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18-month temporary stay option and permanent residence

Germany offers unique opportunities for students to stay in Germany after graduation

Your career in Germany starts with the right university degree ⎼ from SRH!

Due to the shortage of skilled professionals, the German government has relaxed its immigration laws. After graduating from a German university, graduates have the right to stay in Germany for 1.5 years to find work and to become employed. After working for two years, they might be eligible to apply for a settlement permit (permanent residence).

Skilled Immigration Act

Germany's new Skilled Immigration Act

Germany's relatively new immigration law increases the country's attractiveness for international students. A new immigration law has been under discussion in German politics for almost 20 years. Angela Merkel's fourth government has passed a new law in 2018. At the heart of the new Skilled Immigration Act is the abolition of the priority examination clause, which foresees that German job applicants are given preference over foreign applicants with equal qualifications. Furthermore, professionally qualified persons will be able to enter the country for a limited period of time to look for a job. This is already the case for university graduates. 

There was a genuine need for action, as the ever-increasing shortage of skilled workers is hampering Germany’s economic growth. According to estimates of the Institut der Deutschen Wirtschaft (IW), annual economic output would be EUR 30 billion higher if personnel shortages were eliminated (Handelsblatt, 16.08.2018). The demographic situation is accelerating this effect, as German society is aging. Pension funds are under more and more pressure as expenditure rises.

Enter the German Labour market as a university graduate

While the new Skilled Immigration is primarily intended to enable professionally qualified persons to enter Germany and search for a job, the country already offers very liberal immigration opportunities for university graduates. Accordingly, graduates who have obtained a university degree (e.g. Bachelor, Master, MBA or PhD) in Germany can obtain a so-called Job Seeker Visa for 18 months after graduation. The possibility of "granting a residence permit for a maximum of 18 months after successful completion of studies for the purpose of finding a job or setting up a business" makes Germany particularly attractive for international students. 

Working while studying

Your student visa allows you to work in Germany. You can work part-time during the semester and full-time during the semester break. All SRH campuses regularly host job fairs on campus. Our student advisors will be happy to inform you about applicable regulations for non-EU students. Here’s a short overview:

  • Germany allows you to work while you study
  • Part-time during the semester
  • Full-time in the semester break
  • There is a minimum wage in Germany