Germany Implements New Regulations Allowing International Students to Work 9 Months Before Studies

By Milcah Tanimu

Germany has recently enacted the second phase of its new skilled worker law, introducing significant changes aimed at attracting skilled workers from around the world. One of the key provisions of this new law is the allowance for international students with student visas to work up to 9 months prior to the commencement of their studies.

Following the initial enactment in November 2023, the German government has now put into effect the second segment of its revamped skilled worker law. The goal is to make the country more appealing to skilled workers across various industries by easing regulations, particularly for international students.

Some of the notable changes introduced include:

  1. Work opportunities before the start of studies: Non-EU citizens applying for study visas can now stay in Germany for up to nine months while preparing their university applications. During this period, they are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week to support themselves financially, enabling them to undergo language courses, gather necessary documents, and acclimate to the country.
  2. Apprenticeships for non-EU nationals: Similar to university applicants, third-country nationals interested in apprenticeships in Germany can now work while seeking opportunities. They are allowed to stay for nine months, provided they have B1-level German proficiency and are under 35 years of age. Once they secure an apprenticeship, they can engage in part-time work alongside their training.
  3. Increased work hours for international students: The new regulations extend the permitted work time for international students in Germany from 120 to 140 full days in any calendar year, equivalent to 20 hours per week, or 280 half days per calendar year. This change aims to better support students financially during their studies.
  4. Extended post-study stay: Graduates of German universities now have an 18-month period post-graduation to search for employment opportunities. After two years of employment, they have the option to apply for permanent residence. Additionally, graduates seeking a career change can explore alternative visa pathways through the EU Blue Card or German Skilled Worker Visa.

Overall, these new regulations are designed to facilitate the integration of international students into the German workforce and encourage skilled workers to pursue opportunities in the country, contributing to its economic growth and development.


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