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Visa for vocational training

Vocational training in Germany opens many doors and is the best way to prepare yourself for the world of work in Germany. With this visa, you are able to complete school-based or company-based vocational training. In both cases you will need a residence permit in accordance with Section 16a AufenthG (German Residence Act).

To find out whether you require a visa to enter Germany, see Who needs a visa?.
 

What are the requirements to issue a visa for vocational training?

  • You can provide proof of being accepted to a school-based or company-based training programme in Germany.
     
  • You possess the requisite language skills required for the qualified vocational training. In general, a minimum level of B1 in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is required. This is applicable if the training facility has not yet tested your language skills, or you have yet to complete a preparatory German language course. 
     
  • You must be able to cover your costs of living for the entire duration of your stay. If you are seeking to take part in a school-based training program, you can provide proof of being able to cover living costs by opening a blocked account or submitting a declaration of commitment. If you are seeking to take part in a company-based training program, you will receive a training salary.

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For company-based training programs, you will be required to obtain the approval of the Federal Employment Agency (BA) as part of the visa procedure. The Federal Employment Agency will assess whether you can be employed under the same conditions as German trainees. This is an internal agency procedure. You do not need to do anything. Furthermore, the German Federal Employment Agency will assess whether any applicants from Germany or the EU are to be given priority with respect to obtaining a training position (prioritisation assessment).

Do you fulfil these requirements? Learn about the procedure for the entry visa process.
 

What opportunities does a visa for vocational training offer?

To complete school-based or company-based training, a corresponding residence permit will be issued for the duration of the training program in question. Qualified training programs in Germany generally have a duration of least two years.  

With a residence permit to complete a qualified vocational training program, you are able to take on secondary employment outside your training program for up to ten hours per week. 

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If you are completing a company-based training program, your residence permit in accordance with Section 16a (1), pg. 3 AufenthG (German Residence Act) enables you to attend a work-related preparatory German language class. This gives you the opportunity to improve your German skills in a targeted manner. 

If you have successfully completed your vocational training, you can stay in Germany for up to 12 additional months in order to obtain employment that corresponds to your vocational training. For this purpose, a residence permit in accordance with Section 20 (3) no. 3 AufenthG (German Residence Act) is required. You can apply for this visa at your local Foreigners Authority

To be able to cover your costs of living while searching for a job in Germany, you are entitled to obtain any form of employment. As soon as you’ve found a job for which you are qualified, you can apply for a residence permit for qualified employment (Section 18a AufenthG (German Residence Act)) without having to leave Germany. To learn about the other options available to you after completing vocational training in Germany, see Prospects after your vocational training.

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If you have completed vocational training in Germany and have worked for two years in Germany, you can obtain a settlement permit (Section 18c (1), pg.2 AufenthG (German Residence Law)) if you fulfil the additional requirements for the settlement permit.

At a glance: Visa for vocational training (PDF)
 

Visa for the purpose of applying for training

Are you looking to complete a qualified training program in Germany but have yet to find a training position? With a visa for the purpose of finding a training position in accordance with Section 17 (1) AufenthG (German Residence Act), you can come to Germany to apply for, and find suitable training positions.

See Who needs a visa? to find out if you require a visa to enter Germany.
 

What are the requirements to issue a visa for the purpose of applying for training?

  • You must be 25 years of age or under.
     
  • You provide proof of a post-secondary school diploma that enables you to attend a higher education institution, or proof of a diploma from a German school abroad.
     
  • You can provide proof of German language skills of at least a B2 level in accordance with the Common European Framework or Reference for Languages (CEFR).
     
  • You are able to cover your living costs for the entire duration of your stay. 

Do you fulfil these requirements? Learn about the procedure for the entry visa process.
 

What opportunities does a visa for the purpose of applying for training offer?

With the visa or residence permit for the purpose of finding a training position, you can enter Germany for up to six months in order to apply for training positions. During this time, you cannot obtain employment.
 

At a glance: Visa for the purpose of applying for training or studies (PDF)

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