Access to the Job Market (Arbeitsmarktzugang)

For some refugees, access to the job market is limited. Individuals who are in possession of a work permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) usually have the option to work without obtaining the consent of the Foreign Nationals Office. For those whose residential status is uncertain (residency permit (Aufenthaltsgestattung)) and toleration (Duldung) access to the job market is contingent upon a number of factors:

  • Their residency status,

  • Their country of origin and the affiliated presumed residency perspective,

  • The type of employment, including the potential apprenticeship, internship or assignment status,

  • The duration of the stay,

  • Their residential situation, i.e. whether the individual resides at a temporary classification shelter (Erstaufnahmeeinrichtung), shared accommodations (Gemeinschaftsunterkunft) or in a decentralized location, i.e. an apartment or other dedicated residence.

In the residency document, access to the job market is recorded as an ancillary provision (e.g. employment is permitted subject to the consent of the Foreign Nationals Office (Ausländerbehörde). The Foreign Nationals Office (Ausländerbehörde) must approve virtually all types of employment (exceptions: volunteer work and assignments). Moreover, during the first four years of residency, the Federal Labor Department (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) must approve employment.

An overview of the legal provisions is available from the GGUA Flüchtlingshilfe:

The Flüchtlingsrat Thüringen e.V. also provides information on access to educational programs and jobs:

A comprehensive report on the different types of job market access is available from the Paritätische at:

For detailed information and advice, you are also welcome to contact a LAT-Project in your area.