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14 Apr. 2022


Germany: employment for Ukrainians

For refugees


Germany: employment for Ukrainians

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Germany, like other EU members, has simplified the employment mechanism for Ukrainian citizens receiving temporary protection by entering the country. However, it should be clearly understood that only this status provides for a job search permit - if you are still in Germany on a visa-free stay for 90 days, this opportunity is closed to you. Exception: those who already had a work visa or a full residence permit at the beginning of the war and their stay is just coming to an end. No one is forcing you to extend your visas, and, of course, no one will fire you - this is what our Foreign Ministry explains.

Specifically, as for the chances of employment in Germany for refugees: if you know German, you can suceed. But if you don't - there are some opportunities to deal with it. About the employment procedure, the necessary documents and advice on where and with what questions to apply - further in our material.

Language is the first step for employment

If you have German at least at level B2, you can skip this point and move on.

Integration into German society, of course, must begin with the study of the country's language. You need to contact the Office for Foreign Citizens, contacts in Berlin, or the Federal Office for Migrants and Refugees. There you will be given a paper confirming your right to participate in the integration program and a list of language schools - choose a convenient location and start attending. There you will be tested on the level of language proficiency to choose the most suitable program. At the end of the exam, you will receive a certificate of integration course (Zertifikat Integrationskurs), and you will be able to look for a job.

Typically, the language course will take 700 hours, followed by a mandatory introductory course - 100 hours. The latter is also part of the integration program, from which you will learn about the culture and history, law and order, social life and values ​​in this country. If you fail the exam, you will have an additional 300 study hours - and the exam again.

Here is a set of special German courses (1000 places) right for our refugees, registration will begin on April 11, 2022 - hurry up! Training will begin on April 18. The institute also offers a variety of opportunities to improve knowledge, level exams and free language practice. Everything is described in detail here.

And this collection is very convenient to systematize the current proposals for language courses on your current level of knowledge. However, please note that any courses not on the list of the above-mentioned Office will be paid, except for some offers, again, of the Goethe Institute and, for example, Volkshochschule - here, if you do not work, you can agree on full free, discount and more.

Documents and resumes

When you receive a temporary residence permit (issued when applying for temporary protection), it must be marked "Erwerbstätigkeit erlaubt" ("Employment allowed").

This document is issued even if you left without a passport - in general, in the issuance of temporary protection, each case with available documents is considered individually, and the host country tries to help as much as possible.

At the time of employment, the employer may ask you to present the language certificate - how to learn German and get it, we discussed above.

Another nuance: not for all professions you can get a job only by agreement with the employer. Medical and educational staff must provide proof of qualification. It's good if you have a recognized diploma / vocational education - you may have already been employed abroad.

Unfortunately, the procedure will be long, complicated and expensive. The German side is currently considering accepting exceptional conditions for Ukrainians in this regard - we are waiting for good news!

Just in case, here is a resource where you can find all the information on the recognition of qualifications and documents on education. And here are the contacts of counseling centers on these issues (free of charge). Specifics about nurses and doctors. Ukrainians can leave their application on the site if they are interested in working in kindergartens.

In addition to your passport and residence permit, you will usually need a resume. Here are tips on how to write it, and templates can be downloaded here. Useful terminology for writing. Here the resume can be filled out online - print or save it for distribution.

Of course, if you managed to take at least any certificates, diplomas, recommendations from previous employers, legalized in German / English or international level, or even a work book - it will be a huge advantage in finding a qualified and well-paid job. If these documents are present, but only in Ukrainian, contact the Federal Agency for Employment or Professional Recognition Resources - maybe they will help with the adaptation to German. Or do a sworn translation in private. For example, here, here or here.

By the way, if you took it with you, be sure to translate the certificate of school education.

Labor market. What is the situation?

You can choose the path of an employee (including a temporary one), or start your own company, or freelance. Also, if you see, that it's difficult to find a job in your profession, you can apply to the Office for Foreigners and get a professional training, mastering what you are offered, based on skills and past experience - depending on which one is currently in greater demand. on the market. This resource will advise you on professional integration, guide you to the right courses as needed, and generally tell you what you need to do to make your job search effective.

In general, the most popular are the specialties of medicine, mechanical engineers, motor industry, electricians, graduates of mathematics and natural sciences. There is a constant demand in the restaurant and hotel business for waiters, cooks, baristas and bartenders, receptionists and maids. There is also a need for drivers, security guards, there are offers of product sorters and so on.

Before proceeding directly to the job search, we want to warn our fellow citizens against informal employment: you will let down the employer, because it is he who will bear the greatest burden of penalties - administrative and even criminal ones. You will simply be fined and expelled from the country.

Moreover, it is unknown whether there will be any concessions for refugees.

Job search

It is best to contact the Federal Employment Agency. On this page there is a button "Search for the department", thanks to which you can find the nearest one to visit for registration and consultation. Or call 0911 178-7915 (Mon-Thu 08:00 - 16:00, Fri 08:00 - 13:00) - Ukrainian-speaking consultants are present on the line. There are many advantages using this way: everything is free, there are opportunities for vocational guidance and retraining or its improvement, etc. This is in addition to the fact that they themselves will be looking for a job for you.

Also, if you stopped in Berlin, you can approach the central station (Washington Square, 3, Berlin Club - just as you leave the station to the square) on weekdays from 10:00 to 13:00.

If you decide to look for a job yourself, pay attention to the following resources:

• International employment agencies and sites specially created for our refugees: (mostly technology sector) (media, culture, cinema) 

Online work: 

• German labor exchanges: 

• Personal offers: (Ukrainian language teachers and German language teachers in Ukraine).

Deutsche Bahn: There are vacancies for about 500 professions. Contact by phone: +49 30 29734949 (8:00 - 10:00) or write to [email protected].

Work for students: and (seasonal, temporary job). (for young professionals, project work, temporary, remote one). 

Home staff: 

IT work: 

You found a job. What's next?

1. Conclude a contract with the employer;

2. The employer applies to the Federal Labor Agency;

3. If all is good, a work permit is issued.

Important links and some useful information

Free consultations on labor legislation and relations with the employer: (map of counseling centers).

General information on labor protection and legal regulation of employment.

Note that in Germany there is a concept of minimum wage (450 euros per month / 5400 euros per year) and minimum employment (50 hours / month). That is, if you get a job and you are offered less - this is a reason to contact the two institutions mentioned above.
Also, if you are a freelancer or continue to work remotely for Ukrainian companies, temporarily living in Germany, but do not have a place for this, please contact  to reserve for yourself a free workplace.

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