Applying for a Work Permit After Graduation From University for Foreigners in Germany

Holzstempel auf Dokument: Arbeitserlaubnis

You’ve studied at the University and you now need a work permit in order to transition from being a student to a “professional” employee. 

In August 2012, the law was updated to simplify the process for the numerous foreign students who were graduating in Germany each year. Germany needs professionals but the law as it was at the time, would encourage more students to flee Germany instead of work for the system that educated them.

The process depends on what you studied at the University.

Worth noting is that after graduation, you also have the chance to apply for an EU Blue Card instead of the traditional work permit, here are the requirements for that.



For the MINT Professions

Those in the field of Mathematics, Medicine, Natural Sciences, IT and Engineering fall under this group.

  • Find a job, go through the process and get the contract signed
  • Together with the contract and your passport, go to your nearest migration office (depending on your area, you might need to make an appointment before showing up) and submit your application for a work permit

The process takes anything from a few days to a few weeks, this is because although the application does go through Arbeitsamt, this is only to inform them thus it doesn’t depend on their approval process.


For ALL other professions

  • Find yourself a job.
  • Obtain the 2 forms: “Antrag auf Erlaubnis einer Beschäftigung, die der Zustimmung der Bundesagentur für Arbeit bedarf” and the “Stellenbeschreibung”  from the immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) in your area,
  • The employer must fill out and sign the  “Stellenbeschreibung” form. Signing the form shows the employer’s consent to the job offer being advertised by the Federal Job Agency. Consider the duration of the application process when picking a starting date for the job. The process may take upto a couple of months in some cases.
  • Submit the forms to the immigration authorities. Carry your passport to do this.
  • Now you have to wait several weeks (unfortunately, this sometimes takes even months especially if you apply during summer when most “beamters” are on holiday). Only when the authorities believe that the workplace can not be conveyed to a privileged worker, do you get the work permit.
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  1. Finding a Job or Ausbildung in Germany | Mkenya Ujerumani
  2. Work Permit (Arbeitserlaubnis) vs EU Blue Card for Foreign Students in Germany | Mkenya Ujerumani

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