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).
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).