Help for refugees: Job hunting
It is no simple matter for refugees to find a job. In addition to difficulties with the language, there are also a number of legal obstacles to overcome. Saarland’s broadcaster Saarländischer Rundfunk would like to help with this: How to apply for a work permit and how the employment agency can help in finding a job.
The residence status plays an important role: Recognized refugees are not subject to any restrictions and can begin to look for a job immediately. Those whose residence status is as yet unclear or who have exceptional leave to remain for humanitarian reasons are not entitled to seek work until three months after they have applied for political asylum.
Having found a job, they still need to obtain a work permit from the foreign nationals registration authority. The foreign nationals registration authority also checks whether a German national would be available for the job. This is called a priority examination. This priority examination is not applicable to those who have lived in Germany for over 15 months, or who would like to complete an internship/traineeship, a course of study or professional training.
There are two agencies which provide help and advice in the search for a job: the Jobcenter (Job Centre) and the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency). Which of these is the competent agency depends on how much living allowance is received from the particular agency. For this reason, refugees should call the Job Centre or Federal Employment Agency beforehand to find out. Once that is clear, they can immediately arrange an appointment for a consultation. It is generally helpful to go to the Job Centre or Federal Employment Agency with an interpreter or language mediator.
An advisory service is also available in the regional reception centre in Lebach, in the clearing office. There, refugees can find out everything they need to know about requirements, recognition of training qualifications from their home country and which skills are particularly in demand in Germany.
Those who have proof of their school, university or professional qualifications can have these qualifications recognized. A service centre for international professionals – Servicestelle zur Erschließung ausländischer Qualifikationen (SEAQ) – can help with the procedures. It is not necessary to have the qualifications recognized for certain professions. SEAQ can also give advice in this respect. Those who no longer have their certificates should be able to have their knowledge tested in companies in the future.
Video: Guide for Refugees (Bayerischer Rundfunk)