A number of international students stay in Germany once they have graduated. Some students go on to specialise on a postgraduate course, others try to find work in Germany.
Working in Germany - residence for the purpose of job seeking
For students from the old member states of the European Union this is no problem at all. Generally you have free access to the German job market.
Students from the new EU member states and all other international students can extend their residence for a further 18 months provided they have completed their studies successfully. You have these 18 months to find a job which is appropriate to your education. In order to extend your residence permit for the purpose of seeking a job you must prove that your livelihood is secured. As a graduate, you are still allowed to work 120 full or 240 half days per year in side jobs and temporary positions while looking for an appropriate employment.
If university graduates find a suitable position their previous residence permit can be converted to a temporary residence permit for the purpose of employment. After five years of working you can receive a permanent residence permit.
Since 16 october 2007, the Federal Employment Agency’s approval is no longer necessary for the allocation of positions to non-EU graduates, irrespective of their branch of study.