Can a student work in Germany?

Employment opportunities for students

Working while studying

During your studies, you are generally allowed to work without the consent of the labor administration. You may not work more than 120 days or 240 half days per calendar year.

Please note that your residence permit always contains regulations on taking up work that may deviate from the statutory provisions.

A reference in your residence permit to the regulations of Section 16b, Paragraph 3 of the Residence Act refers to the statutory 120-day regulation.

Whole days / half days

Working up to half of the normal working day counts as half a day. As a rule, the usual daily working time is 8 hours. As a result, days on which you work four or more hours count as full working days, days on which you work up to four hours count as half working days.

Only the days on which you actually work are counted. Paid or unpaid vacation and sick days are therefore not counted towards the 120 days / 240 half days. The calendar year is decisive for the calculation of the annual deadline. For example, if you have already worked 120 days in August and would like to extend your residence permit, you will not automatically receive another 120 days, but will only be allowed to work again from January of the following year.

With regard to the intended employment - apart from the statutory minimum wage - no maximum or minimum salary limits apply. All you have to do is make sure that you do not exceed the limit of 120 days or 240 half days.

Employment as a student assistant

A student job / assistant is understood to mean employment at a college, university or other scientific institution. This also applies to activities that do not take place directly at the university or academic institution, but serve the purpose of training in the technical environment of the degree. These include, for example, university-related activities in university-related organizations (such as tutorships in dormitories of the Studentenwerke and advisory work by the university communities, the General Student Committee (AStA) and the World University Service).

A separate consent or approval from the labor administration is not required. These activities are Not counted towards the 120-day rule.


Students from non-EU countries who want to become self-employed or freelance require the approval of the immigration office. This activity can only be permitted if it is basically structured like dependent employment (for example, as a freelance worker, student assistant). This can be approved within the framework of the 120-day rule. However, only if this does not jeopardize the completion of your studies and if it shows a connection between the work you are doing and your studies.

Exceeding the 120-day rule

If you want to work more than 120 days a year, you need the approval of the immigration office before starting employment, which must obtain the approval of the employment agency. A permit can only be issued in cases of particular financial need.

Employees and employers must check for themselves whether the 120 days have already been used up.

Internship while studying

Are also allowed Compulsory internshipswhich are stipulated in the study and examination regulations of your degree program as a compulsory part of the course. These are not counted towards the 120 days.

A voluntary internshipwhich is not stipulated as a compulsory part of your studies in the examination regulations, must be taken into account within the framework of the 120-day rule. It doesn't matter here whether the internship is paid or unpaid.