Internship/Training Visa Germany

Germany is a busy economic and business hub for Europe, with professional and study opportunities aplenty. Those who are looking to complete an internship in Germany may apply for a specific visa to do so.

Want to start the application for a German internship visa or to find out more information on if you may be eligible? Contact Total Law today on (+44)333 305 9375 for advice and guidance on the German immigration system.

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    Internship Visa Germany: An Overview

    Anyone not a citizen of an EU or EEA country who has an internship – be it study-related or for professional training purposes – must apply for an internship visa to grant them legal residence in Germany for the duration of that internship.

    The internship visa is a class D visa, meaning it is intended for stays of over three months. Where an internship or training program is set to be shorter than this, a short term class C visa may be applied for in its place.

    Perhaps the most crucial factor for the internship visa is that the applicant must already have an internship in place before their application is made. While this may have been the result of prior visits to the country for study or work purposes, it too can be the result of online networking, remote international recruitment and/or a professional transfer.

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    Do I Need a Visa to Attend a Training/Internship in Germany?

    Citizens of so-called ‘third countries’ need to obtain a visa to enter Germany for any purpose. There are three categories of countries whose nationals may travel to Germany visa-free, and they are as follows:

    • EU (European Union). As of December 2023, the EU member states able to travel visa-free are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden
    • EEA (European Economic Area). As of December 2023, the EEA member states able to travel visa-free are all of the EU members as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway
    • Countries who have negotiated visa-free travel with Germany. As of December 2023, countries with individual visa-free travel arrangements are Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the USA. It should be noted, however, that residents of these countries must still apply for a residence permit at their local immigration office within two weeks of their arrival in the country.

    Anyone who is not a citizen of one of these countries must apply for a visa to partake in an internship.

    What are the Requirements for a Training/Internship Visa?

    There are several eligibility criteria that applicants must fulfil to be successful in their application for an internship visa. While every application is judged on a case-by-case basis and so exact criteria may vary depending on an individual’s circumstances, the standard visa requirements are as follows:

    • The applicant must be aged over 18
    • The applicant must have the offer of an internship from either an educational establishment or business
    • The applicant must not have been refused a visa to Germany before
    • The applicant must not hold a criminal record
    • The applicant must be able to financially support themselves for the duration of their stay in the country.

    In order to evidence eligibility for the visas, the applicant must provide a range of supporting documentation alongside their application form. Immigration authorities reserve the right to request additional documents during the application process, but the following can be considered a baseline for applicants to supply:

    • Two passport photographs of the applicant, identical and to passport standards
    • A valid passport, issued no longer than 10 years ago and with at least one empty page (for the visa to be affixed to if the application is successful)
    • Written confirmation of the internship offered from either the educational establishment or business, including details of payment and conditions of the intern’s stay in Germany
    • A ZAV consent letter from the Bundesagentur für Arbeit. This must be provided from the institution offering the internship to the applicant for provision. This requirement does not apply where an EU programme such as Erasmus is offering the internship
    • A No-Objection letter from the applicant’s current education establishment or workplace confirming that they currently facilitate the applicant in their home country and that they do not object to the internship taking place
    • Evidence of qualifications relevant to the internship
    • Confirmation of health insurance valid for the duration of the internship with a minimum coverage level of at least €30,000. This health insurance must be valid across all Schengen states
    • Evidence of the applicant’s sufficient financial means to support themselves while in Germany. This evidence can be provided through demonstrating one of the following:
      • A bank statement of the applicant’s current account
      • A blocked bank account
      • A payment statement from the company the internship is with
      • A letter of commitment from an individual who is financially sponsoring the stay
    • Reservation for accommodation for the duration of the internship
    • Reservation for return travel at the end of the internship
    • A receipt for the application fee having been paid.

    All documents must be presented in either German or English. If original copies of the supporting documents are not in either of these languages, they must be translated into German by a certified translator.

    How to Apply for a German Training/Internship Visa?

    To apply for an internship visa, the application process is as follows:

    Receive internship offer

    The first qualifying factor for an internship visa is that the internship has been offered in writing from an institution in Germany. Once the individual has this, they may progress to visa application.

    Book a visa interview 

    Visa interviews must be booked in advance. These appointments take place at the applicant’s local Embassy or Consulate, with an immigration office team member. How soon an appointment can be made is dependent on the office’s individual workload. If the applicant lives in a country without an Embassy or Consulate, the visa interview may be booked in such a facility in their nearest bordering country.

    Complete application form online and pay visa fee

    German visas all hold virtual application forms, which are completed online and submitted to the German government along with an application fee. This form must be completed honestly and accurately, with two copies of it printed upon completion. These printed copies, then signed, and a receipt for the online payment of the fee, are then taken by the applicant to their visa interview.

    Collect supporting documents

    Applicants are responsible for the provision of correct and appropriate supporting documentation and so need to collate this ahead of time to take with them to the visa interview appointment.

    Attend visa interview

    The Embassy or Consulate interview must be attended in-person by the applicant, with all supporting documentation. These appointments usually take around an hour, and the applicant will be questioned on their internship opportunity and their intended stay in Germany by a member of the immigration team.

    Receive visa decision

    In most cases, a decision will be made as to whether to grant the visa by post. Documents will be returned by courier and if the application was successful, the visa will be included in the passport. If the application was unsuccessful, any route to appeal will be detailed.

    Visas are noted with a ‘valid from’ date and visa holders may travel to Germany from this date but no sooner.

    Our team of legal experts can help you obtain a internship visa Germany. Contact Us

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      How Much Is the Training/Internship Visa Application Fee?

      The visa application fee, payable online as an administration fee for processing, is €75. This sum is non-refundable.

      What’s the Processing Time for a Training/Internship Visa?

      Every visa application is examined and judged individually and so there is no one set timeline for processing. However, it is advised that applicants do not attend their visa interview any later than three weeks prior to their intended internship commencement in case of delays.

      How Long Is the Training/Internship Visa Valid For?

      An internship visa will be granted for the duration of an offered internship placement but no longer. This must be a minimum of three months (if shorter the applicant may apply for a different short-term visa) up to a maximum of 12 months. Most commonly, German internship visas are granted for a six-month period.

      Can I Extend My German Training/Internship Visa?

      Technically an internship visa can be extended but only in very specific cases where extenuating circumstances apply. If you believe you have sufficient grounds to apply for an extension, contact Total Law for legal assistance on (+44)333 305 9375.

      If an internship results in an employer offering the visa holder work, they must leave Germany to return to their home country and apply for an appropriate Germany work visa from there.

      We can make your German visa application process smooth and hassle-free. Contact Us

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        How can Total Law help?

        Total Law is a team of specialist immigration lawyers who navigate the application and appeal process for visas worldwide. Call us on (+44)333 305 9375 for a free chat with no obligation to proceed. You will be issued with a point of contact who specialises in the relevant area of visa law to help you throughout the process.

        As an intern, your visa application is not always managed as thoroughly as those for paid full-time staff and the Total Law team are able to step in to help where support falls short. Exactly how much or how little support you use us for is up to you, but we can guide you through the process from initial application form filling right through to your arrival in Germany. Make sure you maximise your chances of success with adequate legal advice and your internship journey can begin stress-free.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Anyone over 18 with an internship offer in place who is not eligible for visa-free travel to Germany may apply for an internship visa. If you are a national of a country with a visa-free travel agreement, you will be able to enter the country without any visa application.

                  You may apply for jobs while in Germany but you may not apply for a work visa while resident in Germany under an internship visa. If offered a role, you must return home and apply for the appropriate work visa from there.

                  There is no visa requirement for an applicant to speak German to receive an internship visa. However, the institution offering the internship may have their own requirement for a level of German language comprehension to complete an internship in Germany.

                  An internship visa is specifically to facilitate either a study- or work-related internship for overseas citizens in Germany. A work visa is to facilitate the gainful employment of an overseas citizen in Germany.

                  In most cases there is no requirement for a visa applicant to speak German at their visa interview appointment, as the diplomatic staff will be fluent in a local language.