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Applying for an employment permit for persons with a residence permit

If you are in an ongoing asylum procedure, employment is only permitted if this is expressly stated in your residence permit. If you wish to work, you must therefore apply for an employment permit from the Foreigners' Registration Office. This also applies to vocational training or an internship.

If you have been permitted to stay in Germany for three months, are no longer obliged to live in an initial reception center for asylum seekers (also known as a reception center, arrival center or anchor center) and have already found an employer who would like to employ you, you may be permitted to work.

To process your application, the foreigners authority usually involves the Federal Employment Agency, which will check the working conditions. After more than four years of uninterrupted residence in Germany, the Federal Employment Agency no longer needs to be involved.

If you would like to complete company-based vocational training (dual training), the employment permit for the specific training position must be applied for individually. Vocational training at school does not require approval.

The employment permit is issued for the duration of the approval of the Federal Employment Agency, at the longest until the residence permit expires.

The following restrictions apply:

You are generally prohibited from taking up gainful employment as long as you are obliged to live in an initial reception center. You may only be permitted to work if your asylum procedure has not been completed within nine months.

If you are an asylum seeker from a so-called "safe country of origin", i.e. from a member state of the European Union, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ghana, Kosovo, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (North Macedonia), Montenegro, Senegal or Serbia, and have submitted your asylum application after August 31, 2015, you cannot obtain a work permit during the asylum procedure.

Asylum seekers whose asylum procedure has been rejected as manifestly unfounded or inadmissible and whose appeal has not been granted suspensive effect also have no access to the German labor market.

Process flow

  • Find out whether your Foreigners' Registration Office allows you to apply online or whether you have a special application form.
  • If it is only possible to apply in person, please send the "Declaration of Employment Relationship" form, which has been completed in full by your employer, to the Foreigners' Registration Office in advance and make an appointment at the Foreigners' Registration Office. In the case of the online application, the Foreigners' Registration Office will contact you after receipt of your application to make an appointment.
  • During the appointment, your identity and documents will be checked (please bring your documents, preferably in the original, to the appointment).
  • As a rule, the Foreigners' Registration Office will ask the Federal Employment Agency for approval.
  • If the employment permit is issued, a corresponding entry is usually made on the residence permit (under "Ancillary provisions") or in an additional sheet.


  • You are in possession of a valid residence permit.
  • You are not obliged to live in a reception center and have been permitted to stay in Germany for three months.
  • You are obliged to live in a reception center, but your asylum procedure has not been concluded incontestably within nine months and you do not come from a safe country of origin.
  • Although you come from a safe country of origin, you submitted your asylum application before August 31, 2015.
  • An employer has offered you a specific job and completed the "Declaration of employment" form.
  • The conditions under which you will work in the future are comparable to those of German employees.
  • Your salary corresponds to the salary of German employees.

Which documents are required?

  • Valid residence permit
  • Identity document (e.g. passport or passport substitute), if available
  • "Declaration of employment" form (to be completed in full by the employer)
  • In individual cases, the foreigners authority may require less or further proof.

What are the fees?

The employment permit is issued free of charge.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

Permission to engage in employment should be applied for before concluding an employment contract.

The permit is limited for the duration of the approval of the Federal Employment Agency, at the latest until the expiry of your residence permit.

Processing duration

Processing Time: 2 - 8 Weeks
The processing time may vary depending on the workload of the Foreigners' Registration Office.

Applications / forms

Forms available: Yes

Written form required: Yes

Informal application possible: No

Personal appearance necessary: Yes


  • An appeal against a negative decision of the Foreigners' Registration Office can be brought before the competent administrative court.
  • A preliminary procedure (opposition) does not take place in Lower Saxony.
  • Detailed information can be found in the rejection notice.

Questions and Answers Asylum and refugee protection, access to the labour market for refugees

Information from the Federal Employment Agency on access to the labour market for people from abroad (e.g. Migration Check for Employees, Fact Sheet on the Employment of Foreign Workers in Germany):

Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs:

International Placement Service (ZAV):

Information portal for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications:

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sports


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)