German VISA for Vocational Training

Updated on
August 4, 2023

Vocational training is one of the best ways to prepare yourself for employment or study in Germany. The VISA for vocational training allows third-country nationals to enter Germany and apply for a residence permit.

Requirements To Get A VISA for Vocational Training

In order to satisfy the VISA requirements, there are a few things you need to fulfill:

  1. Provide proof of being accepted into a training program in Germany.
  2. You possess a minimum level of B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). This is only applicable if your training facility has not tested your skills, or if you have not yet completed a German preparatory language course.
  3. You must be able to cover the cost of living for your entire stay in Germany.

Note: Vocational training is training to prepare yourself for employment or study in Germany. If you would like to acquire a new language skill in Germany, please see VISA for the purpose of language acquisition.

School-based Vocational Training

Both schools and companies provide vocational training courses. If you choose to take up a school-based vocational training in Germany, you are required to provide proof that you are able to cover the cost of living. This can be done either by submitting a declaration of commitment or a blocked account.

Company-Based Vocational Training

If you have chosen a company-based vocational training program, you will be receiving a training salary, and there is no requirement to provide proof of being able to sustain yourself.

Another major difference is that the company-based vocational courses require approval by the Federal Employment Agency (BA) during the time of your VISA application. This is an internal procedure so it does not require anything from you, but it could take a little longer to get your VISA issued.

The employment agency will check that you are being employed under there same conditions as remain trainees and in order to make a prioritisation assessment to see whether German or EU applicants should be given priority.

The Duration of a Vocational Training VISA & Residence Permit

Both in case of a school-based and company-based vocational training, your residence permit is issued and valid for only the duration of course. Qualified training programs generally have a duration of two (2) years.

During your entire vocational training course, you are able to take on secondary employment for up to 10 hours per week. This is additional hours outside your training program.

Take Up Employment After Your Vocational Training

If you successfully complete the vocational training program, you are able to stay for an additional 12-month period in Germany in order to find work. During this time, you can take up any other employment in order to cover your cost of living. You can apply for this residence permit at your local Foreigners Authority.

Once you have found a job that you are qualified for, you can apply for a residence permit for qualified professionals.

If you have completed a vocational program in Germany and worked for at least two (2) years in Germany, you are entitled to apply for a settlement permit, as long as you fulfill those additional requirements.

If You Have Not Yet Been Accepted To A Vocational Training Program

In case you have not found and been accepted to enter a school-based or company-based vocational program, you can still enter Germany by applying for a VISA for the purpose of applying for training.

This VISA is valid for up to six (6) months, which gives you time to apply and be accepted into a training program. It is important to note that you are not allowed to take up any employment during this time.

The requirements for this VISA type are:

  1. Be at least 25 years of age.
  2. Proof of a post-secondary school diploma or a German school abroad which enables you to attend a higher education institution.
  3. Proof of German language skills of at least B2 according to CEFR (see above).
  4. Be able to cover the cost of living for your entire stay.

If you have been accepted into a vocational training course or not, you are still able to enter Germany with these two VISA types. It is important that you apply for a residence permit as soon as you have been accepted into a training course and before your VISA expires.

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