What To Do After Graduating From a German University

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If you came to Germany for studying and, after all, graduated from a German university, you might have a need to look for further employment in this country or other ways of staying within Germany. In this mini guide, we have provided you with a list of opportunities you can take advantage of.

Pursuing a PhD 

If you previously studied in Germany have had good marks, you might be interested in getting enrolled in a doctorate. While pursuing your PhD, you may be able to support yourself financially by taking on jobs of a research assistant at your institution or at some private company.

If you want to pursue a PhD and you are a citizen of EU/EEA/Switzerland, you don’t need any permit. If you are from a third country, you should extend your residence “title” at the local registration office of foreign nationals. In such a case, you may need to provide the following documents: adequate health insurance, certificate of matriculation, and a proof that you are able to support your stay financially.

If you wish to work as a researcher for a German university, it would be better to contact actually the university’s registration office and professors that are responsible for this matter.

german university

After graduating from a German university, you might face obstacles with getting a residence permit if you won’t find a job

Receiving a residence permit for postgraduates

If you have just graduated from a German university, then you are eligible to apply for an 18-month long residence permit for searching a job. Once you have passed a final exam at your university, you are able to go to your local registration office of foreign nationals and apply for this permit. For doing so, you will need the following documents: a proof that you are able to support your stay financially, your health insurance document, your degree from the university, and your passport.

The other option is applying for a residence permit outright. It may be given to you even if you work just part-time. Even though this residence permit is limited in time, you will be able to extend it without any problems as long as keep being employed.

Self-employment

After graduating from a German university, you might be interested in setting up your own business in Germany. The state allows you to become a self-employment independent specialist or to set up an own business, if you studied at a German university. If you are an EU citizen, the principle of free movement is applied and you are able to set up a business without making any other documents. If you come from a third country, you will definitely need a residence permit.

You can receive a residence permit that allows exercising self-employed activities (selbstständige Tätigkeit) at the local registration office of foreign nationals. You have just to provide the required documents, which you can find on the website of your local registration office. Be aware that at first, the granted permit for self-employed activities is temporary (typically 1 or 2 years) and so you have to extend it every time. After setting up a business, you must register it at the local trade office (Gewerbeamt).

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