Work permit for foreign students (non EU/EEA)

If you are a foreign citizen enrolled in a course of study in Germany, the main purpose of your stay naturally is studying. In order to finance your studies, as a citizen of a country that does not belong to the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA), you may work for a maximum of 120 days per calendar year (alternatively 240 half days) without permission. If you hold a part time job at the university or at another scientific institution, it is possible to work without time restrictions and without permission.

If they work for a longer period of time (this also applies to internships) – paid or unpaid – students from so-called third countries always need the approval of the responsible immigration office before starting to work, sometimes in conjunction with approval by the Federal Employment Agency.

A longer-term employment (more than 120 days) can only be permitted as part-time work if the purpose of the stay, which is limited to studying, is not changed and work does not impede or prolong the course of study.

Attention! Do not start working until you have permission. The regulations for foreign students are very strict. You can be expelled if you violate them.

Onlineantrag und Formulare

Hinweis: Sobald Sie eine Postleitzahl oder einen Ort angegeben haben, können wir Ihnen an dieser Stelle den Onlineantrag und die Formulare der zuständigen Stelle anzeigen. Ort angeben

Zuständige Stelle

Immigration office of the municipal or district administration

Hinweis: Sobald Sie eine Postleitzahl oder einen Ort angegeben haben, können wir Ihnen an dieser Stelle weitere Informationen zu der für Sie zuständigen Stelle anzeigen. Ort angeben
Warum soll ich einen Ort angeben?
Mit Hilfe der Ortsangabe können wir die für Sie passenden Informationen, Formulare, Dienste und Ihre zuständige Stelle anzeigen.
Welchen Ort soll ich angeben?
Zum Beispiel Ihren Wohnort, wenn Sie einen Reisepass beantragen wollen oder den Unternehmensstandort, wenn Sie ein Gewerbe anmelden möchten.

Service details


  • You have a residence permit to study.
  • The duration of employment will exceed 120 days (or 240 half days).
Note: No restrictions apply to
  • Nationals of an EU member state
  • Nationals of a treaty state of the European Economic Area (EU states as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway)
  • Nationals of Switzerland

The following applies to internships related to a course of study:

  • You are enrolled at a foreign university or have graduated no longer than two years ago.
  • There is a direct material connection between the course of study and the internship.
  • The internship company has committed in writing to bear costs incurred by public authorities up to six months after the termination of the internship agreement (for the foreigner's living expenses in the event of an unauthorized stay in Germany and for his or her deportation).
  • The maximum duration of the internship is six months.


  • No permit is required for employment not exceeding 120 days per calendar year during the course of study.
  • If employment during the course of study exceeds this period, permission from the immigration office is always required, sometimes in conjunction with approval by the Federal Employment Agency.
  • It is essential to apply for a work permit before taking up employment.

If the responsible office provides forms, please use them, otherwise an informal letter is sufficient.

Internships related to a course of study

  • As a rule, a visa procedure is required before entry into Germany. This must be applied for at the German embassy in the country of origin.
  • The internship company supplies a completed registration form and an internship plan.
  • The internship company has to submit a commitment in writing to bear costs.
  • It is always necessary to obtain the approval of the Federal Employment Agency.

Forms can be found in the "Merkblatt für studienfachbezogene Praktika" of the Federal Employment Agency (see “Forms and online services” above).


Fixed term permit: usually for the duration of employment


The Federal Employment Agency can also arrange and approve, under its own responsibility, specialized internships for foreign students enrolled at a university abroad.

Release note

Saxon State Ministry of the Interior. 13.10.2020