How to move to Germany – Post Graduate Education (I)

For various reasons, you find people emigrating to other countries. The urge to move is sometimes so strong that they convince themselves to use any means possible. Miracles do happen some times and even without forethought or preparation, some people “make it” and for many others, it’s usually a tough time in the foreign country.

Germany has been on the radar for many foreigners because of the vast opportunities it offers – robust economy, education & research opportunities and for many, security.

To make the move to Germany, there are a couple of things to consider in other to transition smoothly. Germany offers many paths into the country. One of the most popular path is getting a German education: an undergraduate or a post graduate education.

I will focus on post graduate education in this post. Subsequent posts will detail other paths for emigrating. If you graduate with a degree that the country really needs, it becomes easier for you to stay long term (if you desire).

Here’s how to move to Germany for education purposes and a possibility to stay long term:

Graduate from a RECOGNIZED university
Not all university degrees are recognized in Germany. This database will show you whether your degree will be accepted in Germany. For Ghanaians, you can use this link: Is my Ghanaian degree recognized in Germany?

Search and apply to the university of your choice
The mode of instruction in many institutions is English. University application period are open twice a year. I have a post on how to start with your German university application: Furthering your education in Germany – Where and how to start

Once you are accepted into a university, you will need to apply for a long stay visa which will be converted to a temporary residence permit when you arrive in Germany. This process usually takes some time so it is in your best interest to apply on time.

– Opening a blocked account
– Having a sponsor in Germany
– Scholarships
There’s a comprehensive post here about how to fund your education.

The German immigration law allows international students to work during their study programme. You are allowed to work a total of 120 full days or 240 half days per year. This usually equates to working part time (20hrs/week) during university and full time (40hrs/week) during vacation.

Provided you can take care of yourself without intervention of the German Government, you qualify for a Job Seekers Visa which can be valid for up to 18 months. With this visa, you are allowed to continue staying in Germany to search for employment in relation to your studies.
Some individuals are lucky and get employment immediately after their studies. In this case, your residence status changes, allowing you to work full time (40hrs/week). People in this bracket do not need a Job Seekers Visa.

Employment contracts can either be permanent or temporary. After two years of working and contributing to the German system (paying your taxes), you qualify for permanent residency in Germany. This can be shortened to 18 months if you have what is known as the Blue Card. This residence permit (Blue Card) is only given to employees earning above a certain amount (It is 55,200/year in 2020 – figure changes each year).


I hope you found this useful. Don’t hesitate to ask your questions by leaving a reply below. I am happy to help! 🙂
You can also check visit my YouTube in conjunction to this blog.

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