Working in Germany
It is generally not easy to finance your studies by working. Regulations do not permit many international students to take a full-time job and it can be difficult to find suitable part-time jobs as most jobs require students to have a good command of German. Please also bear in mind that it is very difficult to work and keep up with the workload requirements of the degree programmes.
Student Assistant Jobs (Hiwi jobs)
There are a limited number of on-campus student assistant jobs available in the faculties and in central services such as the library or marketing department. Students often need to have a good command of German. Information about positions available can be found here or by contacting the faculty or department directly.
Job opportunities in local companies
Job opportunities in local companies are advertised on the notice boards at the university. Here also students usually need to have a good command of German. Click here for links to job offers in local companies.
Foreign student employment restrictions
Non-EU students are normally allowed to work for up to 120 days or 240 half days per year without a work permit. In addition, they are allowed to work as a student assistant (so-called Hiwi jobs) on campus for a maximum of 46 hours per month.
Non-EU and Non EEA students
Since August 2012 international non-EU and non-EEA students can work 120 full or 240 half days per year. No official permission from the German authorities at the Job Centre (Agentur für Arbeit) is required. If they want to work for more than 120 full or 240 half days, official permission from the Job Center and the immigration authorities (Ausländerbehörde) is required.
An exception to this rule is work as a research or student assistant. As long as study is not adversely affected, there is no limit to the number of hours that can be worked, however the immigration authorities must be officially informed.
Students from EU countries and the European Economic Area (EEA)
The standard rules are: EU and EEA students have the same rights as German students with no restrictions on the number of hours or type of work they can undertake. Students from Croatia however, are subject to the same 120/240 day restrictions outlined above. Additionally they require a permit from the Job Centre which will first check whether the position could be filled by a German or other citizen of the EU before issuing the permit.
- If you are a non-EU or non-EEA student and wish to undertake a voluntary internship in Germany, this counts as regular work even if the internship is unpaid! Every day of the internship will be subtracted from the 120 day limit. If you have already worked for 120 days, a special permit from the immigration authorities and the job centre is required in order to undertake the voluntary internship.
- Internships which are a mandatory part of the degree programme (Praxissemester), do not require a permit from the immigration authorities or the Job Centre.
- If you are not completing a degree at a German university (and are only enrolled as an exchange or guest student at HFU) but would like to undertake an internship in Germany, you must have the consent of the International Placement Services Agency (ZAV). This must be applied for at one of the following organizations:
- International Placement Agency (ZAV) in Bonn
- Baden-Württemberg Partnership for the Exchange of Students,Graduates and Knowledge Transfer (KOOR) in Karlsruhe
- Other ZAV-recognized Exchange organizations
For further information please contact the International Center at HFU. The International Center will submit the application for guest or exchange students.
Taxes and Social Security Contributions
Students are allowed to earn €8354/year tax free, i.e. they can have a mini-job and earn up to €450/mth without having to pay any tax. If they earn more than this amount, income tax will automatically be deducted from their earnings.
Sometimes tax is deducted over the employer regardless of the minimal income. This tax will be refunded at the end of the year if you submit an income tax return to the Tax Office (Finanzamt).
Anyone who works in Germany normally needs a tax number. This can be applied for online.
Social Security Contributions
If you do not work for longer than 3 months continuously or 70 days/year in total, no social security contributions must be paid. Anyone who works for a longer period of time or has a mini-job usually has to pay pension contributions. Anyone who works for more than 20 hours/week generally also has to pay medical (Krankenversicherung), unemployment (Arbeitslosenversicherung) and long-term care (Pflegeversicherung) insurance.