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Working during the studies

Especially for international students, it is important to work on the side in order to make a living. Students, who are not from EU- or EEA-countries, though, are only allowed to work up to a limited extent. This is different for the majority of Europeans, the are treated on almost equal terms like German students and have free access to the job market.

To which extent are you allowed to work?

International students, whose home countries are outside EU or EEA, may work 120 full days or 240 half days per year. For this you need no approval of the Employment Agency (Agentur für Arbeit), the German central authority. International non-EU students are not allowed to set up their own business or to work self-employed, however!

If you want to work more than 120 full days or 240 half days, you need a permission of the Employment Agency and the Foreigners’ Registration Office. Whether you will get this permission or not depends on the employment situation at your place of study. In regions with a high unemployment rate you are unlikely to get the chance to work more than 120 days.

Working as graduate or student assistant is an exception: those are allowed to work more than 120 days per year. You have to inform the Foreigners’ Registration Office nonetheless if you want to work as a graduate or student assistant!

Students from the EU and the EEA are treated on almost equal terms like German students and have free access to the job market.

You will find the detailed regulations for international students at the website of the DSW.