What requirements must I fulfil as a refugee in order to get paid work in Germany?
There are a lot of obstacles to overcome before you can start to work in Germany legally. The cardinal point is the current status of the asylum process. Whether you have a permission to stay or if your application has not been decided yet.
Broadly speaking, you can start working as soon as you are a recognized refugee in Germany.
If your case has not been decided yet, than the situation is a little more difficult, but it is still possible to work. Once you leave the initial reception center after three months you can apply for a job, but there are two authorities (Ausländerbehörde and Bundesagentur für Arbeit) that have to agree with that. Their criteria are quite strict: up to this month they had to make sure that there is no German who would risk to loose his job if a refugee gets it. Also they look for Germans that can do this job first, before they allow a refugee to do it.
Due to the new integration law these requirements have been suspended for 3 years in some parts of Germany. Even though that made it easier to get a job for refugees, it is still not an easy process.
One remark to that: There was a refugee that we wanted to offer an internship in our office (at Mazars), but the migration office took a long time to give their agreement for this refugee to start his internship. We had to go there in person at least three times, because he had no recognized status yet. Especially in Berlin the process seems to be really hard.
When you are still in the asylum seeking process, there are two agencies involved (Ausländerbehörde and Bundesagentur für Arbeit), but you are only in contact with one of them: that is the Ausländerbehörde. You and the employer hand in the application and they will transfer it to the Bundesagentur für Arbeit. This second step does not require any action by you. Depending on where you are living it will take different amounts of time for an answer to come back to you by post, saying if you are allowed to start this job or not. In Berlin it takes around 6-7 weeks but there are also cases where it took 3 months. In Munich, for example, it only takes 2 weeks.
When you already got your residence status than this process is not relevant for you. Then you can pick up a job without their agreement
So when my case has not been decided yet, I can only work if I obtain this approval? An employer can not give me a job when I did not get the consent yet. Is there a solution for this problem? Because some employers are not willing to wait for weeks until the letter with the answer comes back.