Work / Job / Training

Depending on your country of origin, your work permit is subject to different requirements.

EU citizens and those from Lichtenstein, Iceland, Norway or Switzerland:

If you want to live in Germany, you are obliged to always support yourself. As citizens of the EU, Lichtenstein, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland you require no work permit to work in Germany.

Croatian citizens:

In order to work in Germany, you will need - for now – an "EU work permit" until 30 June 2015. This permit must be obtained prior to taking up any employment. The Central International Placement Services (ZAV) is the agency responsible for the work permit approval process. Special rules may apply for university graduates, trainees and seasonal workers.

Non-EU citizens:

In order to work in Germany, you will need a visa that allows you to work here.
You can get individual advice from the information centres . If you have obtained any formal vocational qualification in your home country, you can check if this qualification is recognized in Germany (see this chapter). You can also get advice on starting your own business.

The following agencies will advise and support you:

Freiburg Employment Center (Agentur für Arbeit Freiburg)

Career counselling, training placement, further education counselling, job placement, payment of benefits

Jobcenter Freiburg

For persons who receive combined unemployment and welfare benefits (ALG II) and live in Freiburg,
the Job Centre provides advice and financial support for vocational integration and helps with training and job placements.

Youth Agency of the Jobcenter Freiburg (Jugendagentur des Jobcenters Freiburg)

The youth agency serves young job seekers between 15 and 25 years of age

For young people under 25 who receive ALG II benefits and live in Freiburg, the Youth Agency offers individual counselling and financial support for their vocational integration and places them intraining schemes and jobs.

Vocational Information Centre (Berufsinformationszentrum)

Self-information service

Provision of computer terminals, Internet workstations, books, brochures, information material on training and further education

Please bring: Your passport or identity papers

Counselling for women on work-related issues (Beratung für Frauen in Berufsfragen)

City of Freiburg, Service centre for women and work (focusing on training and further education,
business startups)

The service centre for women and work of the City of Freiburg is the place to go for women with work-related issues. This is where you get information and counselling about your return to work, training and further education and how you can find a job.

Recognition of Foreign Vocational Qualifications

Point of initial contact and competence centre for recognition of vocational qualifications (Erstanlaufstelle und Kompetenzzentrum Anerkennungsberatung)

Qualification counselling in case of partial recognition Counselling on recognition of foreign vocational qualifications

Services: Advice and support during recognition process; search for the competent recognition agencies, help in compiling the documents, researching requirements for recognition and upgrading of your qualifications

Please bring:
  • School certificates and job references
  • Confirmations by your employer
  • Residence permit

Counselling and recognition / evaluation of foreign vocational qualifications (Beratung und Anerkennung / Bewertung ausländischer Berufsabschlüsse)

For the industrial, retail, hospitality and service sector

Counselling on vocational training for immigrants running a business (Beratung von Migrantenbetrieben im Bereich Berufsausbildung)

Educational guidance of the Chamber of Skilled Trades

Recognition of foreign vocational qualifications – skilled trades, Freiburg Chamber of Skilled Trades (Anerkennung ausländischer Bildungsnachweise-Handwerk Handwerkskammer Freiburg)

Chamber of Skilled Trades support services for vocational training (Unterstützungsangebote der Handwerkskammer im Bereich Ausbildung)

Educational service of the Freiburg Chamber of Skilled Trades:
For interested students, parents, teachers and skilled trade businesses with questions concerning education and training

  • Free online exchange for apprenticeships
    and internships
  • Individual consultation
  • Referral to specialist agencies

Chamber of Skilled Trades support services for continued education (Unterstützungsangebote der Handwerkskammer im Bereich Fort- und Weiterbildung)

The Gewerbe Akademie Freiburg, the educational centre of the Chamber of Skilled Trades,
offers customized training and further education options, from internships abroad to certification as Master Craftsman and bachelor program; information on possible financial support.

General Information:

Chamber of Commerce for the Southern Upper Rhine Region (Industrie- und Handelskammer Südlicher Oberrhein)

Further support and advice in case of unemployment

Freiburg Protestant Church Charity (Diakonisches Werk Freiburg)

Goethe II. – Counselling for job seekers and start-up companies



friga e. V.

Social counselling in the FABRIK

Guide to Education (Wegweiser Bildung – WeBi)

Use entrance to City Library

  • Advice on educational and vocational qualifications
  • Options after completing school
  • First vocational training
  • University studies
  • Internships
  • Volunteer services

Information for refugees

The following information is intended for refugees without recognition as asylum-seekers or as refugees (people before the start of the asylum procedure, in the middle of the asylum procedure or people whose deportation has been suspended). Refugees who have been recognized as asylum seekers or refugees can find the information relevant to them on the remaining pages of the guide, which is intended for all migrants.


Before you can start a job, a training programme or the like, this usually has to be approved by the Office for Migration and Integration of the City of Freiburg. Some cases do not require approval, but even in these cases it is advisable that you have them confirmed by the Office for Migration and Integration.

Therefore: Before you start a job, training programme, internship or the like, please always contact your Social Service Centre, which will help you with the review or approval by the Office for Migration and Integration (Department 5 Immigration and Citizenship Law).

Preparation for work, a training programme or the like

If you want to work, enter a training programme or do something similar in Germany, it is very important that you can speak German. See also the chapter "Learning German".

In preparation for your job search, training programme or the like it is useful if you can already provide records regarding your years of schooling, training and previous work. It is helpful if your documents are as complete as possible. For some professions, you need to have these documents acknowledged, in that there must be an assessment regarding which of your foreign qualifications correspond to those in Germany (see below "Recognition of foreign diplomas, university degrees or professional qualifications").
Applying for a job, an apprenticeship or a position as an intern always requires a written CV which gives an overview of your time at school, in training, at work and in other situations.

This is where you find multilingual information on applying for jobs in Germany:

This is where you find multilingual information on how to prepare a CV for the German job market:


As a refugee, you can work or enter a training programme in Germany under certain conditions. Basically, you are not allowed to work until 3 months after your arrival. However, this is subject to various conditions. It is therefore advisable to check with your Social Service Centre whether you are allowed to work in Germany.

Note: Your residence document always contains information about whether you are eligible to work in Germany.

If you already have a status as a person entitled to asylum or as a refugee, you can work without restrictions.


To train for a profession in Germany, you have the option of studying at a university or within the context of the dual education system. For further information about studying, see "University Studies".

The dual education system involves training in a company and studies at a vocational school. This type of training requires between two and three and a half years. During your training, you usually get paid a low wage. By completing a training programme, your chances of finding a better job after training are much better.


An internship is aimed at gaining professional experience or getting to know a particular company better. An internship may last a few days to several months. During an internship, you usually get little or no pay.


A mini-job is a job with an income of up to 450 euros and a few working hours. However, refugees undergoing the asylum procedure can only get a part of this income; the remaining income is offset against the benefits you receive from the state as a refugee. Nevertheless, a mini-job can be a great way to gain professional experience in Germany and learn German.

Federal Volunteer Service

The federal volunteer service is a way for people of all ages to work for the common good outside of work and school - in social, environmental and cultural fields. In the Federal Volunteer Service, you generally don't work in your trained profession. The people working in the Federal Volunteer Service are often young people who have finished school but have not yet started their training, but the opportunity is open to people of all ages. A stint in the Federal Voluntary Service usually takes 12 months, but service periods of 6 to 24 months are also possible. During this time you are paid a small salary. For more information, go to:

Voluntary Services

There are many people in Germany who provide voluntary services without getting paid, e.g. in an association or club. This can be a good opportunity for refugees to establish contact with German citizens, learn German and make new experiences.

Recognition of Foreign Diplomas, University Degrees or Professional Qualifications

If you have acquired a secondary school diploma, a university degree or a vocational qualification in your home country, you can ask for an assessment of whether these will be recognized in Germany (see below).

Bank Account

As soon as you get paid for a job or receive wages from an apprenticeship or internship, you will need a bank account, because the wages are usually not paid in cash. To open a bank account, you will need a registration certificate. You will find information on this under "Housing". If you want to open a bank account, please contact your Social Service Centre.

Job Placement Support, particularly for Refugees

Job placement centre for refugees living in the Freiburg area, Caritas Association of the City of Freiburg

Counselling on work and training for asylum seekers, people with leave to stay and for refugees

Support in looking for a job or apprenticeship, placement in qualification programmes, job-related language courses

Please bring:
residence permit, CV, if available, application documents, certificates

Project Network Baden – Work and Training for Refugees

Integration into the job and training market for those entitled to stay and for refugees

  • Support during orientation, job search and job application
  • Evaluation of competences
  • Placement in qualification programmes
  • Professional qualification, e.g. basic qualification to work in a nursing home

Please bring:
residence permit, CV, if available, certificates

General Support in Job Placement

Service Centre for Women and Work, City of Freiburg

Counselling for women with work-related questions,
Orientation, training and continued education, start-ups

Die Kontaktstelle Frau und Beruf Stadt Freiburg ist Anlaufstelle für Frauen zu beruflichen Fragen. Hier erhalten Sie Informationen und Beratung zum Wiedereinstieg, zu Aus- und Weiterbildung und wie Sie eine Stelle finden können.

Education Guide (Wegweiser Bildung - WeBi)

Entrance City Library

Advice in Arabic: twice a month
The "WeBi" in the entrance area of the City Library is the central guide in Freiburg for all matters relating to education and counselling. It's a compilation of all educational services and educational counselling services. The offers are available in the form of flyers or can be explained in a consultation session. We provide fast and accurate information on possible routes to school in Freiburg and discuss the next steps.

Jule – Youth Career Counselling for Young Mothers, IN VIA in the Archdiocese Freiburg

Counselling service providing personal and professional orientation for young mothers with or without immigrant background who are on parental leave

Individual consultation
Job application training
Meeting point for single parents
Recreational offers

Recognition of foreign diplomas, university degrees or professional qualifications; counselling on training, continued education, qualification

The "Initial Contact Point and Counselling Centre for the Recognition of Qualifications" below is the most important contact for the recognition of foreign diplomas, university degrees or professional qualifications. This is followed by a list of additional counselling centres for questions regarding recognition or additional qualifications.

Initial Contact Point and Counselling Centre for the Recognition of Qualifications

Beratung zur Anerkennung von ausländischen Abschlüssen

  • Counselling on the recognition of foreign diplomas and professional qualifications
  • Training and information events on the recognition of qualifications
Please bring:
  • Schul- und Arbeitszeugnisse
  • Bestätigungen Arbeitgeber
  • Aufenthaltspapiere

Qualifizierungsberatung bei Teilanerkennung

Chamber of Commerce (IHK) of the Southern Upper Rhine Region

Placement of suitable young refugees in internship and training programmes

identification and appropriate support and placement of suitable young people in internship and training programmes and support of the respective businesses.

Consultation and Recognition / Evaluation of Foreign Professional Qualifications, Chamber of Commerce

Industry, retail, restaurant and service sectors                              
Chamber of Commerce of the Southern Upper Rhine Region
Head Office Lahr

Recognition of Foreign Qualifications in the Trades and Crafts Sector, Chamber of Trades and Crafts Freiburg

Support Services regarding Training, Chamber of Trades and Crafts Freiburg

Ausbildungsservice der Handwerkskammer Freiburg:
Für interessierte Schüler/innen, Eltern, Lehrer/innen und Handwerksbetriebe bei Fragen rund um die Ausbildung

  • Kostenlose Online-Lehrstellen und Praktikumsbörse
  • Individuelle Beratung
  • Weitervermittlung an Fachstellen