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Completing the Course of Study - foreign Students

Graduates from Member States of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland can take up paid employment in Germany after their studies.

In case of graduates from other countries who wish to take up employment relating to their course of study in Germany after completing their degree, the residency permit can be extended for up to 18 months following completion of the course of study in order to find employment which is reasonably connected to their subject.

The residency permit provides an entitlement to take up paid employment during this period of time. Should the course of study be successfully completed, the residency permit may be issued or extended for a different purpose of residence, for example to take up employment.

Should the course of study be ended without graduating, the residency permit can be used for vocational training in an under filled occupation. Should the course of study be ended prematurely, it is also possible to change the purpose of the residency permit if a legal claim to the issuing of a residency permit for a different purpose exists. During a course of study, a residency permit can generally only be issued for a different purpose if a legal claim to this exists (for example entry of family members).

It is also possible to apply for an extension of the residency permit to take up a professional internship after completion of the course of study, provided that the internship is necessary taking the nature of the subject into account, ie it forms part of the vocational training.

Detailed information

Further information concerning regulations, for example for foreign university graduates who wish to stay in Germany in order to pursue a PhD or work as a visiting researcher can be obtained from the Foreigners' Authority and the Agencies for Work.

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Innenministerium released it on 04.12.2020. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.

In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.