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Residence permit for educational purposes - application

Should you be a citizen of a non-EU or non-EEA country, you require a residency permit for training purposes in order to enter training in Germany. This permit will allow you

  • to participate in language courses that are not intended as preparation for courses of study (intensive German courses),
  • to obtain basic and advanced professional training provided the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) gives its consent.

The residency permit can be issued for participation in a school exchange and, in exceptional cases, in order to attend a school.

Note: If you are not yet in possession of a training or study place, you have the option of obtaining a residence permit to find a training or study place.

Attention: Should you be in Germany for training purposes, you cannot obtain a settlement permit. The time when you held a residency permit for the purpose of studying or vocational training can, however, be set off by half against the necessary time for obtaining a settlement permit.


Prerequisites for issuing of a residence permit are:

  • You satisfy the passport and visa obligation.
    With respect to the passport obligation, it is sufficient if you possess an alternative identity document.
  • Your subsistence is assured.
  • There are no grounds for your expulsion.
  • Your stay does not endanger or prejudice the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • You fulfill the entry requirements for the relevant course of education.

Responsible department

  • for issuing a national visa before entering German territory: the German diplomatic mission abroad (embassy, consulate)
  • following arrival: the foreigners' authority. The foreigners' authority is
    • if you live in an urban district or large district capital: the city council (Stadtverwaltung)
    • if you live in a town or community: the district office

Tip: The Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) provides a Verzeichnis der Vertretungen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland im Ausland (list of addresses of German diplomatic missions abroad) on its website.

Standard port


Before entering Germany, you may have to apply for a national visa in your own country.

Citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand and the United States of America can travel to Germany without a visa and apply for a residency permit.

After entry, you must apply for the residence title in writing to the immigration authorities before your visa expires. The immigration authority is, depending on where you live, either the municipal administration or the district administration.

Note: If the approval of the Federal Employment Agency is required (for example, for corporate training and education), the immigration authority seeks this approval in an internal administrative procedure.


Required documents

  • Proof that you satisfy the passport and visa obligation
  • Proof that your subsistence is assured
  • Proof that there are no grounds for your expulsion
  • Proof that you do not endanger or prejudice the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • Proof that you fulfill the entry requirements for the relevant course of education (original documents)
  • Training contract
  • Training plan
  • The company where the training takes place registers with the chamber of industry and commerce where necessary
  • Language capability: The employer and vocational school are responsible for checking sufficient language capability. From 1 January 2020, an exception exists for training in the care sector: In order to take up training in the care sector, you must provide proof of fulfilment of the same requirements that apply to the issuing of the permit to carry the vocational title. These requirements are German language capability at the B2 level. On 1 March 2020, the Specialist Workers’ Immigration Act (Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz ) will take effect. From this time, you must demonstrate sufficient language knowledge at the B2 level for the qualified vocational training. This proof should take place by submitting suitable language certificates.


You are issued with the residency permit for the first time: EUR 100.00

Processing time

usually four to six weeks

Detailed information


You wish to undertake the training here in part and have already received a residency permit for training purposes in another EU Member State: In most cases, you also receive a residency permit for Germany.

You hold a residence permit for other reasons (for example for family reasons) or a settlement permit. In this case, you can enter training in Germany without an additional residency permit.

Should you undertake skilled vocational training in Germany (at least two years vocational training), then regardless of the vocation training, you may work for up to ten hours per week. Following the successful completion of the skilled vocational training, the authority can extend your residency permit by up to one year in certain circumstances. In this time

  • you search for a job which reasonably corresponds to your qualifications, provided that foreigners may undertake this occupation and
  • may work without restrictions.

Citizens of the EU Member States can undertake vocational training in Germany due to their right of free movement. They must provide proof of health insurance and maintenance, should they not be in employment. The same applies to citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA) and of Switzerland.

You will receive the residence permit in the format of a bank card incorporating additional electronic functions. You will find further information at “Application for electronic residence permit (eAT)".


Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.

In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.

08.03.2023 The Ministry of Justice Baden-Württemberg.