Ansicht auf ein Gebäude mit der Aufschrift „Jobcenter“ © Goethe-Institut

Work permit

Are you from outside the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area? Then you need a work permit in Germany. Nationals of the EU countries Romania and Bulgaria need a work permit until the end of 2013, but not after that. Whether you are allowed to work in Germany, and for how long, is shown in your residence permit. 

Certificates and recognition

Have you achieved a vocational qualification, university degree or school-leaving certificate in your home country? You will have to have these certificates/documents translated and authenticated. Authentication means that an official body checks that your documents are genuine. The best place to have this done is an authority in your own country. Sometimes your qualification may not be valid in Germany. You can check this while you are still in your home country (Recognition of foreign qualifications). You can find more information on the website. Please also have a look at our informative graphics.

Ein Mann bedient die Anerkennung in Deutschland Webseite auf einem Tablet © Goethe-Institut Job vacancies

Have you got a work permit? Then you can look for a job. There are plenty of possibilities: you can find jobs advertised on the internet, in the newspaper or through the employment agency/job centre. You usually only find local jobs in the newspaper. But the adverts are up-to-date. There are many jobs advertised on the internet, but they are not always up-to-date. The job centre will advise you and find suitable jobs for you. But you can also approach companies directly. Sometimes they have jobs available, but they aren’t on the internet or in the paper. You sometimes find situations vacant on a company’s website too. 

There is also the BIZ (careers advice centre) at the employment agency: you will find job advertisements there, and plenty of information about the subject of careers and work. You can post your profile on the internet there, as well as at the job centre. The BIZ centre also offers a careers advice service if you don’t know what you could do or want to do. 

A work placement in a company can also be useful: you get to know the work and you make contacts.

Ein Mann liest Zeitung und sucht nach Stellenangeboten. © Goethe-Institut


Your application is the first step into the employment market. The application documents are very important. You need a covering letter (a letter to the company), a good application photo, a CV and your certificates (in German). The BIZ centre offers workshops on “Applying for jobs in Germany”. You learn what a job application looks like and how to prepare yourself for the job interview.

Many towns have an advice service for migrants. Here they will also help you to find work and write the application (see "Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge"). Special advice is available for young people under the age of 27 from the youth migration services.

Eine Frau steht vor einem Passfotoautomaten. © Goethe-Institut

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Frequently asked questions

Further questions? Write us via the contact form. We will forward your questions anonymously to the advisors of the youth migration services.

Contact form