Student employment and work permit

International students may seek employment as students in Germany. However, such employment is subject to certain legal rules and rules and regulations which are discussed below for various student groups at Fulda University.

These rules and regulations only apply to students who do not come from EU member states. Students from EU countries and Switzerland are free to work in Germany and are not subject to the same limitations as students from other countries. However, in order not to lose their student status, all students must not work more than 20 hours per week during the semester.

1. Working without a work permit

Tutors and student assistants

Students from non-EU countries are allowed to work 120 full days or 240 half days per year without a work permit. Such employment may be undertaken during the semester as well as during vacation between semesters, provided that employment does not exceed 20 work hours per week during the semester.

Tutors and student assistants do not need a work permit if they perform tasks which are primarily in the areas of research and teaching assistance. At Fulda University, this applies to tutors and student assistants who are employed in the university's academic departments.

2. Working with a work permit

All employment exceeding 120 full days or 240 half days per year which is not primarily in the areas of research and teaching assistance requires a permit (passport stamp) from the Ausländerbehörde (municipal immigration office) and a work permit or other approval from the Federal Employment Agency.

Ausländerbehörde permit

The Ausländerbehörde permits employment exceeding 120 full days or 240 half days in the following cases:

  • part-time employment as a student at Fulda University in the following administrative departments: Central Study Counselling, International Office, University and Hessian State Library, Knowledge Transfer and Further Education Office and Central Administration. Such employment may not exceed 20 work hours per week during the semester. Students from outside the EU who work in the university's administrative departments or in the central administration also need a work permit from the Federal Employment Agency.
  • in financial emergency situations beyond the student's control, provided the student hat pursued his or her studies diligently and the university certifies that successful completion of the course of study is to be expected.

Federal Employment Agency work permit

Before granting a work permit, the Federal Employment Agency must determine whether German citizens or EU citizens in Germany are available to accept the employment.

3. Cases where employment is not permitted

Participants in DSH preparatory German language cources preparing students for regular studies may no accept employment for the duration of the language course.

Working after you graduate

After you've graduated from a Germany university, you're entitled to a residence permit for 18 months in oder to find an appropriate job, during which time you may work as much as you want without needing a work permit.

Once you've found a job that is appropriate for your academic qualifications, you can apply for the EU Blue Card. In order to be approved, you need to present a work contract stating that you will earn at least €48.400 annually (for some professions, the minimum salary is €37.000)

Once you have worked for at least 21 months and have German language skills at least equivalent to level B1, a settlement permit can be issued (or after 33 months, if you don't have the required German skills). At that point, family members looking for a job don't need to apply for a work permit, either.

Where to look for work

Once you have determined whether and how much you can work, you can start your job search. Besides local newspapers like the Fuldaer Zeitung, one good source is AStA's Jobbörse (page only available in German), where employers post open positions.

You look for a job perspective in Germany after graduation?

Fulda University offers a careers service for those international students seeking for a job perspective on the German labour market or just want to gather some work experience before returning home. Get the best preparation you need to succeed on the German labour market. If this sounds interesting for you find out more.