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When are asylum seekers allowed to work?

Are you an asylum seeker who wants to work? We have summarised for you here the regulations and opportunities in Germany that apply to you. Four scenarios:

1. No asylum application filed yet

If you’re seeking asylum in Germany but have not yet filed an asylum application, you’re not allowed to work.

2. Asylum seeker

You are permitted to work three months after applying for asylum, with the permission of the Federal Employment Agency. Here’s how it works: you need the approval of the Federal Employment Agency. This allows you to apply for a job. When you have the job, you then need a second confirmation, again from the Employment Agency.
Exception: You cannot work in a self-employed capacity during this time.

Note:

Internships and apprenticeships do not need to be verified by the Agency. Handicraft businesses are currently happy to take on interns who are also interested in further training.
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I did an internship at a bricklaying company. At first, I could communicate only with gestures but it worked
- says Abdul (18) from Syria
Exception: Exclusion from working

Some asylum seekers are not allowed to work, for example, if they live in a reception facility. Refugees from safe countries of origin are also generally not permitted to work. A list is available here.

3. Temporary suspension of deportation status

 

If the asylum process is completed and you have received a rejection, but deportation is temporarily suspended, you receive a “temporary suspension of deportation status”.
This means that a work permit is a possibility. However, there are a lot of regulations! Authorisation to work from the immigration office and permission from the Federal Employment Agency are required. Immigrants whose  deportation has been suspended may work without restriction only after four years in Germany.

Note:

A regular job can be crucial to remaining in Germany for immigrants with temporary suspension of deportation status. This applies both to the extension of the temporary suspension of deportation status and to the awarding of a residence title.

4. Those entitled to asylum/recognised refugees

If your asylum application has been successfully concluded, you may work in Germany without restriction. You then have the same rights as everyone else and may pursue any job that you wish. Self-employment is also allowed. In any case, this is also possible if you have already been living in Germany for four years.