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Working in Germany during your studies

These pages aim to provide an overview of the most important rules for students and graduates who would like to work in Germany.

Working part-time during your studies & internships

As an EU citizen/ a citizen from Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland:

For you the same rules apply as for German students. You may work up to 20 hours per week during the semester and even more during semester break.

As a Non-EU citizen: 120 full / 240 half day rule / § 16 (3) AufenthGesetz:

Holding a student residence permit on the basis of paragraph 16 (1) of the German residence law (AufenthG) you are in general allowed to work 120 full days/ 240 half days per year in Germany. The period of one year refers to the calendar year from January to December.

Any working beyond the 120 full days/ 240 half days rule must be approved by the Foreigners’ Office (and Employment Office) beforehand.

It is strongly recommended to keep record of the days and number of hours you have been working – as proof for yourself, for any prospective employer, and for the Foreigners’ Office.

What does half day mean? = Each day you work up to 4 hours

What does full day mean?  = Each day you work more than 4 hours and up to 8 hours

(based on the assumption that a normal work day in the respective company consists of 8 hours)

You may combine half and full days, e.g. you may work 90 days with up to 8 hours each and 60 days with up to 4 hours each.

Please also note:

  • Voluntary Internships: 120 full days/ 240 half days rule is applying (even if the internship is not paid for)
  • Mandatory internships: 120 full days/ 240 half days rule is not applying (because they are a binding part of your studies)
  • Student assistant jobs: 120 full days/ 240 half days rule is not applying

Those are jobs for students at a university or at any institution related to a university. The work time is not limited as long as your studies are not in endangered by working too much. However, you need to inform the Foreigners’ Office about the job.

Please check your residence title for the exact wording. If you are in any doubt about the days you are (still) allowed to work please contact the Foreigners’ Office.

Excepted from the 120 full days/ 240 half days rule are holders of residence permits granted for the purpose of:

  • applying for a study programme § 16 (1a) AufenthG and
  • undertaking preliminary courses before starting a study programme - preparatory college, language course – during the first year

Holders of those residence permits are not allowed to work in Germany.

For more details please refer to: (German)

Sächsisches Staatsministerium des Innern (English & German)

Arbeitsagentur (German)

last update: 02.05.2018 


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