Staying in Germany
Upon completing their studies, many international students decide that they would like to remain in Germany. Please refer to our checklist for a detailed list of tasks that must be done upon completing your studies.
Some students go on to pursue a postgraduate degree. The international office of your university or Fachhochschule, as well as the academic faculties, can provide you with further information specific to the degree and institution you are interested in. You can also search for postgraduate degree programs in Germany through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). In addition, the DAAD has a scholarship database, as does the Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen (Association of German Foundations), which easily allows you to look into different funding possibilities. Additional scholarship information is available here.
Finding a Job in Germany
Other students wish to find a job in Germany. Many universities and Fachhochschulen in Berlin have career service offices that provide valuable information and workshops to assist students with their search for employment.
Students from European Union or European Economic Area countries and Switzerland may work in Germany without a work permit and do not need approval from the Federal Employment Agency to become employed in Germany. The European Employment Service (EURES) is a job mobility portal that provides information, advice, and job placement services for job seekers and employers of the European labor market. You can search in their online database for job offers in Germany and the other 27 EU and EEA countries. Germany’s Federal Employment Agency also has a Europe Service that is linked with the EURES network and that offers additional information on work and training opportunities in Germany, the rest of Europe, and worldwide.
If you are a student from a Non-EU/EAA country and have successfully completed your studies, you may extend your residence permit in Germany for an additional one year for the purpose of seeking employment. You can apply for this extension at the Foreigner Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde). You must be able to prove that you have adequate financial resources in order to support yourself while you search for a job.
In addition, during this one-year extension period, you still have the right to work 90 full days or 180 half days without a work permit.
Please note: upon completing your studies, your residence permit as a student is no longer valid, regardless of whether the permit was designated for a longer period of time. Without extending your residence permit, you cannot legally stay in Germany.
The majority of employment positions offered to non-EU/EAA citizens must be approved by the Federal Employment Agency. This applies to side jobs and temporary positions as well. Approval, on the other hand, is not needed for employment in the science, research, and development fields.
The Central Placement Office (ZAV) is the service of the Federal Employment Agency in Germany that places Germans in jobs abroad and international persons in jobs in Germany. The ZAV works with employment agencies thoughout Germany as well as with each Federal State’s employment administration.
AGEF (Arbeitsgruppe Entwicklung und Fachkräfte), an association of experts in the fields of migration and development cooperation, is another organization that assists international students in finding employment in Germany. AGEF offers a variety of workshops, counselling, and, in cooperation with the ZAV, job placement services.
You can search for current employment opportunities in Germany here, through the Federal Employment Agency’s website. The Stellenbörsen website is also a very useful resource with a variety of career information and links to other job search sites. In addition, various local and national newspapers, such as the Berliner Zeitung, Berliner Morgenpost, the Tagesspiegeland Die Zeitas well as Berlin.de and the city magazines Zitty and Tip, post job offers in Berlin and nationwide.