Residence permit

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Residence Permit for Job Seeking

You can apply for a job seeker's residence permit if you hold an accredited degree and wish to find qualified employment in Germany.

Foreign nationals (non-EU and EEA) can apply for a job seeker's residence permit if they hold an accredited degree and wish to find qualified employment in Germany. If you manage to find qualified employment while on a job seeker’s residence permit, you can then apply for a residence permit for employment.

The Hamburg Welcome Center will be pleased to support you in your job search. Get in contact with us!


Job seeking residence permit with a recognised university degree

If you have a German or recognised foreign university degree, or a foreign university degree equivalent to a German university degree, you can apply for a residence permit to search for a job that matches your qualification. The residence permit for job search is valid for up to 6 months and cannot be extended. With this residence permit, you are allowed to work up to ten hours a week on a trial basis. 

If you have found an appropriate job during this period, you can apply for a Residence Permit for Employment, for Researchers or the EU Blue Card.


Requirements


Visa for job seeker
Exceptions

  • Citizens of certain countries can apply for a residence permit after entering Germany. More on this in the article on visas.
  • Citizens of the EU, the EEA and Switzerland enjoy unrestricted freedom of movement.

Proof of a German or a recognised foreign university degree, or a foreign university degree equivalent to a German university degree.

You need to be able to secure your livelyhood without using public funds. Alternatively you can present a Declaration of Commitment.

Sufficient health insurance (Annex 2).


Job seeking residence permit with a German degree

If you were on a student's residence permit and have successfully completed your studies at a German university, you can extend your residence permit by a maximum of 18 months with the purpose of finding qualified employment in Germany. During this process, you may take up any kind of job to support your livelihood.


Requirements

You must have completed a university degree (Bachelor, Master, Diploma, etc.) in Germany.

The residence permit for job seeking can be granted only if it connects to a residence permit for the purpose of studying (according to § 16b or §16c AufenthG).

You need to be able to secure your livelyhood without using public funds. Alternatively you can present a Declaration of Commitment.

Sufficient health insurance (Annex 1).


Job seeking residence permit with recognised vocational training

If you have a German professional qualification or a foreign professional qualification equivalent to a German professional qualification, you can apply for a residence permit to look for a job that matches your qualification. The residence permit for job seeking is valid for up to six months and cannot be extended. With this residence permit, you are allowed to work up to ten hours a week on a trial basis. 
If you have found a suitable job within this period, you can apply for a residence permit for employment.


Requirements

Visa for job seeker
Exceptions

  • Citizens of certain countries can apply for a residence permit after entering Germany. More on this in the article on visas.
  • Citizens of the EU, the EEA and Switzerland enjoy unrestricted freedom of movement.

Proof of a qualified German or equivalent foreign professional qualification.

Language skills that correspond to the desired activity; usually at least B1.

You need to be able to secure your livelyhood without using public funds. Alternatively you can present a Declaration of Commitment.

Sufficient health insurance.


Job seeking residence permit after vocational training in Germany

If you have successfully completed a qualified vocational training in Germany, you can, under certain conditions, be granted a residence permit valid for up to 1 year. You can take any job during this period.

If you get an employment offer during this period, you can apply for a Residence Permit for Employment. You can also get a Residence Permit for Self-Employment.


Requirements

The residence permit for job search can only be granted, if it follows a residence permit for the purpose of vocational training (according to § 16a AufenthG).

You need to be able to secure your livelyhood without using public funds. Alternatively you can present a Declaration of Commitment.

Sufficient health insurance.


Submit application

Submit application

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Apply for a residence permit

Information and documents for applying for your residence permit in Hamburg can be found in the Forms and Checklists section.

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