Are you about to finish your studies at Europa-Universität Flensburg, and you want to stay on in Germany after you graduate? In the sections below you will find detailed information about extending your residence permit and getting a job.
After graduating, you have two options if you want to remain in Germany once your student residence permit expires:
- Apply for a residence permit for job seekers – if you do not have a job offer.
- Apply for a residence permit for working – if you have a job offer.
Switching to a Job-Seeker Residence Permit
After you graduate (but before your student residence permit expires) you can apply for a residence permit as a job seeker. This permit allows you to stay in Germany for another six months after graduation, during which time you can look for employment.
If you find a suitable job and meet all the requirements, you can convert it into a work permit and stay in Germany indefinitely.
Switching to a Work Residence Permit
If you have a job offer as soon as you graduate, then you can simply switch your student permit into a work permit. The German residence permit for employment is issued for two years, with the possibility of extension (as long as you still have a job).
If you meet the requirements set by the immigration authorities, then you can also apply for a residence permit and work as a freelancer in Germany.
Graduates of German universities have a facilitated path to the settlement permit.
To be able to work in Germany, you need a valid residence permit.
Residence Permit for Seeking Employment
After graduation, you can have your residence permit extended for up to 18 months in order to look for a job in Germany that matches your qualifications, or to start a business. You will need to apply at your designated immigration office (Office of Foreigners’ Affairs/Auslanderbehörde) and you can do so just as soon as you have passed your last university exam. Of course, if you have already found job that fits with your qualifications before you graduate, you can skip this step. During your job search, you are allowed to take on any gainful activity (including self-employment).
Residence Permit for Taking Up Employment
Once you have found a job that matches your qualifications, you can choose one of the following residence permits:
Which type to choose depends largely on your personal situation and individual needs. You should seek advice from your designated Office of Foreigners’ Affairs (Auslanderbehörde) when applying.
Detailed information on residence regulations and all aspects of working and living in Germany can be found on the German federal government's portal for skilled workers from abroad.
If you have any further questions, feel free to contact the Counseling and Recognition Office for International and Refugee Students.
CampusCareeroffers individual counseling, a job and internship exchange, and networking fairs like CampusCareerDay. CampusCareer activities are aimed at all students of Europa-Universität Flensburg and the Flensburg University of Applied Sciences.
A joint institution of the Germany Federal Employment Agency and a Flensburg local authority, the Flensburg Job Center works to support jobseekers, among other things.
The continuing education center Arbeit und Leben Schleswig-Holstein offers free advice on fair working conditions in Germany.
Do you want to become self-employed in Germany and start your own company? Then check out the VentureWærft start-up community. We support you throughout the start-up development process – from your first idea through to your successful start-up launch.
In addition to the free support offered in Dock1 on the Flensburg campus, VentureWærft has a broad network comprised of business promoters and supporters, as well as established companies and start-ups.
The WEstartup.SH platform is a community for people who are interested or involved creating new businesses and start-ups by women. WEstartup.SH is here to help you develop your startup idea into a concept, and connects you with local contact persons.