Employment regulations for international students

For students in general, but especially for international students, it is very important to earn money during the studies. There are many possibilities to find a job. You can look for job ads on the university’s and the Studierendenwerk’s website or on the notice bords (Schwarzes Brett) on campus. But it is very important to know how much you are allowed to work. Read more about the legal regulations.

As an international student you may also work during term time as long as you do not exceed a total of 240 half days or 120 full days per year. Only the actual number of days worked is counted. Up to four hours per day is generally considered half a day.

Alongside the 120 full or 240 half day rule, you may also work for longer periods as a scientific or student assistant. This type of employment includes all work at the university that relates to your studies and also in organisations associated with the university (e.g. as a tutor in your subject area or for the Studierendenwerk). However, the Foreigners’ Office (Ausländerbehörde) must be notified of such employment.

You can find the Foreigners’ Office in your place of residence. It is responsible for dealing with work permits.

The Foreigners‘ Office may on application permit you to be self-employed or take on comparable independent work under the same terms (120 full or 240 half days) while studying. In this case they may need to meet certain requiements under commercial law. This must be clarified with the tax authority (Finanzamt) in charge.

If you are taking part in a preparatory language or Studienkolleg course, you are only permitted to work during the holidays. You may work 120 full or 240 half days per year as well.

After successfully completing your studies, you may extend your residence permit for another 18 months. During this time you are permitted to look for work that matches your qualifications. To extend your residence permit in order to find work, you are also required to prove that you have the financial means to support yourself.

While graduates are looking for permanent employment, they are entitled to work unlimited hours.

You have more questions? Comment on this article or contact the International Service of the Studierendenwerk.


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