Working in Germany: the official website
for qualified professionals

Foreign students

Foreign students at German universities represent a group with particularly important potential. Their advantage: In addition to their professional qualifications, they are usually already familiar with the cultural side of Germany as well as the language. Furthermore, you can save time when recruiting foreign students, since they are already inside the country.

Foreign students can already be employed as student workers during their studies. Students from the EU, the EEA and Switzerland are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during the lecture period, just like German students. During the semester break, they can work without restrictions.

Students from third countries who have a residence permit for the purpose of studying (Section 16b of the German Residence Act - AufenthG) may be employed for 120 full days or 240 half days per year without the approval of the BA.

In addition, foreign students from third countries can be employed in Germany even before the completion of their studies in accordance with Section 16b (4) AufenthG (German Residence Act). Following options are possible:

Following their studies in Germany, foreign graduates can directly take up employment that matches their qualifications. In order to look for a job in Germany, they will usually receive a residence permit valid for up to 18 months.

The guide "How can I recruit a qualified professional from abroad? What employers need to know" explains in compact form all legal provisions concerning the employment of skilled workers from abroad.

Tip: To reach the target group of foreign students, place job offers at the universities in your region or attend career fairs there. You can find detailed information on recruiting international students for your company at the Kompetenzzentrum Fachkräftesicherung (Centre of Excellence for Securing Qualified Professionals).

Information on the web

Federal Employment Agency (BA)

KOFA (centre of excellence for securing a supply of qualified professionals)

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