International Students: Information on Side-Jobs
Taking on a part-time job while studying has lots of benefits: Students can make some extra money, gain valuable professional experience and might take a first step up on the career ladder. Gaining a first insight into the German corporate world is especially beneficial for international students. Our webpage provides essential information on all aspects related to working in Germany.
While enrolled at TH Köln, all international students are generally permitted to work part-time. However, different rules apply to citizens of the European Union (EU) than to non-EU citizens:
Citizens of member states of the European Union, the European Economic Area (EEA) – that is Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein – as well as Switzerland have equal legal status on the labor market as German citizens. This means that they have the same access to the labor market as German students and are permitted to work as much as they would like to without having to obtain prior approval of German authorities. However, please note the effects this might have on your health insurance.
International students with a residence permit according to §16b Residence Act are allowed to work as employees or do voluntary internships for 120 whole hours, 240 half hours or any combination of both per year without explicit permission from the Immigration Office. This amount of work will be noted by the Immigration Office in your residence permit.
Up to four hours are counted as a half day and more than four hours as a whole day. Only the working days or half working days on which work was actually down are taken into account. The reason for not working is irrelevant. Therefore, paid or unpaid vacation and sick days are not counted.
You can work for any length of time as a student assistant, including for STWs and student bodies or committees, provided this is not detrimental to your studies. Even if you complete a compulsory internship required for your studies, you may exceed the 120-day limit.
Work as a freelancer or self-employed person is generally subject to approval. In order to have a chance of obtaining approval, the 120 whole days and 240 half days should be observed here as well, so as not to jeopardize your studies.