What should I keep in mind?
After getting your degree from a German university institution you have many opportunities for launching your career. Many international graduates remain in Germany for some time to gain valuable work experience und to build an international career. However, there are certain requirements to meet if you would like to stay in Germany to work.
Graduates from the European Union and the European Economic Area can look for and accept an employment in Germany without any restrictions.
Citizens of other countries must meet other requirements. Firstly, you may apply for an 18-month residence permit from the local foreign nationals’ registration office to look for a suitable job. 18 months start as soon as you receive the result of your final exam. Your job search should be for the positions that correspond to your qualifications. Furthermore, you must demonstrate that your living costs are covered for this period of time. As an alternative solution, you can provide a declaration of commitment which is a guarantee provided by another German resident covering all living costs that may occur during your stay in Germany.
If you succeed in finding a job during this period or you have found a job corresponding to your university degree before graduation you can proceed with the next step: Applying for the residence permit for taking up employment.
You can decide if you want to apply for a German residence permit or an EU Blue Card for the next part of your stay. Applying for an EU Blue Card is suitable for certain cases, for more information you can visit the website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugeesor the website Visaguide. Also, you can ask advice from your local foreign nationals' registration office.
Two years after receiving your German or EU Blue Card residence permit, you can apply for a permanent residence permit (residence permit without a time limit) - Being employed in Germany is mandatory.
Further detailed information on studying in Germany can also be found here.
If you belong to one of the European Union member states or to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland you are also entitled to work as an independent professional in Germany.
If you are a non-EU citizen and you would like to run your own business, you need to apply for a special residence permit allowing you to exercise a self-employed activity (Selbstständige Tätigkeit).
If the business you are planning to set up is related your university degree, your chances of getting a residence permit usually increase.
The residence permit allowing self-employment is usually temporary. Only if your business is successful and you can support yourself financially, you can have your residence permit extended. After three years, you can apply for a permanent residence permit (residence permit without a time limit).
There is also another type of self-employment (freiberufliche Tätigkeit) that allows you to exercise certain kinds of independent professions, such as translation job.
In this case you also need a special residence permit that will allow you to exercise this kind of activity. The residence permit entitling you to work as an independent professional is usually temporary. If your independent profession is successful and you are able to support yourself financially, your residence permit may be extended.
There are different government funding programs and start-up grants, so it is recommended to check whether they apply to your project. It is an opportunity to gain additional financial support for your start-up.
You can find more detailed information about starting business in Germany here.
There are a lot of ways of embarking upon a scientific career in Germany: working as a research assistant, doing doctoral research at a certain company while working there, doctoral programs, research training groups or graduate schools.
If you are an EU citizen and decide to pursue a scientific career in Germany, you do not need any special residence permit.
If you come from a Non-EU country, you need to have your residence permit extended by your local foreign nationals' registration office. In this case, your certificate of matriculation, health insurance and the proof that you can support yourself financially are usually required. For detailed information you should check with the foreign residents’ registration office.
The „Research in Germany“ portal provides an overview of the German research landscape and financing possibilities as well as practical information for international scientists and researchers.