Source: Germany Simplified
Germany is known for its free education from the German public institutions (though the education is not fully free as there are annual costs which both the national and international students have to bear). If you want to stay in Germany after your studies, you need a Germany post study work visa. you should start planning for this as early as possible as a lot needs to be managed. Given that Germany is a preferred destination for international students around the world for the MS studies, the competition is really high too.
For staying abroad after the studies, post-study work permits are one of the most important factors. Germany is no different and has separate permits for EU and Non-EU students. There are some mandatory guidelines to acquire a Germany post study work visa, and in this blog, we will elaborate on those aspects.
Types of Germany Post Study Work Visa
EU and Non-EU students have different rules for working in Germany after completing their studies.
Citizens of the EU are not required to have a work permit to seek work in Germany. Their passport is the only document required. The reason for this is that EU citizens and students are treated the same way as German residents in terms of employment, social and tax advantages and working conditions. This has a lot to do with the fact that the EU is essentially the European Union, and hence all the countries have a policy of treating people from all the EU countries as their own, with the same or similar policies.
Non-EU/EEA students planning to stay and work in Germany after completing their Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate program from a German University would be required to apply for a Residence Permit. The period permitted by the Immigration Laws to look for a job as per the field of qualification of studies is 18 months. If you fail to get a job related to your studies, you would be required to leave Germany at the end of 18 months.
One important point to be considered is that the Germany post study work visa does not come with the student visa. No surprises there because it is pretty standard but there are so many myths around it so we had to clear this one. You have to apply with the foreign nationals’ registration office to get a valid residence permit.
Working while studying: However, while you are still in the University, completing the course program, the Non-EU and EEA students are allowed to work for a full 120 days or half 240 days every year. Students can get paid up to EUR 450 per month without incurring tax. Any income beyond that is taxable.
Working after completing studies: After getting your residence permit, if you are offered a job, you are eligible to apply for an EU Blue Card that will permit you to stay and work in multiple European countries. To settle down permanently in Germany, you can apply for the settlement permit as early as two years after receiving the EU Blue Card. This is an especially attractive proposition given that the US and UK do not offer the option in all practicality.
How to Apply? – The Application Process
The application process for the German Residence Permit is as follows:
- You will need to extend the period of the temporary residence permit into a German residence permit within the 90-days duration after you have completed your course.
- Before you apply for the residence permit, you will need to get health insurance and open a bank account. The bank account opened helps to get any financial bank statements attached to other documents and prove that you can support your family and yourself. As an international student in Germany, you will be having that already, so no worries on that front.
- Get an appointment time and fill out the application for the residence permit. You can get the application form either online from the website or from the office directly. In some cases, your employer may also assist you with the formalities. If you can get the appointment as early as possible, it helps to avoid any last-minute hassles.
- Reach the venue on the date of appointment on time. Meet with the officer, follow all the instructions provided and submit the required documents to establish your identity and requirement.
- The processing time of the Germany post study work visa is two to three weeks. So make sure you plan accordingly.
What are the Documents Required?
Documents required for your Post Study Work Permit are:
- Passport: Present a passport that has a validity for the intended period.
- The University Degree or “Nachweis.”: Nachweis- it is an official document given by the University that states that you have completed your program of study. The Nachweis can be submitted in place of the Degree as the Degree document takes longer to be provided. Note that the Nachweis should have the official stamp of the University. It is essentially the German counterpart of what we call transcripts in India.
- Health Insurance: It would be best to carry health insurance both for the student visa and for the stay in Germany. It is important, after all, not just for the documentation but also for your personal well-being because you never know when an emergency will arise.
- Proof of Funds: You need to provide evidence of the fact that you can support yourself while staying in Germany. So you need to provide a bank account document with the required funds.
- Two Photos: You have to furnish two recently taken photographs.
- Proof of German Language: Knowing German boosts your chances of finding employment quickly. So, produce a certificate of proficiency in German.
The Non-EU/EEA students need to verify themselves and need to get the post-study work permit to continue their stay in Germany.
You can apply for the permit at the Foreigner’s Registration Office and extend the visa before it expires. There are teaching/ graduate assistants jobs for research scholars, and the pay is quite good. A lucrative career like English tutors to German students is another decent paying job for students holding the Germany post study work visa.
Finally, to ensure that you are through the Work Permit Process, produce all the important documents asked by the officer for your valid German Residence Permit and once that is cleared, enjoy working in Germany. And yes, as a parting note, do remember that you will need to have a basic proficiency in German if you are looking at staying and working in Germany, so be prepared for that as well.
To know about the Job opportunities in Germany for international students, read: