I'm taking a master degree in Germany, and I was going to apply for a Student Visa this week, but in the meantime, I was also looking for a student job, and I got an offer yesterday.

From what I can tell from the requirements for the student visa and the work visa, the requirements for them are pretty much the same, except for the former you need only a study offer and for the latter your need a job offer.

The only difference that I can tell from the two is that a student visa limits me to only working at most 20 hours a week, and 240 half days a year, or 120 full days, while the work visa doesn't impose any limits on that.

Am I missing something else?

If so, what are the advantages afforded by a Student Visa that aren't given by a Work Visa in Germany, assuming you have both a study offer and a job offer?

2 Answers 2


The main benefit of the student visa is that you don't need a job offer and a work visa! Being able to work without having to deal with this is in fact a perk of the student visa.

Even if you want to work, it's not always easy for students to secure a job, especially if you're abroad. There is quite a bit of paperwork involved in the work visa (approval from the Federal employment agency, recognition of your diploma, etc.) Are you sure the job you got will qualify and you will get support from your employer to get the visa?

  • So far I only got the offer for a part-time position. One whose monthly wage is more than enough to cover the basic requirements for the work visa, but I'm not sure what else is involved in getting this approval. Also, you mention "support from the employer", but what kind of support is really required of them? As far as I understood all the paperwork had to be done on my side of things.
    – Althis
    Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 20:35
  • At the very least, one form needs to be filled by the employer. You will also not be immediately available as you are waiting for the visa, did they extend the offer knowing you need a visa? For a typical part-time student job that's unusual but if you got one it might work. As far as I know the approval is mostly a test that your working conditions are on par with what's usual for your job.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 21:52
  • In regards to the availability, I think this applies to both visas since I don't have a student visa yet either, right? But in regards to the working conditions, I don't think it is said anywhere that it needs to be full-time work, right?
    – Althis
    Commented Aug 19, 2021 at 9:34
  • @Althis Yes, when I am referring to availability, I am talking about comparing you to another potential employee, not the difference between visas. Again, for most student jobs, employers have no reason to wait for you or go out of their way to employ you rather than any number of students. That's one reason a work visa isn't always a practical option if you really want to study. But if you can really get one and find enough time to study then it is perfectly possible to stay in Germany with a work visa and attend a course.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Aug 19, 2021 at 10:42

In some cases, the student visa will be a rather big disadvantage compared to work visa.

First of all, without finishing a degree, it might be more complicated to stay in Germany via switching to residence permit for the purpose of work. See my another answer for details.

Second, the years with student residence permit are divided by two when counted for permanent residence permit, so if one is on the residence permit for the purpose of work from the beginning, one can get permanent residence permit (both Niederlassungserlaubnis and Daueraufenthalt-EU) faster.

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