Apply 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. Therefore, if you want to work, you must apply for an employment permit at the Foreigners' Registration Office. This also applies to the exercise of in-company vocational training or an internship.
If you have been permitted to stay in Germany for three months, are not (or no longer) obliged to live in an initial reception centre for asylum seekers (also a reception centre, arrival centre or anchor centre) and have already found an employer who would like to hire you, you may be allowed to work.
To process your application, the Foreigners' Registration Office usually involves the Federal Employment Agency, which checks the working conditions. After more than four years of uninterrupted residence in Germany, the Federal Employment Agency no longer has to be involved.
If you would like to complete in-company vocational training (dual training), you must apply for an employment permit for the specific training place individually. School-based vocational training does not require a permit.
The employment permit is granted for a limited period of time for the duration of the approval of the Federal Employment Agency, at the latest until the expiry of the residence permit.
The following limitations apply:
The pursuit of gainful employment is generally prohibited as long as you are obliged to live in an initial reception centre. Only if your asylum procedure has not been completed within nine months can you be allowed to work.
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 your asylum application was submitted after 31 August 2015, you cannot obtain an employment permit during the asylum procedure.
There is also no access to the German labour market for asylum seekers whose asylum procedures have been rejected as manifestly unfounded or inadmissible and for whose action no suspensive effect has been ordered.
- Find out whether your Foreigners' Registration Office allows you to apply online or has a special application form.
- If the application can only be submitted in person, please submit the "Declaration of Employment Relationship" form completed by your employer to the Foreigners' Registration Office in advance and make an appointment at the Foreigners' Registration Office. In the case of an 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, if possible in the original, with you to the appointment).
- As a rule, the Foreigners' Registration Office will ask the Federal Employment Agency for approval.
- If the employment permit is granted, a corresponding entry is usually made on the residence permit (under "Ancillary provisions") or in an additional sheet.
Who should I contact?
The point of contact is the immigration authority responsible for the applicant's place of residence.
- You are in possession of a valid residence permit.
- They are not obliged to live in a reception centre and have been permitted to stay in Germany for three months.
- They are obliged to live in a reception centre, but their asylum procedure has not been finalised within nine months and they do not come from a safe country of origin.
- Although you come from a safe country of origin, you applied for asylum before 31 August 2015.
- An employer has offered you a specific job and filled out the "Declaration of Employment" form.
- The conditions under which you will work in the future are comparable to those of German employees.
- Their wages correspond to the wages of German employees.
Which documents are required?
- Valid residence permit
- Identity document (e.g. passport or passport substitute), if available
- Form "Declaration of Employment" (to be completed in full by the employer)
- In individual cases, the Foreigners' Registration Office may require less or more evidence.
What are the fees?
The issuance of the employment permit is free of charge.
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
Permission to work 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 Time: 2 - 8 WeeksThe 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 required: Yes
- An action 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 negative decision.
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, Leaflet on Employment of Foreign Workers in Germany):
Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs:
International Placement Service (ZAV):
Information portal on the recognition of foreign professional qualifications:
Technically approved by
Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sport
The text was automatically translated based on the German content.