Citizens of other countries principally need a residence permit if they want to pursue paid employment in Germany. You can apply for a work permit along with your residence permit; in other words, the Foreigners’ Office determines whether and under what conditions you are allowed to work in Germany. A useful overview of the topic of work permits in Germany can be found on the Make it in Germany website.
There is an exception to this rule for citizens of countries in the European Union and the EFTA (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland). Citizens of these countries enjoy a certain degree of “freedom.” As a rule, they can work without limitations and/or according to the usual regulations for students.
- Doctoral candidates from EU/ EFTA states are subject to the same provisions as German doctoral candidates.
- Doctoral candidates from all other countries who have a residence permit to study at a university (§16 AufenthG [German Residence Act]) may work for a maximum of 120 full days or 240 half days per calendar year as academic employees.
- International doctoral candidates who are earning a doctorate through an employment relationship at TUM can also apply for a work visa (§18 AufenthG) or a research visa (§20 AufenthG).
- Spouses are only permitted to work in Germany if the doctoral candidate in question is authorized to pursue paid employment. Here, too, a residence permit is required and must be approved by the responsible Foreigners’ Office.