If you want to learn a trade in Germany, there are certain requirements you have to meet. For example, you may need a long-term visa in order to stay in Germany for the entire duration of your vocational training.
Citizens of the EU, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway or Switzerland
You are welcome to start a vocational training in Germany any time. You do not require a visa for entering Germany or starting a vocational training programme. If you would like to live in Germany, all you need to do is register as a resident at a local registry office (called Einwohnermeldeamt or Bürgeramt). Further information on this subject can be found here.
Citizens from other countries
You are welcome to start vocational training in Germany any time. In order to do so you will need a visa. You can apply for a visa at the German mission in your country. To be granted a visa, you have to meet the following criteria:
- You have found a vocational training place with a German company.
- The German Federal Employment Agency has approved your vocational training because there are no German candidates or candidates from a privileged country (such as an EU country) for the respective position. Candidates holding a school-leaving certificate from a German school abroad are exempt from this provision. Furthermore, your employment conditions must not be different from those of German employees.
When applying for a visa you have to prove that you are capable of paying for your living, no matter if you are pursuing a dual or school-based vocational training course. This is particularly important when you start a school-based training programme, because on most of the programmes you won’t be earning money.
For further information on visa requirements and the documents you need for visa applications like German language skills, please contact the German mission in your country of residence. The addresses of the German missions abroad can be found on our interactive “local contacts” world map.
You would like to work in another job while pursuing vocational training? You are allowed to work up to ten hours per week in a job that is not related to your vocational training. For example, you may work at a restaurant while training as a mechatronics engineer.
Federal Employment Agency (BA)
Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF)
Summary of German school qualifications (English, German, etc.)