Work and study in Germany question


On 2nd July, 2009 Sri from Germany asked:

Can we apply for a work permit when we are on student visa in Germany?


Hi Sri, Thanks for your question. First things first – did you know that you can work in Germany on a student visa even if you don’t come from the European Union?

Yep, non-EU students can work 90 full days or 180 half days a year, without authorization from the German authorities.

A few extra pointers:
1. You can work as an academic or student assistant for longer than 90 days, no strings attached. You’d just have to notify the charmingly termed “Aliens Department” (in German Ausländerbehörde or Ausländeramt) in your city.

2. You’re not allowed to do freelance or self-employed work on an international student visa. This might be a problem if you want to do something like teach English at a private language school, because most of their teachers are freelancers.
If you want to do this you’ll have to apply to the Ausländerbehörde for a work permit (see below).

3. If you are an EU-citizen, you don’t have to worry about a thing – you’ve got as much access to the German job market as the Germans do.
It’s a little harder, though, if you come from the eastern European countries of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Hungary.
Then you’ll need authorization from the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesanstalt für Arbeit), who has to check if a German or “other European” could do the job you’re after.

There’s nothing stopping you from applying to your local Ausländerbehörde for a work visa. You have to find a job first though!
To get the visa, you’ll have to a letter from you potential employer saying that they’ll give you a job, provided you are granted the visa. The potential employer will also have to prove, at least theoretically, that no Germans or EU citizens can fill the position.

Bear in mind, though, that when the economy is doing it tough it becomes harder and harder to get a work visa. And at the moment, the German economy isn’t in tip-top shape. But if you’ve found an employer willing to take you on, and you think your skills for the job set you apart from the rest of the crowd, give it a shot.

Good luck and best regards,

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