When applying for a training place here in Germany, the first step is to have your school certificate or a comparable qualification that you acquired in your home country accepted. In the case of so-called regulated occupations, this is even a prerequisite for applying. Here you will find an overview of the regulated professions.

If your training occupation does not appear on the list, recognition of your school-leaving certificate is not a prerequisite, but still useful. For general information on recognition and counselling centres in Germany, click Here.

Recognition of a certificate or qualification

To have your certificate recognised, you must first have it translated and certified before submitting it for actual acceptance. To find the right recognition office, you already need to know the expected location of your training.

In addition to the original or a certified copy of your certificate, you must submit various other documents to the recognition office:

  • Application stating why the recognition of the foreign educational certificate is needed
  • Curriculum vitae with educational and, if applicable, professional history
  • Copy of passport with residence permit or Federal Identity Card/Federal Displaced Persons' Identity Card (in the case of a change of name, also copy of the marriage certificate)

Application for a training place

If your certificate has been recognised here in Germany, you can now use it to apply for a training place. When doing so, you should take note of what other documents the company requires from you and - if possible - submit them in German.

I have my training place - now what?

If your application for a training place was successful, the next step is to apply for a visa and residence permit. To do this, you must be able to prove that you have a health insurance for Germany.

The visa for entry into Germany is issued by the German mission abroad of the respective country. The permission to take up training is entered as a secondary condition and the probable training company is stated. Normally, this visa entitles the holder to stay in Germany for 6 months.

Health insurance in Germany

It is important to have health insurance from the time of entry into Germany. This proof will be requested by the embassy in your home country at the latest when you collect your visa. You should therefore first check whether your existing health insurance from your home country also covers your stay in Germany.

However, you should then look for a suitable health insurance company in Germany by the time you start your training at the latest. Often, the training company will support you in this or even have specific requirements. So check with your new employer in advance.

Apply for a residence permit

Once you have entered Germany, the Foreigners' Registration Office is responsible for granting you a residence permit, which you must apply for in good time before your visa expires. In a city district or a large district town, the city administration is responsible; in a town belonging to a district or a municipality, the district administration office is responsible.

Various requirements must also be met for the residence permit, which we have summarised here:

  • Fulfilment of passport and visa requirements
  • Guaranteed means of subsistence for the entire period of stay in Germany
  • Training contract
  • Language skills (care sector: level B2, otherwise responsibility of employer and vocational school)
  • If applicable, registration of the training company with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK)
  • Fulfilment of the entry requirements for the training

In addition, there must be no interest in deportation and the Federal Employment Agency must have approved your application for a training place in Germany.

Approval by the Federal Employment Agency

Before non-EU applicants are granted a residence permit for the purpose of training, the Federal Employment Agency checks whether German or European applicants are available for the training position. Only if this is not the case does it approve the application for a residence permit. Those who have obtained a school-leaving certificate at a German school abroad are exempt from the check.

The processing time for an application for a residence permit is about four to six weeks and costs about 100 € for the first application. During the training, it is also possible to take on a part-time job for a maximum of ten hours per week. However, this may not have anything to do with the training.

Entry requirements Covid-19

Due to the Corona pandemic, there are currently stricter entry regulations for Germany that must be observed. You can find information on current developments and regulations on the website of the Federal Foreign Office, for example.

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