Skilled workers from all over the world working in Germany

Visa for taking up vocational training

You would like to employ an apprentice from abroad in your company? Check whether a visa is required for entry to take up vocational training and which requirements must therefore be met.

You have a vacant vocational training position but cannot find a suitable junior employee? Dual vocational training enjoys a high reputation abroad, so that young people from abroad – especially from EU countries – are also very interested in dual vocational training in Germany. The website of the Kompetenzzentrum Fachkräftesicherung (Centre of Excellence for securing qualified professionals) is one of many web pages, which provide information on how the recruitment of apprentices from Europe works.

You can also recruit apprentices from non-EU countries and offer them career prospects in Germany. If they come from outside the EU, they need a residence permit to start vocational training in Germany.

Visa for entry and to start in-company vocational training

If you have already made a binding commitment to a third-country national for a vocational training place, they can enter the country with a visa for the purpose of vocational training and immediately start their vocational training in Germany, provided that the apprentice has knowledge of the German language at level B1 of the CEFR. Proof of knowledge of German may be waived if you – as the training company – confirm that the apprentice’s language skills are sufficient (Section 16a (1) and (3) of the Residence Act [AufenthG]). With the residence permit to complete vocational training, the apprentice is allowed to pursue a second job for up to 20 hours per week if it is independent of the vocational training.

Please beware

In case of in-company vocational training, the approval of the Federal Employment Agency (BA) may be obtained, if necessary. In this process, it will be assessed whether the apprentice is working under the same conditions as German apprentices, for example.

On Make it in Germany's website for skilled workers, you can find out which requirements apply to the visa for vocational training.


Do you wish for your new apprentices to enter Germany as soon as possible, and they need an entry visa? You can accelerate the visa procedure for a fee of €411. Read more about the fast-track procedure for skilled workers.

People from third countries who are interested in completing vocational training also have the option of entering Germany to look for a vocational training place. During their stay, they are allowed to do trial work for up to two weeks within the company. If a vocational training contract is signed, the apprentice must apply for a residence permit to complete vocational training at the competent foreigners authority.

Do you have any questions?

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