Working regulations for international students

Depending on your country of origin, different regulations apply to working while studying in Germany.

EU Citizens

Students from the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland enjoy unrestricted access to the German labour market and have practically the same rights as German students. However, if they work more than 20 hours per week they must pay certain insurance contributions (just like German students). For employment you need to provide a German Tax Identification Number ("Steuer-ID"). You usually receive this ID after the registration of a place of residence at the local residents' registration office ("Bürgeramt"). Learn more here.

Non-EU Citizens

For students from outside the European Union, special legal regulations apply based on the purpose of their residence permit. If your residence permit has been issued for studying in Germany these regulations apply:

  • In each calendar year you may work up to a total of either 120 full days or 240 half-days.
  • These time restrictions do not apply if you are working as a scientific or academic student assistant or as a tutor. However, you still have to inform the municipal immigration office ("Ausländerbehörde").
  • As part of your course of studies you may carry out your Bachelor's or Master's thesis and compulsory internship with a company without prior authorisation.
  • Other internships, traineeships or employments with a company - whether paid or unpaid  - come under the 120/240 day regulation.
  • You are not allowed to be self-employed or work as a freelancer.

Only if you are working more than 120 full days or 240 half days, you must apply for a work permit by the municipal immigration office ("Ausländerbehörde"). Learn more here.

If your residence permit has been issued for other purposes (such as asylum or family reunion in Germany), different laws apply and you must apply for a work permit at the municipal immigration office ("Ausländerbehörde") and you may also need permission from the federal employment agency ("Bundesagentur für Arbeit"). The 120/240 day regulation does not apply.

Helpful resources

Basic information for working in Germany

Here you will get practical advice on looking for and starting work in Germany.

  • When looking for work in Germany, your first stop should be the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) and its job board to search job offers, publish your profile and sign up for job offers.
  • You can find further information about work and career in Germany at the DAAD website (German Academic Exchange Service).
  • General information for foreigners on taking up work in Germany is provided on the Federal Foreign Office website and on the EU BlueCard for Germany website.
  • is the official website for international qualified professionals. It informs people interested in studying, working and living in Germany, and how to successfully prepare their arrival to Germany and manage their first steps in Germany.

English jobs in Germany

Find job offers with no German required. The job board and search engine for English-speaking professionals looking for opportunities in Germany or locals looking to work in a purely international environment.

Job applications in German and English

Job application check in German and English at TH Rosenheim
Please see website of Language Centre for contacts and arrange an individual appointment.

Check of application documents in German
Martin Rippel, careers adviser for academic professions at the Rosenheim Employment Agency is ready to help you optimise your application documents in German. If you are interested in an application portfolio check, please e-mail rosenheim.151-akademiker* Please remove this text * to arrange a personal appointment. Further information is also available at the Career Center.

Jobline LMU - Job applications in English
"Jobline LMU" offers students a wide range of information about applications in English. You can find further information directly at Jobline LMU.

Job portals in Germany

Many employers publish their jobs online. Job portals make it easier to find the right job for you. With some online portals, you can set alarms for fitting job offers or directly connect with your future employer.

If you look for scholarships and student loans to finance your studies in Germany, have a look at our webpage for scholarships and financing.

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