Residence permit for the purpose of gainful employment Issuance for the purpose of employment in the case of qualified employment as a specialist with academic training

If you have a university degree and would like to work in Germany, you can obtain a residence permit under certain conditions.

A residence permit for employment as a specialist with academic training allows you access to the labour market in Germany. It can only be requested in person from your local immigration authority. Spouses of holders of a residence permit for the pursuit of a qualified employment are also entitled to a residence permit.

You can apply for a residence permit if you have completed your university studies. If you do not have a German university degree, your degree must either be recognised or comparable to a German university degree. You can already make the recognition or determination of comparability before you enter Germany.

You must also submit an employment contract or a binding job offer. From the age of 45, you must prove a certain minimum salary. The minimum gross salary is fixed annually and will be EUR 45,540 in 2020. Even if you do not reach this minimum salary, you can obtain a residence permit to carry out a qualified employment upon presentation of proof of adequate pension provision or in special cases. A particular case may be that there is a public interest in employment.

The Federal Employment Agency checks whether the working conditions correspond to those of comparable German workers and whether there is a domestic employment relationship.

The residence permit is a temporary residence permit. It is granted for an indefinite period of employment for 4 years and may be extended. If the duration of your employment relationship is less than 4 years, the residence permit will be issued for the duration of your employment contract.

As the holder of a residence permit to provide qualified employment for professionals with a university degree, you may also obtain a residence permit under certain conditions. This entitles you to a permanent stay.

Exception: As a national of an EU country, you have access to the labour market due to your right of free movement and do not need a residence permit. They may pursue a self-employed activity or employment in Germany within the framework of the right of establishment or the free movement of workers. This also applies to nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

Note: If you are highly qualified, the "Blue Card EU" may also be eligible for your residence permit. Other conditions apply, including a minimum salary regardless of age.

  • For entry with appropriate visa:
    • valid passport with visa
  • If a previous stay with a residence permit is available for another purpose:
    • valid passport
    • Residence permit


  • current biometric photo
  • Original employment contract or binding job offer
  • Original of the certificate of successfully completed higher education
  • if available:
    • Decision on the recognition or comparability of the university degree
    • Testimony assessment of the Central Office for Foreign Education
  • in the case of regulated professions: your professional licence (e.g. approval or professional permit)
  • Current registration certificate
  • if necessary: professional licence
  • Proof of your health insurance
  • Lease
  • Forms: yes
  • Online procedure possible: no
  • Written form required: yes
  • Personal appearance necessary: yes

The forms can be obtained from your competent immigration authority or on its website.


  • You have
    • a German university degree, or
    • a recognised foreign university degree, or
    • a foreign university degree comparable to a German university degree.
  • You have
    • a job or
    • a job offer.
  • You have a qualification that enables you to work.
  • If necessary, you have a professional licence, for example a pharmacist' certificate.
  • Working conditions and, in particular, salary must be comparable to that of a German worker, and the approval of the Federal Employment Agency is required.
  • You can secure your livelihood and health insurance coverage from your income without taking advantage of public benefits.
  • There is no interest in expulsion against you.
  • Your stay does not endanger or affect the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Related Links

  • Section 18, 18b paragraph 1 Residence Act (AufenthG)
  • Sections 3 - 8 Residence Act (AufenthG)
  • Section 39 Residence Act (AufenthG)

Related Links

  • Information on "As a university graduate to Germany" on the website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees
  • Information on the certificate assessment for foreign university qualifications on the website of the Conference of Ministers of Culture
  • Portal of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy for skilled workers from abroad

You must apply for your residence permit in person:

  • Arrange a preliminary appointment with the immigration authority responsible for your place of residence.
  • During the appointment, your proofs will be checked and your fingerprints for the electronic residence permit (eAT card) will be taken. The Authority will send your application to the Employment Agency.
  • The Employment Agency provides feedback to the Immigration Department.
  • If your application is approved, the immigration authority instructs the Federal Printing Office to produce the eAT card
  • You will receive a message by post that your application has been approved and the eaT card is being produced or that your application has been rejected.
  • Since the eAT card is connected to an online identification function, you must collect it in person.
  • You will receive information by post that you can collect the eAT card from the immigration authority.

Responsible in the state of Brandenburg are the immigration authorities of the districts / district-free cities

Responsible for the content
Federal Ministry of the Interior, Construction and Homeland

Last update or date of publication