Finding Work


During your first three months as an asylum seeker, you are not permitted to work.

If you have been officially granted refugee status, there are few limitations or special rules to consider when applying for jobs or internships.

This is different for asylum seekers whose application is still being processed. You are also permitted to work after three months, but only under certain conditions:

  • Internships (Praktikum): You will almost always need approval of the Immigration Office (Ausländerbehörde). Please contact them! For internships lasting longer than three months, you need the approval of both the Immigration Office and the Employment Office (Arbeitsagentur).
  • Work (Arbeit): You need the approval of both the Immigration Office and the Employment Office.
  • Vocational training/apprenticeship (Ausbildung): You need the approval of the Immigration Office.

Adults who have been granted refugee status and asylum seekers with high chances of approval can also apply for the BUFDI Federal Voluntary Service Program (Bundesfreiwilligendienst).

Information Bundesfreiwilligendienst

The Volunteer Gap Year (Freiwillige Soziale Jahr FSJ) is open to refugees between the ages of 18 and 26.
Information Freiwilliges Soziales Jahr

Any income earned from an FSJ, mini-job or paid internship will be used to calculate the welfare payments you receive from the Social Welfare Office or Job Centre. That means you may not keep all of the money in addition to the complete financial assistance.

However: There is no better way to learn the German language than by working or doing an internship! What’s more, you will get to know the professional world and start making contacts!

Even if you have not received a work permit yet, you may still seek advising services from the Employment Office (Arbeitsagentur).

Arbeitsagentur / Jobcenter Saarbrücken
Hafenstraße 18
66111 Saarbrücken

Phone: +49 681 75595 100

Recognition of degrees, diplomas, or professional certificates

The service point for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications (Servicestelle zur Erschließung ausländischer Qualifikationen) in Saarland can advise you on how to go about getting any degrees, diplomas or professional certificates officially recognized (Anerkennung). For example, staff can explain what needs to be done for your vocational training certificate or university degree to count in Germany. You will learn how long the process lasts, how much it costs, and how you can receive financial assistance. 

Information for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications

The advising services are open to anyone who has begun the asylum process.

Training and career guide

Netzwerk ANKOMMEN has created a training and career guide in several languages.

Video about vocational training/apprenticeship