I have at the moment a visa for my PhD valid until 30.06.2018, but my defense will be in the end of July or middle of August. This week I have received a job offer (full-time) and I would like to change my present visa to a working permit Visa in order to start working and also wait for my defense. Is it possible? Does somebody know which documents are necessary for that?

Thanks a lot for the help and attention.


As I always expect, I like to see final answers to questions I look for in the Internet. At first I would suggest you to look the answers for my question, they helped me a lot. Finally I needed, the bachelor diplom translated to german, the form of the blue card filled, the working contract, a form written by the employer which describes what work will be done and a photo.

I went to the KVR on a Tuesday and in this day I could not solve much because It was necessary a permission from the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/privatpersonen). This permission was requested on Tuesday and I received an answer on Thursday evening. Friday I went back with these documents again and could finally receive the Bluecard.

An important tip: check if your institution is in the Anabin database (https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/privatpersonen). If it is not, it means that Germany does not know this institution and you will need to do some additional bureaucracy. For further questions, ask here and I will answer asap. =)

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    Did you ask your university's international office? – henning -- reinstate Monica Apr 21 '18 at 9:49
  • Actually I asked in the KVR itself when I did the last visa until 30.06. They said I could change the visa once I had a job-offer. However it was not completely clear If i would need to have finished the PhD or which documents were necessary. I think it is possible, however how to do it I still do not know. – Luiz Carneiro Apr 21 '18 at 9:57
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    My (limited) understanding is that a job offer is a job offer. The state authorities don't care, if you need a PhD for your job or not. If the company is willing to hire you even if you do not have a formal PhD yet, and provides you an offer, you are good. (This happens quite often, even for the positions where you'd need a PhD, as companies tend to believe that if the thesis is submitted or close to completion then you'd also defend it eventually.) – Oleg Lobachev Apr 21 '18 at 14:47
  • Thanks Oleg. Yes that is exactly my situation. I am about to submit the thesis and I will have no much to do until the defense but even worse, my visa will expire in this time. Therefore I thought that beginning a job would be the better solution for both things. I really hope that this is ok. – Luiz Carneiro Apr 21 '18 at 14:56
  • @Oleg Lobachev Authorities DO care. Depending on the field, there could be different types or requirements for a residence permit. If OP doesn't fulfill regular requirements, he could use his benefits as a graduate of a German university to get a job anyway. Furthermore, having the degree will affect what happens when the first residence permit expires, again due to benefits as a graduate of a German university. – AndrejaKo Apr 22 '18 at 13:38

Under certain circumstances, it is possible to change one visa type for another. However, immigration law is tricky, so the first thing you should do is check with your local Ausländeramt, who will be able to tell you what is allowed and will have a list of the necessary documentation to apply for a visa, but at a minimum you should expect to need everything you had to provide to apply for the student visa, plus a copy of the job offer. You may need to get a "certificate of good conduct" from your Bürgeramt, but I'm not certain about this.

One of the things to keep in mind is that there is sort of a catch-22 involved in the visa process: technically, the visa isn't valid until you get the job, and you can't get the job until you have the visa. So the job offer is the "promise" that the employer will hire you if the visa is granted.

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    ♦ But catch 22 part isn't actually so complicated. For example, when I got my first job, in my contract, it said that I'm supposed to have a valid residence permit on the first working day, and if I don't then the contract is annulled. The Ausländeramt used that to issue me a residence permit allowing work on the first work day of my contract. The only important point was to have the first working day far enough into the future, so that the Ausländeramt could actually finish processing the paperwork. – AndrejaKo Apr 22 '18 at 18:54
  • @aeismail thanks a lot for your answer. Yes I need a bunch of documents. Everything that you cited plus a "written declaration" by the employer. I do not understand why the contract is not already a written declaration from the employer. But ok. I will ask there for official informations (not that I start collecting the documents without needing them) and then start collecting everything. Thanks for your answer, it is in this direction for sure. – Luiz Carneiro Apr 23 '18 at 15:10
  • It may exist a problem. I went to the Kreisverwaltungsreferat today and got the list of documents (couldn't speak to anyone). The list says: -University Degree or Diploma (with a certified German Translation and in some cases a forma acknowledgement) - For applicants with a foreign degree: a binding job offer. Your employer needs to fill out the form called "Ausländerbeschäftigung". -For applicants with a German university degree, a work contract. All that I have now is a confirmation from the uni saying that I will finish the PhD soon and I am not sure if it is enough. – Luiz Carneiro Apr 26 '18 at 9:05

Since your occupation is in need, you should be able to to switch your residence permit to a working one.

I know people who were in the similar situation, that is waiting for the Master's thesis defense to complete, with a job offer in hand. Their applications for a Blue Card were approved, based on the undergraduate degree.

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  • Thanks a lot AndrejaKo. I believe on it, but as you may know (and it seems even better than me), things are a bit strict in Germany and It is good to know exactly how things work in order to make this bureaucracies as simple as possible. – Luiz Carneiro Apr 22 '18 at 15:55

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