Visa for Seeking Vocational Training

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Update 14.09.2022

Can I come to Germany to search for a vocational training opportunity?

Participating in a vocational training program in Germany can offer you many professional opportunities. Finding a vocational training position from abroad, however, could be quite a challenge. That is why according to §17 Residence Act, you can obtain a visa or residence permit to search for a training position in Germany.  This way, you can enter Germany with a residence permit and then look for a suitable training position on site. Here you can learn about the requirements you have to meet in order to obtain a visa or residence permit to search for a training spot.

What do I need to know?

Can I obtain a visa to look for a training position?

You can apply for a residence permit to look for a vocational training program if you have a school-leaving certificate that allows you to attend university in your home country. In addition, you must not be older than 25 years.

Where can I apply for the visa?

If you need a visa to enter Germany, you must first apply at the German embassy/consulate in your home country or a neighbouring country.

Please note that it can take several months to process your visa application.

If you do not require a visa to enter Germany, report to the local Immigration Office at your new place of residence after entering Germany.

Whether you need a visa depends on your country of origin. On auswaertiges-amt.de, you will find a list of countries whose citizens need a visa to enter Germany.

What documents do I need for a visa/residence permit?

In our chapter "National Visa", you will find a list of all documents that third-country nationals need to obtain a national visa.

For a visa to look for a vocational training position, you will also need the following documents:

  • A university entrance qualification. This school-leaving certificate allows you to start studying in the country where you graduated from school.
  • Proof of your German language skills. You need at least a B2 certificate.
  • Proof that you can secure a livelihood while you are looking for a vocational training position.
What happens after entering the country?

After entering the country, you must report to the local Immigration Office at your new place of residence within three months and apply for a residence permit there. To do so, you must submit the documents mentioned above and, in principle, a police registration document and a rental agreement. The authorities will check your papers and then decide whether you can get a residence permit.

A residence permit issued to those looking for a vocational training position is valid for six months. During this time, you can look for a suitable training position. Keep in mind that you are not allowed to work during this time. As soon as you have found a suitable training spot, you must apply for a residence permit for the purpose of vocational training. You can do so at the local Immigration Office. You can only begin your vocational training with this type of residence permit.

What happens if I cannot find a vocational training position?

If you do not manage to find a training position within six months, you will have to leave the country. You can, however, apply for a new visa at the German embassy to try again after a six-month interval.

Important

You can learn more about vocational training in Germany in our chapters "School-based training" and "Dual Vocational training". You can find out more about job seeking in our chapter "Job Hunting and Application".

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