Residence permit after graduation

You have graduated at the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts and want to stay and work in Germany?

First of all: congratulations to your graduation!

Now you have to take further steps so that you can stay in Germany and look for a job or work directly after your graduation.

It is important that you get in touch with the Immigration Office and start with employment search early in advance so that you have enough time to find a suitable job and take care of your residence permit.

Residence permit for job search - important to know

After having completed your degree you have to apply for a new residence permit - either for job search or for job (if you already found one). Wit the residence permit for employment search you have up to 18 months to find a job in Germany that is appropriate for your qualifications. During that time your living expenses and health insurance cover must be ensured. Furthermore you need to provide evidence that you have been awarded your degree. During this time you are also allowed to work in Germany without restriction. Usually the day your studies count as finished is the day you receive your final results. If all preconditions are met you will have to change the status of your residence permit from “study (visit)” to “job search”. From this point of time you have up 18 months to find a job.

18 months pass very quickly - so if you would like to work in Germany after graduation it is recommendable to start with the job search before finishing your studies. It is the best to arrange an appointment with the Immigration Office in advance and inform yourself about further steps already within the last semester of your studies.

You have already found an appropriate employment?

If you find a job and the employer wants to offer you a contract you must contact the Immigration Office again and apply for a residence permit for employment purposes. The Immigration Office will check whether the position corresponds to your academic qualifications - you will need to present the offered job contract or certificate from the employer stating what your job involves, how long the contract will go and what you will earn etc.

Blue Card EU

Of course you have also the possibility to apply for the “Blue Card EU”. Below you can find more information about that topic.

For further information please contact the Immigration Office directly - they will gladly answer your questions and advise you! Do not hesitate to contact us at the International Office too!

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Required documents for the Bürgerdienste International (Immigration Office) in Dortmund ↓

If your studies were funded by a scholarship or grant stating that you must return to your home country upon receiving your degree, no extended residence permit can be issued.

The following documents are to be submitted to the Immigration Office if you are searching for an appropriate job:

  • National passport, original and copy
  • A biometric photo
  • Current residence permit with the supplementary sheet
  • Proof of finance: declaration of financial support - e.g. declaration of commitment/ Verpflichtungserklärung plus current account statements from your bank or security deposit in a blocked account (currently you need at least 861 €/month for 12 months so 10332 € for a year!)
  • Proof of health insurance (certificate from the company/ deposit slip/ account statements)
  • Diploma, Bachelor or Master certificate and graduation certificate issued by your university, original and copy
  • eventually de-registration certificate from the university (Exmatrikulation)
  • Service charge

The following documents are to be submitted to the Immigration Office if you have found an appropriate job:

  • National passport, original and copy
  • Current residence permit with the supplementary sheet
  • A biometric photo
  • Employment contract, original and copy
  • Job description by the new employer
  • Service charge

In same cases additional documents may be required!

Service charges for the Bürgerdienste International (Immigration Office) in Dortmund ↓
Issuing a residence permit valid up to one year       100€
Issuing a residence permit valid for less than one year 100€
Extending a residence permit up to 3 months 96€
Extending a residence permit for more 3 months 93€
Changing or extending the residence permit due to a change in the
purpose of residence
Issuing of a new eAT (electronic residence permit/ card) 67€
Re-issuing the supplementary sheet for the residence title due to a change in the purpose of residence    50€
Issuing a temporary permit      (Fiktionsbescheinigung) 13€
The Immigration Office asks to pay the fees for their services only with EC card.

Contact of the Bürgerdienste International (Immigration Office) in Dortmund ↓


Bürgerdienste International 
Olpe 1
44122 Dortmund
phone: 0231 50-27132

Please notice:

The entrance is only possible through Berswordthalle, entrance is at Kleppingstraße 37, 44137 Dortmund Stadthaus Dortmund, building part (Gebäudeteil) C. Please read the signs!!!

Location plan can be found here.

Opening hours (without appointment):

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 7:30 - 9:00


  • If you do not have any appointment - you will get a ticket with your waiting number at the information point.

  • Students who have already valid residence permit which must be extended should get a letter with an appointment. If you would like to change it - you must contact the Bürgerdienste immediately. If they cannot offer you a different appointment then you must take it or come to the opening hours without appointment.

  • If you would like to arrange your personal appointment you can contact the Bürgerdienste personally, via phone or via email at:  Important: Please give your full name and your birthday date. The answer may take up to couple of days, please be patient! Please note that the appointment will be given first in 3-5 months so check if you can wait that long and make sure that your visa/residence permit is still valid. If your visa/residence permit expires - then you must go during the opening hours without appointment.
    Opening hours with an appointment:
    Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 7:30 – 12:00 o'clock

EU Blue Card ↓

You may also apply for Blue Card EU. In case you will get it you may work for up to four years in Germany. As the owner of a Blue Card EU you may apply for a permanent residence permit regularly after 33 months. If you can provide proof of German language proficiency of B1 level you may even apply for permanent residence after only 21 months. More information about EU Blue Card can be found here.

Immigration Office of the city you live in can advise you what is the best option for you - Blue Card EU or residence permit for working in Germany. Do not hesitate to contact them and ask - they will gladly help you!

Language Skills ↓

Keep in mind:

Your chances of finding a job or internship in Germany are generally much better if you have a good knowledge of German (at least B2). Exceptions include large, multinational companies and scientific research institutes. Other foreign languages are also of a great importance. So please use the unique opportunity to acquire good language skills during your study programme - there are many possibilities to learn German and other languages during your studies at the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts!