The Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) helps people to find a job and provides advice on all related issues.
Local employment agencies (Agentur für Arbeit) can be found in many towns and cities, and can be recognised from this logo:
If you have questions, please contact the local employment agency in the place where you are currently staying. You can find the address by using the “Find Office” search option (Dienststellensuche).
If you have applied for money at a jobcentre, you will receive advice on issues relating to finding a job, placement and qualifications from your personal adviser at the jobcentre. The jobcentre can support you in achieving your professional goals with activation and integration services. Please contact your adviser to discuss what support and assistance is possible and necessary.
You can apply for financial support (e.g. for application costs) directly during the advisory meeting and fill out a paper-based application or make use of the online option. Please find out whether is available at your job centre or if the online application is carried out by means of another digital procedure.
A summary of the digital services offered jointly by the Federal Employment Agency (BA) and the Jobcenter (i. e. the „joint services“ – „gemeinsame Einrichtungen“) is also available (in German, „Übersicht zu den elektronischen Angeboten“).
The overview relates to online (application) procedures of Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit)/joint units in the following areas:
- Benefits from the Federal Employment Agency and the joint units
- Benefits from the Familienkasse (family payments section)
- Job search
- Choosing a profession and course of study
Ukrainians who have fled their country can take up employment immediately in one of several hundred occupations if they have been granted a residence permit in accordance with section 24 Residence Act or a provisional residence document which also grants the right to work (statement “Erwerbstätigkeit erlaubt”). This applies to the so-called non-regulated professions, for example office manager, or for academic professions such as biologist, chemist or mathematician.
However, recognition is mandatory for employment in a regulated profession. Regulated professions are protected by law, for example in the care and healthcare sectors and in education. They include healthcare professions such as medical doctor and nurse as well as teachers and educators. The regulated professions also include legally protected professional titles (e.g. engineer), certificates and proof of expertise in a few self-employment contexts and advanced qualifications such as the German Meister or Fachwirt.
Information about whether a recognition procedure is necessary, what documents are needed and about other opportunities is available in several languages on the official “” portal of the German Federal Government.
Should you have gone through professional work training in Ukraine, then the will help you with sorting out your degree. Further, you will be provided with a detailed description of your work degree which you can use for the acknowledgement procedure.
Counselling and support is provided free of charge, for example at the advisory offices of the funding programme “Integration through Qualification”. Go to on the “Recognition in Germany” website to find an advisory office near you. The “” hotline provides answers to questions about entry into the country, residence, job search and German language classes. It also provides an initial consultation about the recognition of professional qualifications. The hotline can be reached Monday – Friday from 8.00 to 18.00 (CET) on: +49 30 1815 – 1111.
A Statement of Comparability can be helpful for holders of a foreign university degree when applying for a job in a non-regulated profession. The Statement of Comparability is an official document certifying the quality of your higher education qualification. It describes your degree and the possibilities of using it for professional and academic purposes. Applications for a Statement of Comparability can be submitted to the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) at the Secretariat of the Information about the application process for a Statement of Comparability is available in German, English and Ukrainian.
You can apply for recognition in Germany if you have gained school leaving or professional qualifications abroad. See here for FAQs about the recognition of foreign professional qualifications in Germany and other topics. Key information has been compiled in this flyer in , and .
The of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs aims to make it easier for this target group to start working. It includes courses and coaching for immigrant mothers on gainful employment, learning the language, and recognition of qualifications. It also helps with finding jobs or internships and with compatibility questions - at 85 locations nationwide. If necessary, support can also be provided by Russian-speaking language mediators.
In order to find a job, you can use job portals that publish job offers. Please, inform yourself about what portals you can find suitable jobs for your professional field on. The following links lead you to a range of public and commercial job portals. Please note that this is not an official offer from the side of the federal government.
To increase your chances on the labour market, it is important that you acquire the appropriate vocabulary for your job. The (NETWORK Businesses Integrate Refugees) offers Vocabulary Flyers including Ukrainian, English and Russian vocabulary for various sectors. The Vocabulary Flyers will help you to quickly expand your vocabulary and learn typical phrases and idioms, be it for the electrical industry, for the care sector or for everyday life in the office.
In addition, the Welcome Guides support you in your job search and place you in available training and employment positions.
The Check List for Volunteers contains further useful information on arriving in Germany and accessing the labour market.
Below you will find a list of important documents and requirements that you usually need or have to submit when starting a job or an apprenticeship in Germany. Along with explanations of the individual documents, contact points are also provided where you can receive support on arrival and when it comes to finding and starting work or training in Germany.
Registration certificate (Meldebestätigung)
The registration certificate is proof that you have registered a flat or accommodation at a certain place in Germany. The registration of your place of residence or the registration in an initial reception centre is important so that if you have not yet found a job, you can receive state social benefits.
You can obtain the registration certificate from the competent registration office at your place of accommodation - e.g. in a town or municipality. Please note: Also if you are still living in communal accommodation, this counts as your place of residence.
For further information on registering your place of residence, see Accommodation and housing for refugees from Ukraine.
Personal identification number (Persönliche Identifikationsnummer)
To take up employment, a tax identification number - ID-Nummer or IdNr. for short - is required. The ID number is assigned automatically by the Federal Central Tax Office (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern, BZSt) after you have registered your place of residence. The ID number is sent by post to the registered address. Note: If you live with a private person, do not forget to put your name plate on the letterbox.
You need to have a bank account in order to receive social benefits or your salary. If you wish to open an account, you need to prove your identity with a Ukrainian ID card or passport. If you do not have identification documents, you have the option to submit a confirmation from the foreigners authority (e.g. proof of arrival or residence permit).
For further information on opening an account, see Everyday Life in Germany.
Permission to carry out gainful employment
During the period of “temporary protection”, refugees from Ukraine may engage in any gainful employment, either dependent or self-employed, also part-time or on a 520-Euro basis (mini-job). You can apply for “temporary protection” at the competent foreigners authority. After submitting the application, you will receive a fictional certificate (confirmation from the foreigners authority that you have applied for “temporary protection”), which allows you to engage in gainful employment immediately, and then a residence title in accordance with Section 24 of the Residence Act (AufenthG). You should submit a copy of the fictional certificate or residence title to your employer when you start working. Note: If you are currently still in Germany without a visa, you are prohibited from working.
Further information on work permits and your rights in employment can be found under Labour Law.
National insurance number (Sozialversicherungsnummer)
When you take up employment that is subject to social insurance contributions, you are automatically covered by social insurance, i.e. you are a member of the health, unemployment, pension, accident and long-term care insurance schemes. You receive your national insurance number by registering with a health insurance fund (Krankenkasse). The data is then automatically transmitted to the German pension insurance (Deutsche Rentenversicherung), which issues a social security card (Sozialversicherungsausweis) and sends it by post to your given residential address. Note: If you live with a private person, do not forget to put your name plate on the letterbox.
Certificate of good conduct (Führungszeugnis)
The certificate of good conduct is a certificate about a person’s previously registered convictions. Sometimes a certificate of good conduct is requested by an employer when you start employment. You can apply for a German certificate of good conduct with an identity card or passport at the competent registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) or request it online in Ukraine on the . The certificate of good conduct is then issued digitally in Ukrainian and has to be translated if required.
Health certificate (Gesundheitszeugnis)
If you work in the food sector and have direct contact with certain foods (e.g. dairy and meat products, eggs, baby food, fine and raw foods), you need what is known as instruction on the Infection Protection Act (Infektionsschutzgesetz, IfSG) (initial instruction in accordance with Section 43 IfSG) - commonly referred to as a health certificate. This does not involve examination by a doctor.
The local public health authority is responsible for issuing health certificates or carrying out initial instruction in accordance with § 43 IfSG. It organises regular group instruction in the form of training courses. Proof of this training then has to be presented to the employer and must not be more than 3 months old. If the relevant document is lacking or is too old, employment is not permitted. Therefore, it is important to make an appointment in good time. At many authorities, you can apply for the health certificate or make an appointment for the initial instruction online. For the instruction and the health certificate, you should expect to pay between 20 and 35 Euros. The exact fee is something you will have to enquire about locally, as this varies depending on where you live.
Recognition of vocational qualifications
Not all activities necessarily require recognition of qualifications (e.g. for non-regulated professions). For regulated professions, e.g. in the areas of health, security or social services, however, recognition is mandatory. You can check whether recognition is necessary in what is known as the .
Further information on this can be found under Labour Law.