), amounts to about 110 euros
    Students with scholarships and funding from public German or EU funds will keep on being exempt from the fees.

Currently, the LEA issues the residence permit in the form of an adhesive label in the passport, which does not require fingerprints and costs less.

enlightened Please note that you are required to change the purpose of your residence permit as soon as you finish your studies, even if the expiration date is far in the future.

Even if you submit an application for a residence permit to seek employment somewhat later, the 18 months start counting on the day of the completion of your studies, i.e. on the day of your last exam. There is an entitlement to this residence permit.

See for more information: https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/324661/en


You can find further information on opportunities for international professionals in the portal Make it in Germany.



Visa Service

Unter den Linden 6

Consultation Hours:

Tuesdays via Zoom
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(+49 30)
20 93-46 746