I am from Brazil and I am currently enrolled in a German University, possessing a Residence Permit for the purpose of Studying valid until 2023.
I was recently offered a full-time job in the IT sector, but my Student Visa only allows me Part-time work.
To accept the offer, I would need to switch my Student Permit to a Work Permit before the completion of my studies.

Under the German Law, would one be allowed to change from a Student Permit to a Work Permit? What documents would be necessary?

  • Have you completed the studies? Short answer: then yes, after compleation of studies thee are special regulations making this simpler. Long answer tomorrow. Dec 18, 2019 at 0:55
  • @AndresAlvarezR posted: "Were you able to change your student visa into a regular working visa? I am in a similar situation and would like your help."
    – ouflak
    Aug 20, 2020 at 11:06
  • I am in the exactly situation as you were and while researching for an answer regarding that, I found your post. I’m also from Brazil and been in Germany as a student. Got a job offer in IT and I’m thinking about dropping university and going for the full time job. I’d like to know how it worked out for you. Were you able to change your student permit to a work permit? Apr 18, 2021 at 15:34
  • I would like to ask that did you get your wroking visa or blue card successfully without completing the study. Thank you very much in advance.
    – Haozhi Li
    Feb 10, 2023 at 20:05

2 Answers 2


Yes, as a holder of a residence permit to study (§ 16 Abs. 1 AufenthG)

  • special rights exist based on § 16 Abs. 5 AufenthG.

This is similar in nature to a Jobseeker visa, with the exception that you are allowed to work while searching.

Once found, a corresponding residence permit can be applied for

  • including a EU Blue Card (§ 19a AufenthG)

So a job offer, starting after you have obtained a degree, can be applied for directly.

The application must be made at your local Ausländerbehörde

This will probably not apply if you intend to break off your studies beforehand

  • your question is not clear on this point

This scenario would be outside § 16 and left to the judgment of the Ausländerbehörde.

Get a contract offer and speak to the Ausländerbehörde.
But don't sign anything before they give you an OK.

They may offer a full residence permit, which would replace the present study permit with it's restrictions.

Aufenthaltserlaubnis zur Arbeitsplatzsuche nach erfolgreichem Abschluss des Studiums
Erteilung einer Aufenthaltserlaubnis für maximal 18 Monate nach erfolgreichem Abschluss des Studiums zum Zweck der Arbeitsplatzsuche bzw Unternehmensgründung


  • Studienabschluss
    Sie müssen in Deutschland einen Studienabschluss (Bachelor, Master, Diplom, Magister, etc.) erworben haben.
  • Besitz einer Aufenthaltserlaubnis zum Studium
    Diese Aufenthaltserlaubnis kann nur erteilt werden, wenn sie an eine Aufenthaltserlaubnis zum Studium (nach § 16 Abs. 1 AufenthG) anschließt.

Residence permit to look for a job after successfully completing your studies
Issuance of a residence permit for a maximum of 18 months after successfully completing your studies for the purpose of finding a job or starting a business


  • study graduation
    You must have obtained a degree in Germany (Bachelor, Master, Diplom, Magister, etc.) and
  • hold a residence permit to study
    This residence permit can only be issued if it follows a residence permit to study (in accordance with Section 16 (1) AufenthG).

§ 16 Studium AufenthG

(5) Nach erfolgreichem Abschluss des Studiums wird die Aufenthaltserlaubnis bis zu 18 Monate zur Suche einer diesem Abschluss angemessenen Erwerbstätigkeit verlängert, sofern diese Erwerbstätigkeit nach den Bestimmungen der §§ 18, 19, 19a, 20 und 21 von einem Ausländer aufgenommen werden darf. Die Aufenthaltserlaubnis berechtigt während dieses Zeitraums zur Ausübung einer Erwerbstätigkeit. § 9 findet keine Anwendung.

5) After a foreigner has successfully completed his studies, his temporary residence permit shall be extended by up to 18 months for the purpose of seeking employment commensurate with this qualification, provided that foreigners are permitted to pursue this economic activity in accordance with the provisions contained in Sections 18, 19, 19a, 20 and 21. The temporary residence permit shall entitle the holder to pursue an economic activity in this period. Section 9 shall not apply.


  • 1
    Hello Mark, sorry for not clarifying. This would be during my studies, not after they are finished. My residence permit for studying is valid until 2023.
    – Timerºº
    Dec 18, 2019 at 9:49
  • @Timerºº Would you be breaking off the studies for a full time job or do you want to do both (fulltime with study)? For both cases the would be outside § 16 and left to the judgment of the Ausländerbehörde. Dec 18, 2019 at 10:05
  • I would first try doing both (studying and full time), but if that proves to be a too extreme load then I would break off my studies.
    – Timerºº
    Dec 18, 2019 at 12:20
  • @Timerºº Well you can certainly try. Get a contract offer and speek to the Ausländerbehörde. If they may offer a full residence permit. But don't sign anything before they give you an OK. Dec 18, 2019 at 13:03
  • 1
    @AndreySapegin From the OP text, the studies is to achive a degree needed for the Blue Card. If he breaks that off then he will not full the conditions. The question does not imply that he already has a degree that would fulfill the Blue Card condition. Based on that scenario the OP question was answered. Jan 8, 2020 at 9:26

If you do not plan to finish your degree, without leaving Germany, it is only possible to apply for a Blue Card (of course, only if you satisfy requirements, i.e. have higher education degree and an offer with high salary). See https://www.bamf.de/SharedDocs/Anlagen/DE/EMN/Studien/wp67-emn-wechsel-aufenthaltstiteln-aufenthaltszwecken.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=19 for more details.

Update: It seems that recent (from 01.08.2017) changes to §16 Abs. 4 may allow changing the residence permit also in case of cancelling the study without getting a degree, if one wants to work in a field where there is a lack of labour force (for example, IT) and his/her qualification is high enough.

However, I'm not a lawyer and one needs to ask Ausländerbehörde for all cases other than changing to Blue Card (which should be anyhow possible if one satisfies Blue Card criteria).

  • Hello Andrey, in the case I continue my studies while working, would it then be possible to get a Work Permit(or similar)? Thank you very much for providing a Source, but unfortunately, the URL provided in your answer seems to be broken, please update it if possible.
    – Timerºº
    Jan 8, 2020 at 0:15
  • I updated the link, see pages 29-30 there. If one keeps a residence permit based on §16 AufenthG, he/she should be alowed to work 120 full days per year or 240 half-days per year (which is basically the whole year taking into account vacation, holiday and illness days), or to work as "Studentische Hilfskraft". From my experience, if a professor can issue a support letter, saying that one needs a job for his/her studies, one can get a permission to work at this specific job full time. In case of Blue Card, nobody prohibits a card holder from continuing the study. Jan 8, 2020 at 8:22
  • Secondary work activities of any kind may not interfere with the obligation of employees to dedicate their full efforts and diligence to the employer, based on the contract conditions agreed to. (§§ 611,611a BGB). Without such an agreement in the contract (or written statement) , the following claim is false: In case of Blue Card, nobody prohibits a card holder from continuing the study. Jan 8, 2020 at 11:36
  • @Mark Johnson. You talk about work activities. And I'm talking about study in parallel to the job, while having Blue Card. I have never seen a contract that prohibits a study. Besides this, the paragraphs you cited have nothing to do with a residence permit. I would expect that the biggest implication will be the change of the status from student to worker (see studieren-berufsbegleitend.de/studium-beruf/…), which might affect insurances and scholarships, etc. Jan 8, 2020 at 12:14
  • @AndreySapegin You ony get a Blue Card if you are working. I have never seen a contract that prohibits a study. You won't, but without a contract that allows studying - you may be in breach of your contract. The default, unless otherwise agreed to, is worker is fully available to the employer Jan 8, 2020 at 12:23

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