Germany’s New Regulations to Allow International Students to Work Before Starting Studies Amongst Other Opportunities for Non-EU Students and Workers


Germany has recently implemented the second part of its new skilled worker law, introducing several changes to attract skilled workers from around the world. These changes include allowing international students with student visas to work up to nine months before their studies begin.

The revamped law, initially enacted in November 2023, aims to facilitate the integration of work and study in Germany at all stages of higher education. One significant change is the opportunity for non-EU citizens to apply for a visa for study purposes, allowing them to stay for up to nine months while preparing their university applications. During this time, they can undertake language courses, gather necessary documents, and acclimate to the country. Importantly, prospective students from developing countries can now work up to 20 hours per week during these nine months to support themselves financially.

Additionally, third-country nationals interested in apprenticeships in Germany can now work while searching for opportunities, provided they possess B1-level German proficiency and are below 35 years of age. They are permitted to stay for nine months, during which they can engage in part-time work and continue working for 20 hours per week alongside their training once they secure an apprenticeship.

Furthermore, under the new regulations, international students in Germany can now work more hours to support themselves financially. The permitted time has been extended from 120 to 140 full days in any calendar year, equivalent to 20 hours per week, or 280 half days per calendar year. Graduates of German universities are also allowed an 18-month stay post-graduation for job hunting, with the option to apply for permanent residence after two years of employment.

These changes benefit international students and workers, offering them more opportunities to study, work, and integrate into German society. Critics, however, question the impact of these changes on the local job market and the potential for exploitation of foreign workers.


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