Working while studying in Stuttgart requires more than just figuring out how to keep a work schedule and keep up with your coursework. Regulations are very strict about non-nationals working in low wage and low skill jobs; jobs that are usually easy for a student to acquire. There are also strict residency policies in place that prohibit the application for a work visa without the appropriate residency permit.
There are some options for students that can allow them to work and study more easily. The first is to gain employment from the University or at a private school as a teacher’s assistant. These are the most common student positions. Competition is fierce and there are far more students wanting a TA position than there are available spots. What will make you a prime candidate for an open spot will be having a good level of proficiency in German, plus additional certification in other languages and specialized knowledge in the area you wish to teach.
Many students, particularly Americans and British, seek positions as English as a Second Language (ESL) tutors. Again, these are difficult to come by because there is such competition for the position. To increase your chances of gaining employment you will need to not only have your B or C level, but you should attain certification as an ESL instructor from an internationally recognized agency. This means that you have been trained to follow a set curriculum and to prepare students for exams.
Many students assume that if they gain employment with a private family that there is no need for a Visa. This is not true. Being caught working “under the table” is a serious offence for a foreigner and could jeopardize your approval at your Visa renewal. Be mindful that you are building a relationship and history with the Germany bureaucracy that will follow you through your professional career.
With a work visa, you are also eligible to work via training programs in a company with a Stuttgart office that is in your field of interest. Many of these positions are reserved for foreign workers and students are more likely to be offered unpaid internships. You do not need a Visa to do an unpaid internship but stay on top of the application process should your status change.
Transferring employment location from a company office in your home office to a satellite office in Stuttgart can also be an option. To do this, the company must prove that you will be providing a skill that is unavailable from the working pool of German citizens. The more specialized the position, the better chance you have of getting your work Visa approved. Since many companies will pay for their employees to continue their education, this may be an ideal way to combine working and studying.
It is best to always carefully review the requirements listed for work Visas on the Foreign Office home site. Should you have any questions, you can speak to the German Mission in your country or email the main office. Always apply for the appropriate student residency Visa first, as no work permit will be considered without the residency requirement already having been authorized.
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