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.
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.
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
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)
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,
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.
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:
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).
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.
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
- Schul- und Arbeitszeugnisse
- Bestätigungen Arbeitgeber
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
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- Individuelle Beratung
- Weitervermittlung an Fachstellen