When May I Work?

Not everyone who comes to Germany may work there. If you would like to work in Germany you should know when you may do so and what are the requirements. You will find further information here.
Attention: If you work without a permit, you can jeopardize your residence permit.

Contents of this page

Who can work without a work permit?

You may work in Germany without any restrictions if you hold citizenship in any of the following countries:

  • a member state of the European Union (EU),
  • a country within the European Economic Area or
  • Switzerland

Who needs a work permit?

The following applies to all people with origins in other countries (the Third States):

When you have a visa, are a recognized refugee, or have subsidiary protection, you may look for work right away.

The immigration authorities decide whether applicants for asylum with residence permit and tolerated refugees are allowed to work. You also need a work permit for a minijob, internship and vocational training.

Here is the application which you can send to the immigration authorities.

Do volunteer work.

You can always work as a volunteer. You do not need any work permit for that. Doing that you do not earn any money but you learn the language, gain experience, and meet people. And that will be really appreciated by employers, when you are looking for work later. And maybe the people who you met as a volunteer can help you with you work search.