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Our Topics

Overview:  Our Topics

Labour Market

Labour Law

Occupational safety and health

Overview

Research

Initial and continuing training

Social Security

Pensions

Participation of persons with disabilities

International Affairs

Overview

Europe

Overview

European processes

European social policy

European employment policy

Mobility within the EU

Migration from third countries

Coordination of social rights

EU external relations.

Programmes and Funds

Overview

ESF

European Globalisation Adjustment Fund

FEAD

EaSI

International

Overview

International organisations

G20

Services

Overview:  Services

Contact

Publications

Overview

Shopping cart

Press

Overview

Recent Publications

Press photos

Overview

Press photos of the minister

Press photos of the state secretaries

RSS

Visitor Centre

The Ministry

Overview:  The Ministry

BMAS at a Glance

Political Staff

Fresh start in Germany

Ways for refugees to gain access to the labour market

Labour-market access for refugees depends on their status under residence law. No labour-market access is available for the duration of stay in an initial reception centre and for tolerated persons who are themselves responsible for obstructing deportation or have infringed their obligations to cooperate in removing the obstacle to departure.

As of 24 October 2015, asylum applicants and tolerated persons from safe countries of origin may not engage in employment if the asylum request was submitted after 31 August 2015.

You can find the chart in the download attachment.

Labour-market access by asylum status

Asylum applicants are persons who have applied for recognition as persons persecuted on political grounds or refugees and whose procedure is therefore still underway. Tolerated persons are those whose applications for asylum have been refused but cannot be deported for certain reasons (such as war in the country of origin, inability to travel, no means of transport to a country destroyed by war, missing documents).

Both asylum applicants and tolerated persons have the same general access to the labour market. Their time limit for labour-market access has been recently shortened to three months. An employment ban can, however, be imposed on tolerated persons, if they have infringed their obligations to cooperate in leaving the country (particularly submission of identity papers), for example. The application for a work permit is also subject to certain rules.

Persons entitled to asylum and quota refugees are persons who have been recognised as being persecuted on political grounds. They have unconditional access to the labour market.

Work permit for asylum applicants & tolerated persons

You can find the chart in the download attachment.

Asylum applicants and tolerated persons generally need a work permit, which is issued by the local foreigners authority. During the first 4 years of stay, consent is also required from the Federal Employment Agency for a specific job. It gives permission on the one hand after a review of equivalent conditions of employment (on equal footing with national employees) and on the other based on whether a German or other worker with the right to freedom of movement under EU law is available for the specific employment (so-called priority review).

There are exceptions to the priority review. Asylum applicants or tolerated persons can work without the need for a priority review if they:

  • meet the requirements for granting a EU Blue Card for shortage occupations (university degree and activity in shortage occupations, such as IT, engineers, physicians, etc., salary threshold below EUR 37,752) or
  • are skilled personnel with recognised qualified vocational training in shortage occupations or
  • perform a practical activity for the recognition of their occupational qualification or
  • have already been in Germany for 15 months.

Asylum applicants and tolerated persons can also work without any need for approval, that is, without a priority review or review of the conditions of employment, if they take up vocational training or engage in employment that meets the conditions for issuing a EU Blue Card (university degree and annual salary of EUR 48,400). Moreover, no employment is subject to approval after 4 years stay.

Permission has also been recently granted for asylum applicants and tolerated persons to engage in temporary work where no priority review needs to be conducted for the occupation performed. Temporary work is accordingly possible as skilled personnel for the above-mentioned employment after expiry of the three-month waiting period and generally after a stay of 15 months.

Charts for Download

Terms

Labour-market access for refugees

Further Links

Overview of labour-market access

Fresh start in Germany