The legal framework of studying or working in Germany

Ein Beamter der Bundespolizei gibt einem Passagier im Düsseldorf International-Flughafen nach einer Ausweiskontrolle den Reisepass zurück. Enlarge image (© (c) dpa - Report) Jobseeker’s visa

The jobseeker’s visa (covered by Section 18c of the Residence Act) enables skilled professionals from countries outside the EU to come to Germany for up to six months so that they can look for a job commensurate with their qualifications. The conditions are that you must have higher-education qualifications and be able to support yourself financially. If you find an employer within those six months, you can apply for the necessary residence permit or EU Blue Card from within Germany, rather than having to leave and apply in your home country.

EU Blue Card

The EU Blue Card (covered by Section 19a of the Residence Act) is the key residence permit for university graduates from non-EU countries. Simple and unbureaucratic, it allows third-country nationals with a recognised university degree to take up employment in Germany commensurate with their qualifications. The only requirements are that the applicant can prove that he or she has completed a university degree and that they draw a minimum annual gross salary of 47,600 euros (2014) (37,128 euros in professions experiencing shortages of labour (2014)).

The EU Blue Card offers numerous privileges, including fast-tracked permanent resident status. This allows potential applicants to plan their future in Germany for the long term: after a stay of 33 months, the holder of an EU Blue Card may be granted a permanent settlement permit. If applicants are able to prove German language skills at level B1, the settlement permit is already granted after 21 months.

Video about the Blue Card:

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University instructor Enlarge image iversity.org: "We want to allow the best professors to teach thousands of students. On the other hand we want to enable students to take classes from the best professors around the globe." (© iversity.org) Visa for students

Germany is one of the world’s most popular destinations for students. Training qualified foreign students in German universities is among the German Government’s top priorities. If they complete their studies successfully, foreign nationals can extend their residence permit for up to 18 months in order to seek employment relevant to their qualification while here in Germany.

Information on family reunification

Simplifications made to visa rules for qualified professionals moving to Germany also apply to their family members. Among other things, this means a simplified and therefore faster visa procedure, no requirement to prove German language skills and, for family members of EU Blue Card holders, immediate and unrestricted access to the labour market.

The legal framework

Pass mit Ein- und Ausreisestempeln

Guide to higher education

Student from Africa studying in Germany

You can find more detailed information about the preconditions, framework requirements and opportunities of studying in Germany on the website.