Apply for a residence permit for employment as a specialist with academic training
If you have a university degree and would like to pursue an employment in Germany to which the degree qualifies you, you can obtain a corresponding residence permit under certain conditions.
A residence permit for employment as a specialist with academic training gives you access to the labour market in Germany. It can only be applied for in person at your local immigration authority. Spouses of holders of the residence permit for the purpose of qualifying employment are also entitled to a residence permit.
You can apply for a residence permit if you have completed your university degree. 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 recognise or establish 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 set annually and amounts to EUR 45,540 in 2020. Even if you do not reach this minimum salary, you can obtain a residence permit to pursue qualified employment upon presentation of proof of an adequate pension or, in special cases, a residence permit. A special 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 employees and whether there is a domestic employment relationship.
The residence permit is a temporary residence permit. It is granted for 4 years in the case of permanent employment relationships and can 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 a holder of a residence permit for the exercise of qualified employment for professionals with a university degree, you can also obtain a settlement permit under certain conditions. This entitles you to permanent residence.
Exception: As a citizen of an EU country, you have access to the labour market due to your right to freedom of movement and do not need a residence permit. You can 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 "EU Blue Card" may also be an option as a residence permit for you. Other requirements apply, including a minimum salary regardless of age.
When entering the country with an appropriate visa:
- valid passport with visa
If there is a previous stay with a residence permit for another purpose:
- valid passport
- Residence permit
- current biometric photo
- Original of the employment contract or binding job offer
- Original of the certificate of successfully completed higher education
- Decision on the recognition or comparability of the university degree
- Certificate assessment of the Central Office for Foreign Education
- for regulated professions: Your professional license (e.g. approbation or professional license)
- Current registration certificate
- if necessary: professional license
- Proof of your health insurance
- 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 their website.
- a German university degree, or
- a recognised foreign university degree, or
- a foreign university degree comparable to a German university degree.
- a workplace, or
- a job offer.
- You have a qualification that qualifies you to work.
- If necessary, you have a professional license, for example a license to practice medicine.
- Working conditions and in particular salary must be comparable to those of a German employee, the consent of the Federal Employment Agency is required.
- You can secure your livelihood and health insurance coverage from your income without using public benefits.
- There is no interest in expulsion against you.
- Your stay does not endanger or adversely affect the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.
§§ 18, 18b paragraph 1 Residence Act (AufenthG)
§ 3 8 Residence Act (AufenthG)
§ 39 Residence Act (AufenthG)
You must apply for your residence permit in person:
- Make an 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 sends your application to the Employment Agency.
- The Employment Agency provides feedback to the Foreigners' Registration Office.
- If your application is approved, the Foreigners' Registration Office instructs Bundesdruckerei 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 ID function, you will need to pick it up in person.
- You will receive information by post that you can pick up the eAT card at the Foreigners' Registration Office.
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Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community
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