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Law on the Residence, Employment and Integration of Foreigners in the Federal Territory (Residence Act - AufenthG)
§ 20 Job search for skilled workers

Unofficial table of contents
(1) A skilled worker with vocational training can be granted a residence permit for up to six months to search for a job that his qualification enables him to pursue if the skilled worker has the appropriate German language skills for the intended job. Sentence 1 only applies to foreigners who are already in the federal territory if they were in possession of a residence permit for the purpose of gainful employment or according to Section 16e immediately before the residence permit according to sentence 1 was issued. The Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs can, by ordinance with the consent of the Federal Council, determine professional groups in which skilled workers may not be granted a residence permit according to sentence 1. The residence permit only entitles the employee to try out trial jobs of up to ten hours per week, which the skilled worker can do based on the qualifications he has acquired.
(2) A skilled worker with an academic qualification can be granted a residence permit for up to six months in order to search for a job which their qualification enables them to pursue. Paragraph 1 sentences 2 and 4 apply accordingly.
(3) To search for a job which his qualification enables him to pursue,
1.
a foreigner is granted a residence permit for up to 18 months after successfully completing a degree in the federal territory as part of a stay in accordance with Section 16b or Section 16c,
2.
a foreigner is granted a residence permit for up to nine months after completing the research activity as part of a stay in accordance with Section 18d or Section 18f,
3.
a foreigner can be granted a residence permit for up to twelve months after successfully completing qualified vocational training in the federal territory as part of a stay in accordance with Section 16a, or
4.
a foreigner can be granted a residence permit for up to twelve months after the establishment of the equivalence of the professional qualification or the issue of the professional license in the federal territory within the scope of a stay according to § 16d,
provided that the job may be filled by foreigners in accordance with the provisions of Sections 18a, 18b, 18d, 19c and 21.
(4) The granting of a residence permit in accordance with Paragraphs 1 to 3 presupposes a secure living. The extension of the residence permit beyond the maximum periods specified in paragraphs 1 to 3 is excluded. A residence permit in accordance with paragraphs 1 and 2 can only be re-issued if the foreigner has stayed abroad for at least as long as he has previously been in the federal territory on the basis of a residence permit in accordance with paragraph 1 or 2. § 9 does not apply.