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HAW Hamburg

Working in Germany

In Germany students can work part-time or complete internships during their studies. It is however important to follow the rules and your work should not have a negative impact on your degree programme. Please be aware that when you apply for a visa you will be expected to provide proof of sufficient funds (720 Euros/month) for the first year of your studies, possibly for all of your studies, depending on the country you come from.

General rules

In general all students can work a maximum of 20 hours a week during the semester.

a) Students from the European Union (with the exception of Croatia) do not need a work permit to work part-time during their studies.

b) Students from outside the European Union as well as from Croatia can work a maximum of 120 days (or 240 half days) per year without a work permit. You must have the following text stamped with your residence permit/student visa in your passport in order to work part-time in Germany: »Beschäftigung bis zu 120 Tage oder 240 halbe Tage im Jahr sowie Ausübung studentischer Nebentätigkeit erlaubt.«

Part-time work that exceeds the 120 days requires a work permit. If in any doubt, please contact the office where you are registered in Hamburg (Ausländerbehörde) or the Federal Labour Agency (Agentur für Arbeit).

120 days rule & the exceptions

Students from outside the EU and Croatia can work 120 days or 240 half days per year without a work permit (§ 16 clause 3 of AufenthG). 

1 day = 8 hours; 0.5 day = 4 hours

If you work more than 4 hours, even if it is less than 8 hours, it counts as a full day. If you earn more than 400 Euros/month you have to make payments into the German social security scheme.

Jobs on campus:
Jobs on campus are NOT included in the 120 day rule. This includes jobs at the university such as jobs as tutors or student jobs (studentische Hilfskräfte), etc.

Internships, Bachelor and Master Thesis:
Internships that are a compulsory part of your studies are NOT included in the 120 day rule and do not require a work permit. This also applies to your Bachelor and Master thesis, if they are completed in industry, at the university or in research institutes.

After graduation / Blue Card EU

After completing a degree programme in Germany international graduates can stay in Germany for a further 18 months to look for a job that matches their degree qualifications. During this time you must have sufficient finances to cover your cost of living but you can work without any restrictions.

Blue Card EU
In 2012 Germany introduced the Blue Card EU for non-EU citizens with special skills to live and work in Germany. Prerequisites are a university degree and proof of employment. For further information please check the website

Letzte Änderung: 12.12.17

An die Redaktion

If you have questions:

HAW Hamburg
International Office


Teresa Schaubs
T +49.40.428 75-9183

Mariana Paunova
T +49.40.428 75-9834

Open office hours:
First Floor / Room 116
Thurs. 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
or by appointment

Campus Berliner Tor
Students Centre
Stiftstr. 69 / Building G
20099 Hamburg

Information Flyer

Download this information flyer about international students and their rights about working in Germany, in case your future employer has questions.