Author Topic: Mustachians from Germany, I need your help!  (Read 4976 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Mustachians from Germany, I need your help!
« on: June 13, 2013, 02:18:39 AM »
Hello dear Mustachians, I'm a long time reader but this is my first time posting.

I'm originally from Australia, but I've moved to Germany this last month and I'll be studying Computer Engineering here as well. I'm 20 years old.

Considering that the state where I'm located (Berlin) does not charge tuition fees, I'm good when it comes to my expenses. All I have to pay for is the rent, food, transportation and some minor things.

Since I'm quite skilled as programmer I've been trying to find some part-time job here but I haven't been that lucky so far. I used to work from home on several projects but after researching online I've found our that you can't be self-employed if you're on a student visa:

Could anyone tell me what would be my best option to support myself?
I'm kinda in dire straits right now.


  • Bristles
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Re: Mustachians from Germany, I need your help!
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2013, 07:42:47 AM »
My former-girlfriend-now-wife came here on a student visa so I know a few things about working as a foreigner.

As you may have already figured out at this point pretty much everything in this country is uber-regulated. Depending on your health insurance you may actually be only allowed to work up to 20 hrs/week, your visa only allows 120 full or 240 half days a year. The best bet for you is to simply find somebody willing to employ you, or find some work back home you can do online from Berlin. You shouldn't have that much of a problem in IT anyway, although knowing some German will be crucial.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Mustachians from Germany, I need your help!
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2013, 03:01:36 PM »
A few years ago, I moved to Germany for school, too.  As part of the education, I was required to do an internship.  I was aware of the working limitations, so had to stay within the allowed days.  Then I got offered a full-time job with my internship employer...  I had to switch to a work visa to continue working and then I changed to school part-time, which was perfectly allowed.  How about that route?  Find a full-time employer and only do school part-time.  Otherwise, I think you are going to have to go to the grey market and if you get caught, then you will certainly lose your visa.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Mustachians from Germany, I need your help!
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2013, 12:38:29 AM »
Thank you mj0 and GlobalStache for you replies, I appreciate it.

I'm looking for a job all the time, but somehow being an outsider kills my chances. And being hired in a full-time job without qualification is not that easy. Yeah, I got the skills but still. There are lots of freelance projects that could make me enough money for myself a the moment but as GlobalStache said I'm breaking the law if I do this and I might lose my visa.

It's just too bad to be skilled in a section such as IT and still be forced to work on Fast Food restaurants just because of being a foreigner.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Mustachians from Germany, I need your help!
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2013, 03:53:42 AM »
Actually, if you are on a student visa you can apply for a working permit as a self-employed. You have to proof though, that this is not affecting your studies. So, if you work as a software developer, it's more likely to be granted if you are studying IT rather than philosophy, for instance. Having a project that is by definition limited in time and paid hourly is more likely to be accepted than fixed-price projects that might require you to do a few night shifts to finish the project.

The easiest solution for you would be to find a small company that is willing to employ you. In Germany we can't pay employees an hourly salary. Even if a company does not have work for you, they have to pay you. Companies with more than 10 employees are also subject to extra regulation and can't lay you off. So what you are looking for is a small software company with no more than 9 employees. If you have a few projects that you could transfer to the company so that your salary is paid for, you increase your chances of being accepted.

Keep in mind, though, that costs for employers are high, around 100% of your net income. If you get 50% of the project cost that's actually just breaking even for your employer.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Mustachians from Germany, I need your help!
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2013, 03:41:05 PM »
Nobody forces you to work in a fastfood restaurant just because you are a foreigner. It might have to do with your language skills? How is your German? Of course, knowledge of the language is a must when looking for work in Germany.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Mustachians from Germany, I need your help!
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2013, 01:42:49 PM »
From my own experience I know that the jobs provided by the universities in Berlin rank among the highest paying university jobs in germany. So if you are there for a while, this might be worth checking out. My universities (Humboldt University) computer science department has a job mailing list and I suppose the other universities do as well.

The pay is fine for a student (~11/h) but you have to look around for a bit to find a job that isn't boring ^^