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Can I switch from a German Student Visa to a Work Visa?

Germany boasts of one of the largest immigrant workforces in the world at 36.5 million people. A significant amount of these individuals are skilled workers with a degree. A degree from a German university is a favorable route into this competitive workforce.

Yes, you can be able to switch your German student visa for a work visa. However, it is preferable for you to have completed your degree before making this switch. Germany is the perfect country to migrate to if you have just completed your degree and are looking for skilled employment.

Despite this favorability, you cannot simply extend your student visa after completing your degree. Instead you must switch your student visa to a work visa by carrying out the process described below.

How to Switch From a Student Visa to a Work Visa

Now that Britain has left the European Union, you will no longer be able to stay on in Germany without restrictions. You must go through the complicated process of gaining a work visa. The first stage is to gain an extension to your residence permit. During the extension you must find work in Germany linked to your qualification. Once you have successfully gained a job application in a suitable industry, you can apply for a work visa.

How to Extend your Residence Permit.

Extending your residence permit through gaining a University graduate permit is the crucial first step to obtaining a work visa. With this extension, you are allowed to stay in Germany for 18 months to seek work. This work must be related to your qualification obtained in Germany while on a student visa. You will be allowed to sustain yourself with any work during this period without requiring additional permissions from the Federal Employment Agency.

To gain this vital extension, you must apply for it at your local Aliens’ Authority in Germany. This must occur immediately after your final exam. You will need to present your passport, proof of degree completion from your university, proof that you have health insurance, and proof that you can sustain yourself. This can be done through copies of your bank statement, or a letter from your guarantor with proof they can support you.

The process is slightly different if you have returned home after studying in Germany and wish to return. Instead, you must apply through the German embassy for a six-month visa to seek employment in Germany. Again, this work must be related to your degree.

Applying for a Work Visa from Outside of Germany.

Once you have a job offer in a suitable industry you must obtain a work visa in order to begin the new employment. It is your responsibility, and not that of your employer, to apply for the visa.

How to Gain a German Work Visa

The application process can be a lengthy and complicated one. First, you must submit the relevant documentation to your local Aliens’ Authority. You should be instructed on exactly what is required but you can contact immigration solicitors to guide you through the process.

After submitting the necessary documentation, you will need to book and attend a visa interview. This interview should not be particularly challenging as its purpose is to confirm that you are of sound mind and that you are consistent with your application.

You can expect your application to take between one and three months. The length of this is determined by uncontrollable factors, such as how busy your local Aliens’ Authority is. However, you will likely have to wait a shorter period of time if you ensure all your documentation is in order.

When your application is accepted you will be given your work visa. On this document, will be your photo, and information on how long you may stay in Germany and the type of work you may participate in. All this information will be on your passport.

Documents Required for my Work Visa Application?

A great deal of documentation is required for your application. This must be taken to your nearest Aliens’ Authority to make your application.

  • Firstly, you will require two copies of your completed application forms. Both must be signed by you.
  • You must provide two passport photos. This image will be used for your visa.
  • Naturally a valid passport will be required.
  • You will also need to prove that you reside in Germany. A utility bill featuring your name and the German address will be needed for this.

The next documents will be provided by your employer. However, it is you and not the state that must obtain them from the employer.

  • Germany requires its immigrant workers to have valid health insurance which you must prove with a health insurance certificate. Your employee should supply you with this along with their obligation to give you coverage.
  • Next, you must prove that you have been offered relevant work. You may provide a contract or binding offer for this but it must detail your salary and your job offer. In some circumstances, your employer maybe asked to prove that they were unable to employ a German citizen for your position.

The following required documentation is used to prove you have the relevant skills and qualifications, as well as ensuring you are of good character.

  • A CV detailing your skills and qualifications, as well as certificates proving you have a right to claim these, is the first requirement.
  • Your good character is proven through a clean criminal record.
  • Your application is completed with a unique cover letter describing the purpose and length of
  • your stay,
  • and you must also make a Declaration of Accuracy of Information. This declaration is an agreement that you can be expelled from Germany if you have provided false information in your application.

Work Visa Application Fee

To gain the work visa, you must pay the application fee of €75. This fee is halved if you have a spouse, child, or parent who is a German citizen.

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