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Access to the employment market

The access to the employment market depends on your residence status and the length of your previous stay in Germany. The Foreigners' Office adds a notice concerning the access to the employment market to every residence permit, residence toleration and residence acceptance: When you are a citizen of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Community (EEC) and Switzerland, you do not need a work permit for employment in Germany. Accepted asylum seekers can work in an employment without any restrictions and run an independent business. When you hold a residence permit, you can be granted the permission to work in employment three months after the issuance of the arrival certificate. When you come to Germany from a safe third country without holding a residence permit, a work permit can be granted to you after the lapse of three months after you have applied for asylum at the Federal Agency for Migration and Refugees only. Before persons holding a resident permit or residence toleration can enter an employment they have to obtain the approval from their competent Ausländerbehörde (Foreigners' Office). The Foreigners' Office obtains the consent of the Employment Office (priority check). The Employment Agency checks whether the employment of a foreign applicant has an adverse effect on the employment market, whether a preferred employee (citizen of Germany, of an EU or EEC country) is available and whether the working conditions are the same as for German employees. No priority check is made in the case of highly qualified persons and specialists in understaffed professions. After a stay of 15 months in Germany, only the comparability of the working conditions is checked. After a stay of four years, the consent of the Employment Agency is no longer required to enter in an employment. No consent of the Employment Agency is required for the start of a vocational training and for persons holding the Blue EU Card.

Persons holding a residence permit who are obliged to live in an immigrants home are not allowed to enter in an employment. Persons holding a residence toleration are not allowed to enter in an employment, when they obstruct measures to end their stay or when they come from a safe country of origin and their application for asylum filed after 31 August 2015 has been rejected.

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Acceptance of foreign qualifications

Acceptance of foreign qualifications

When you have completed a vocational training or study in your homeland, you can ask for a check whether your qualification is accepted in Germany. You can work in many trades without any formal acceptance. Nevertheless it is useful to have your qualification checked so that employees are enabled to better assess your skills and knowledge. The acceptance of foreign qualifications is binding for specific trades and professions. In particular, this applies to qualifications in health professions, e.g. physicians and nurses, as well as in social or pedagogical professions. You can contact the Telefon-Hotline des Bundesamtes für Migration und Flüchtlinge (Telephone Hotline of the Federal Agency for Migration and Refugees) in German and English.

The Servicestelle IQ „Anerkennungs- und Qualifizierungsberatung“ (Service Agency IQ "Acceptance and Qualification Advice") renders assistance in the acceptance procedure. They give advice where you can find the competent acceptance agencies and which documents you need for the acceptance procedure. In most cases you need certified copies of your certificates and a translation by a sworn translator.

Job orientation and start

Job orientation and start

The Berufsinformationszentrum der Agentur für Arbeit (Job Information Centre of the Employment Agency) provides information on the different trades and professions in Germany, the associated activities and necessary qualifications. In Germany, there is a vast number of different trades and professions. When you are interested in a specific job, it is useful to attend an internship to get an insight in this work. In their search for a vocational training, your children should take the opportunity of an internship, to get an idea of the usual job activities and to test their own attitude to the job.

In your search for a job, you should use several job portals in the web, e.g. the Jobbörse der Agentur für Arbeit (Job Offers of the Employment Agency). A written application with a motivation letter, a curriculum vitae and usually also qualification and job certificates are important for the successful search for a job.

The staff of the der Agentur für Arbeit (Employment Agency) will help you in the search for a suitable vocational training or a job. When you are paid Arbeitslosengeld I (Unemployment Benefit I), the Employment Agency can assist you by measures of occupational integration, e.g. application training, coaching, further education and retraining courses.

When you are granted allowances from the Jobcenter, your agent will assist you in the search for a vocational training or job. The Jobcenter also assists in measures of occupational integration. Usually you should speak German on level B2 to work in a job in Germany.

Information on the start of a job and correct contact partners are given by the Zentrum für Migration und Arbeitsmarkt Sachsen-Anhalt (Saxony-Anhalt Centre for Migration and Labour Market).

Projects for the Job start

Projects for the Job start

project target group offer duration
Refugee integration project of the Welfare and Integration Offic Asylum seekers Public welfare activities during the asylum proceeding 12/ 2020
Fachkraft im Fokus - Willkommensbegleitung (Specialist in the Focus - welcome attendance) Persons experienced in their profession, accepted asylum seeker Job advice, further education advice, assistance in the search for and the start of a job 03/ 2020
Fachkraft in Fokus - Fachkräfteberatung (Specialist in the Focus – advice for specialists) Persons having completed a first vocational training or study, except refugees ob advice, further education advice, competence diagnostics 03/2020
Industrie- und Handels-kammer (IHK) Halle-Dessau (Halle-Dessau Chamber of Industry and Commerce Persons up to the age of 25 advice and assistance in the search for jobs, job entry qualification
Handwerkskammer (HWK) Halle (Halle Chamber of Handicrafts) Persons up to the age of 25, persons experienced in their trades Advice and coaching, assistance in the search for vocational training and in the integration in the job market
Aktive Eingliederung der Stadt Dessau-Roßlau (Social Participation 58+ Long-time unemployed persons Coaching, qualification, mentoring

Establishing your own business

Establishing your own business

When you come from a country outside the European Union and intend to establish your own business, e.g. to open a shop or restaurant, you have to obtain the approval of the Ausländerbehörde (Foreigners' Office). The establishment requires good preparation and sufficient financial security. The Amt für Wirtschaftsförderung (Business Promotion Agency) assists you by providing qualification seminars before and after your business establishment. You may apply for subsidies to support the establishment of your own business. An overview of subsidy schedules can be found in the Förderdatenbank des Bundes (Subsidy Data Base of the Federal Government).

For the establishment of your business, you have to prepare a business plan and a financing plan. Your independent business must be registered with the Gewerbeamt (Trade Supervisory Office) and you have to apply for a tax ID number by the Finanzamt (local tax office). Please contact the Industrie- und Handelskammer (Chamber of Industry and Commerce) or the Handwerkskammer (Chamber of Handicrafts), whether you have to fulfil special requirements or need specific certificates and permits. Inform your health insurance company that you run your own business. Concerning questions of old-age provision, you can contact the Deutschen Rentenversicherung (German Pension Insurance). After you have established your business, you can benefit from the Beratungsförderung des Bundes (Consultancy Promotion Service of the Federal Government).

Labour law

Labour law

A full-time job in Germany covers about 40 working hours/week. It is also possible to work part-time. Usually you work from Monday to Friday. Working is legally permitted on all working days of the week (Monday through Saturday), as well as working at night and shift work. In some branches, e.g. the health system or restaurants and hotels, working on Sundays and public holidays is also permitted. Since 2017, the legal minimum wage amounts to 8.84 € per hour. Persons working 5 days a week are entitled to 20 holidays in the year, at least. When you are sick, your employer has to pay your full wage or salary for a period of six weeks. When your sickness lasts for longer than six weeks and you are insured, 70% of your wage or salary is paid by the health insurance company. Please inform your employer immediately when you are sick. On the 3rd day of your thickness, at the latest, you have to present your employer a certificate issued by your physician (health insurance ticket). The longer you work in a company the longer is the termination notice period, when your employer terminates your employment. Companies with more than 5 employees often have employee representatives, the employees' council. The employees' council supports the interests of the employees and renders assistance in case of problems with the company. Employees can also organize in trade unions. Trade unions are associations. They support the interests of their members and fight for higher wages and better working conditions by the employers, for example.

A person working in Germany has to pay taxes and duties to the social insurance. A person occupying employees has to pay duties for them. People who work or have other persons working for them and do not pay any taxes commit an illegal offence and carry out or support work "off the books". They have to expect to pay fines.