British students enrolled at a UK university do not require visas or residence permits for internships related to their current course of study provided they have already completed a minimum of four semesters and provided that the hosting institution has obtained ‘agreement’ (Einvernehmen) from the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit). Any visa-free stay in Germany may not exceed 90 days within a 180-day period and, in addition, the internship may not total more than 90 days within one year. This privilege also applies to all other nationals who do not require visas for visits not exceeding 90 days within a 180-day period.
For internships exceeding the time limits outlined above, British citizens may apply to the local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) for their residence permits after arrival in Germany and without having obtained a visa prior to travelling to Germany. Please note that you need to register your new residence (Anmeldung) with the authorities (Meldebehörde) within 2 weeks of having moved in and apply to the local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) for your residence permit within the first 90 days of your stay in Germany. This privilege is also extended to citizens of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Korea (Republic) and the United States of America. We strongly recommend contacting the local immigration office as soon as possible after your arrival in Germany in order to secure a timely appointment. It is important to note that you may only start your internship once you have been issued a residence permit explicitly authorising the employment as an intern. British and other citizens eligible as above may also choose to apply for a visa prior to travel, effectively permitting employment as an intern from the first day of visa validity.
All other nationalities require a visa prior to travelling to Germany.
Study-related internships (Studienfachbezogenes Praktikum) exceeding 90 days within one year require the ‘agreement’ (Einvernehmen nach § 15 Nr. 6 BeschV) of the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit). Please note that only students currently enrolled at a UK university and having completed a minimum of four semesters in their current course of study can obtain this agreement. The agreement needs to be applied for by the German hosting institution/ company (guidance for the host is available here – in German). Visa applications without written confirmation of ‘agreement’ cannot be accepted.
Under German minimum wage legislation, interns must also be paid the German national minimum wage (currently €12/hour). Only students on a mandatory internship/ placement are exempt from minimum wage requirements.
How to apply for your visa:
1. Complete the online application form, print two copies of the form including the barcodes twice and sign both copies (application forms are required for each applicant separately; all children require separate forms).
2. Compile your supporting documentation:
- 2 printouts of the online application form including barcodes
- Valid passport signed by the holder (if applicable), issued within the last 10 years and valid for at least 3 months beyond the validity of the visa applied for. The passport needs to have at least 2 subsequent blank pages plus 2 photocopies of the passport biodata page
- Current UK residence permit (BRP)/ visa (foreign residents only) plus 2 photocopies of the permit/ visa
- 2 fully biometric passport photos, 35 x 45 mm, no older than three months. Digitally altered passport photos cannot be accepted. Please ensure that your photo adheres to German biometric requirements and is taken in front of a white/ bright background.
- 2 photocopies of the internship contract
Confirmation of agreement (Einvernehmen) by the Federal Employment Agency
Letter from the Federal Employment Agency confirming agreement (Einvernehmen) with a named student undertaking an internship with a named company (original and one photocopy).
Confirmation by UK university in 2 copies that student is currently enrolled indicating subject of course, dates of commencement and anticipated completion of course.
In case you are not being paid the national minimum wage:
Written confirmation by the student’s university that the internship/ placement is a mandatory requirement of the student’s degree course.
Evidence of sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay (valid as of 2022, subject to change). Options below may be combined, provided that the total requirement is being met. Please note that NO alternative evidence of funds is acceptable.
Internship remuneration of minimum EUR 939 gross/month
OR blocked account holding minimum EUR 752/month.
OR evidence of scholarship of minimum EUR 752 net/month
OR evidence of UK student loan indicating the maintenance loan component per month (minimum EUR 752 net/month), term or year PLUS personalised confirmation by Student Loan Corporation that loan is also payable to students undertaking a full undergraduate/ graduate course or a semester/ year abroad.
OR formal commitment (Verpflichtungserklärung) by sponsor resident in Germany.
- Confirmation of health insurance cover commensurate with the level of statutory German public health insurance (gesetzliche Kankenversicherung).
- Academic curriculum vitae – 2 copies.
Processing time: For some visa categories, we will require approval from other German government agencies, such as the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) or the local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde). If you have previously lived in Germany this will add to processing times, as the immigration office may need to look into your previous immigration record. Once a decision has been made on your application, we will contact you.
In this visa category, most applications are typically processed within 2 weeks.
Although we will provide you with a file number, please understand that we cannot respond to questions regarding the status of your visa application. Should we have any questions or should we require additional documentation to process your application, we will contact you.
3. Book an appointment to apply for your visa.
Where to book your appointment/ apply for your visa:
All internship visas must be applied for with a Visa Application Centre run by our external service provider, TLScontact.
TLScontact operates from both London and Edinburgh with two distinct jurisdictions and your place of residence determines which Visa Application Centre you will need to contact for your visa. Please refer to our consular district map for details.
If your application is successful, you will be issued a limited-validity entry visa - similar to a UK entry clearance. Once you have arrived in Germany please register your new residence with the local authorities (Meldebehörde) within 2 weeks of having moved in and apply to your local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) for your Electronic Residence Permit. We strongly recommend contacting the local immigration office as soon as possible after your arrival in Germany in order to secure a timely appointment.
Further information on living and working in Germany is available here.