Working group with computer


Work permit for international researchers

Academic staff at universities and research institutes, and guest researchers or technical staff working in a guest researcher’s research team, do not require approval from the Federal Employment Agency to pursue their occupation. The Foreign Citizens’ Office can grant authorisation to pursue the academic activity in question and this will be stated on the residence permit.

Legal regulations for spouses

If your spouse is not an academic but would like to work in Germany, they will usually require approval from the Federal Employment Agency. They need to apply to the Foreign Citizens’ Office for a residence permit which allows them to pursue gainful employment, and also present proof that they have already received a job offer. The Foreign Citizens’ Office will then forward the application to the Federal Employment Agency which will check whether there are German nationals or other EU citizens who should be given priority. This can take up to several weeks or even months.

Citizens of the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you can enjoy freedom of movement throughout Europe and do not require approval to work in Germany. For citizens of new EU member states there are often transition periods where the complete freedom of movement is npt yet granted. In this case a permission to work in Germany is still required. They need to have a residence permit which allows them to pursue the occupation in question. On 1 January 2009, special regulations were put into force for academics from the new member states (with a degree from a university or a university of applied sciences). The issue of priority has been waived, making the German labour market more accessible.

Employment Contract or Appointment

Academic staff at universities have employment contracts with the university which state the rate of pay and conditions of employment. However, many professors and academic staff in Germany are public servants. Their wages are determined by the Federal Civil Service Remuneration Act (“Bundesbesoldungsgesetz”) and are subject to the regulations of the respective federal state. Professors come under category “W” and the wages for academic staff in most federal states are set out in a collective pay agreement known as “TV-L”.

Important forms in English

At the following link you find all forms at RUB. You will find the most important forms for you at "Wissenschaftliches Personal" (scientific staff/researchers).

Some of the forms are available in English. Please note that they may only be used as samples. They must not be handed in.

Guide for International Researchers. Chapter 7:   Concerning work and research at university. Read more here (page 90) (442.6 kB)

Source: passages taken from EURAXESS, partly translated by: Dr. Lynda Lich-Knight, ResearchComm Ltd.

Welcome Centre


"Your Europe - Advice"

Advice service from the European Commission on issues concerning EU law in the areas of everyday life, work and travel in the EU.


The Salaries and Pensions Office for NRW (Landesamt für Besoldung und Versorgung NRW, LBV) calculates and pays the wages of all members of staff and public servants employed at Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Payslips are issued directly from there.

Professional Development Office

This office offers a wide range of courses for RUB employees


Sebastian Horst

Jennifer Bühsing