Work in Germany as an International Student and Graduate

Work in Germany – Renowned for its innovation in automation and engineering, Germany stands out as an appealing destination for students aspiring to build a career while pursuing their studies.

With one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, Germany offers diverse opportunities for both EU and non-EU students. This comprehensive guide provides an overview of the requirements and pathways for international students looking to work in Germany during or after their studies.

Working in Germany during Your Studies

EU/EEA Students:

  • Entitlement: Enjoy the same rights as German students with free access to the job market.
  • Work Limit: Up to 20 hours per week.
  • Exceptions: Student and research assistant roles usually not counted in the limit.

Non-EU/EEA Students:

  • Entitlement: Allowed to work for 120 full days or 240 half days per year.
  • Internships: Semester break internships counted as regular work; mandatory course internships exempted.
  • Restrictions: Prohibited from self-employed or freelance work.


  • Up to €450 (~US$491) per month tax-free.
  • Exceeding the limit results in income tax and automatic deductions.
  • Proficiency in German and completed internships enhance job prospects.

Working in Germany after Your Studies

EU/EEA Students:

  • Rights: No need for a work permit; treated like German residents.

Non-EU/EEA Students:

  • Extension: Can extend residence permit for up to 18 months post-graduation.
  • Requirements: Passport, degree certificate, health insurance, proof of financial support.
  • Work Opportunities: Unlimited during the 18 months.

Job Search:

  • Language Proficiency: Proficiency in German enhances job opportunities.
  • Blue Card: Apply if offered a job paying at least €53,000 (~US$57,844) annually.
  • Settlement Permit: Apply for permanent residency two years after obtaining the Blue Card.

Seeking Work in Germany After Returning Home

Jobseeker Visa:

  • Duration: Six months.
  • Purpose: Look for a job related to your degree.
  • Application: Apply at the nearest German embassy in your home country.

Germany opens its doors to international students, offering not only world-class education but also abundant opportunities to build a successful career. Understanding the intricacies of working during and after studies empowers students to make informed choices, whether aiming to enrich their academic journey or seeking a long-term professional foothold in this vibrant and dynamic European nation.

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