Seasonal work in Germany

You would like to work as a seasonal worker in Germany. Find out what rights apply to you.

As a seasonal worker, you are an important support for many agricultural businesses in Germany. The rules that apply to you depend partly on whether you are a citizen of an EU state or a third country.

Third countries are all states except the EU countries, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

Requirements for nationals of a third country

Your work must meet the following requirements to qualify as seasonal work:

  • You work up to 90 days out of 180 days in total.
  • You regularly work at least 30 hours a week.

Work permit

The Federal Employment Agency (BA) only has to check whether you meet the requirements for seasonal employment if you come from a third country. If you do, you will receive a work permit and may be employed as a seasonal worker. As an EU citizen, you do not need a work permit.

The work permit states the period during which you are allowed to pursue seasonal employment. Do not work longer under any circumstances – even if you started your employment later than planned. Conversely, do not start seasonal work until you have the work permit.

Current opportunities for Georgia and Moldova

The Federal Employment Agency (BA) can issue work permits to certain nationals without requiring prior approval by a visa office. This currently applies to Georgian nationals and nationals of the Republic of Moldova who can work in Germany as seasonal workers without a visa.

If you have decided to work as a seasonal worker in Germany, you can fill out the Data application form for seasonal employment. This form is also available in the Download centre in Georgian, Romanian and Ukrainian.

On the "Fair Integration" network you can also find a leaflet in German, Romanian, Georgian and Russian for seasonal workers from Georgia and the Republic of Moldova.

National insurance and health insurance

There is national insurance in Germany. It is prescribed by law and is intended to protect workers from the consequences of illness and unemployment, among other things. If you have a permanent job in Germany, you have to pay part of your salary into the social security system.

Exemption from social security

If you are employed or self-employed in your home country, the social insurance there will also cover you in Germany. In this case, you may be exempt from national insurance payments in Germany.

As a citizen of an EU member state, you prove that you are exempt from social security with an A1 certificate. You can apply for an A1 certificate in your country of origin at the competent authority. You then submit this certificate to your employer in Germany.

Do you come from a third country or do you not have an A1 certificate? Fill in the questionnaire to determine compulsory insurance / exemption from insurance form. This form is available in the Download centre in German/English, German/Georgian and German/Romanian. You then give the completed questionnaire to your employer in Germany.

Health insurance

If you are employed in Germany without social insurance and do not have health insurance abroad, your employer can take out private health insurance for you. The contributions for private health insurance must not be deducted from your salary.

More information is available in the leaflet

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In our leaflets you will find more information, for example on accommodation, meals, occupational health and safety or illness.

The German and English versions of the leaflet can be found in the “Downloads” section at the bottom of the page. In the Download centre you will find the leaflets in other languages, for example Polish, Romanian or Bulgarian.

Information on labour law

As a seasonal worker, German labour law applies to you. You can find the most important information about your rights regarding employment contracts, wages or holidays on the Labour law: Basic information page. On this page you will also find, among other things, references to advice centres that can answer your questions about labour law.