How do I apply for a training visa for Germany?


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Starting an apprenticeship is an exciting step for many – especially when it is completed abroad! Vocational training in Germany offers foreigners many opportunities for their professional future and is the best preparation for the world of work in Germany. Find out about the training visa for Germany.

Are you a foreigner and do you have an apprenticeship position in Germany? Are you wondering whether you need a visa for your training and if so, which type of visa for Germany is suitable for you? We will inform you about everything you need to know about your training visa for Germany .

training visa for Germany

What enables me to do an apprenticeship in Germany?

If you have secured a school or company training position in Germany, you will receive a residence permit for the entire duration of your training. In Germany that is at least two years. In addition, you are allowed to pursue a secondary job for up to 10 hours a week that is separate from your vocational training. 

If you are completing in-company vocational training, you can also attend a preparatory, job-related German course (Section 16a, Paragraph 1, Sentence 3, Residence Act).

Which visa do I need for an apprenticeship in Germany?

In addition to a valid residence permit, third-country nationals who require a visa also need a long-term training visa to enter Germany for school or company-based vocational training . If you have not yet found a training place in Germany, there is also the option of applying for a visa to look for a training place . With this visa you can then look for vocational training in Germany for up to six months.

Requirements for the visa to look for an apprenticeship position:

  • Knowledge of German at language level B2
  • A school leaving certificate that entitles you to university entrance
  • Maximum age of 25 years
  • Independent livelihood security

Important: As long as you have not yet found an apprenticeship position, you can pursue any occupation to ensure your livelihood.


Who needs a training visa for Germany?

Not all foreigners need a national training visa for vocational training in Germany. In this section you can find out whether you need a visa for Germany and which visa requirements apply to your country. 

If you are an EU citizen with freedom of movement, you have unrestricted access to the German labor market. You will then neither need a national visa nor a residence permit for your training in Germany. Citizens from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland (EFTA countries) enjoy the same benefits.

If you are a citizen of the following countries, you can enter Germany without a training visa:

  • Australia
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Canada
  • Republic of Korea
  • New Zealand
  • USA

In this case, you apply for your residence permit in Germany at the responsible immigration authorities before starting your training in Germany. All other third-country nationals must apply for a training visa at the responsible German diplomatic mission in their home country before entering Germany.

training visa for Germany

Training in Germany: What are the requirements for foreigners?

If you would like to do an apprenticeship in Germany as a non-EU citizen , you must meet the following requirements:

  • a company or school training position in Germany
  • Knowledge of German at language level B1 or
  • a preparatory, job-related German course
  • subsistence must be secured for the entire duration of the training
    • by opening a blocked account (for school-based training) or
    • by submitting a declaration of commitment
    • through the training salary (in the case of in-company training)
  • Approval from the Federal Employment Agency (priority check)

Note: In the case of in- company training , the Employment Agency guarantees that you will find the same conditions (salary, working hours, vacation entitlement, etc.) as German trainees during your training. In addition, the employment agency carries out a priority check .

What is a declaration of commitment?

If you do not have the financial means to finance your stay in Germany, family members from Germany can submit a declaration of commitment to a German immigration office for you. This person hereby undertakes to be financially liable or to vouch for you. One often speaks of an invitation to Germany.

What is a priority check?

If foreigners from third countries want to start training in Germany, the Federal Employment Agency is legally obliged to carry out a labor market test. In this context, a priority check is carried out, stating that Germans, EU citizens or persons who have a settlement or residence permit have priority on the German labor market.

training visa for Germany

How do I apply for my training visa for Germany?

Do you meet the requirements for training in Germany? Then you can now take action and apply for your training visa for Germany and prepare the necessary documents. The first step is to make an appointment with the responsible German diplomatic mission in your home country. 

Please note that there may be waiting times when applying for an appointment. Make sure that you have completed your application forms for the training visa and bring them with you to your appointment. You can obtain the application forms for a D visa free of charge from your German diplomatic mission abroad.

Note: Your application can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to process.

Checklist training visa Germany:

  • Completed visa application form
  • valid identification documents (e.g. passport)
  • Proof of your qualifications (certificates, school leaving certificate, etc.)
  • Proof of the apprenticeship position (e.g. apprenticeship contract)
  • Proof of German language skills (language level B1)
  • Health Insurance: You must submit a letter of confirmation from an insurance company with whom you have taken out travel health insurance. The document must confirm that the insurance covers all emergency medical treatment and hospital stays as well as repatriation in the event of death with a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros in the entire Schengen area
  • € 75 fee for applying for a visa

Note: You can find details of the documents you need to bring with you to apply for a visa on the website of your responsible German diplomatic mission abroad.

Applying for a residence permit in Germany: this is how it works!

As soon as you have entered Germany with your apprenticeship visa, you can apply for a residence permit for the purpose of in-company or school-based vocational training at your local immigration authority in your place of residence. You can ask the immigration authorities which documents are required for this. The fees for your residence permit can be up to € 100 (Section 45 AufenthV).

Checklist for the residence permit for vocational training:

  • Valid passport
  • 1 biometric passport photo
  • completed application forms
  • In the case of in-company training: “Application for permission to work” form 
  • In the case of in-company training: “Declaration on employment relationship” form. In the case of in-company training: training contract with entry in the apprenticeship role, possibly a contract for an upstream vocational language course
  • For school-based training: school contract
  • Proof of livelihood (original) The following are sufficient proof of secure livelihood during the apprenticeship:
    • Blocked account at a German bank,
    • Declaration of commitment on an official form,
    • Notarized declaration from the parents stating that they will secure their livelihood for the duration of the training, together with evidence of the parents’ income in the last six months or
    • Approval of benefits according to BAföG
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Proof of main residence
    • Certificate of registration of the apartment (confirmation of registration)
    • or rental agreement and confirmation of move-in from the landlord

What are the prospects after the training in Germany?

If you are not taken on by the training company after you have successfully completed your vocational training, your residence permit can be extended for up to 12 months . During this time you can look for a job in Germany. The job must match the completed vocational training. A residence permit to look for a job is required for this.

In addition, you have the opportunity to specialize by taking part in further training in Germany. As a graduate of vocational training in Germany, you can also receive a settlement permit after just two years of employment in Germany.

Frequently asked questions about the training visa Germany

Which visa to choose for an apprenticeship in Germany?

For an apprenticeship in Germany, a national long-term visa is required for third-country nationals who require a visa. You can obtain the free application forms for a training visa on the website of your responsible German diplomatic mission abroad.

How can I extend my visa in Germany?

The immigration authorities responsible for you at your place of residence in Germany will decide whether you can extend your visa.

What documents do you need for an invitation to Germany?

The documents for an invitation to Germany must be submitted to the responsible German diplomatic mission in your home country. This includes the declaration of commitment (in the original) and an insurance policy for travel health insurance for Germany.

Expaturm aims to help educate Expats in Germany on key issues that they will have to deal with while living in Germany by providing everything you need to know about Banking, Healthcare, Lifestyle, and Housing in Germany


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