WHO CAN DO AN INTERNSHIP IN GERMANY?
If you are going to Germany to do an internship, please keep in mind that depending on your nationality and the personal situation there are different regulations and processes. For European citizens, the process is really simple but for non-EU citizens, it can get more complicated. In any case, we are experts in internship arrangements, so we can help with any kind of request.
TYPES OF INTERNSHIPS
There are 3 types of internships:
- Basic internship: before your university studies
- Voluntary internship: during your BA or between your BA and MA
- Mandatory internship: during your studies, as a part of it.
The main difference is that in the basic and voluntary internship your salary (if there is) will be "gross" (taxes apply and will be deducted) and in your mandatory internship, it will be net. As well, the main difference is that for basic internships and voluntary internships (extracurricular) the company needs to offer a minimum wage salary which is 8.84 € per hour and for mandatory internships (curricular) it can be unpaid or with a salary lower than the minimum wage.
For European citizens, it is really easy to do a placement in Germany.
To do a mandatory internship you need to provide a training agreement from an educational institution signed and stamped by all parties. Learn more about the training agreement here.
To do a voluntary internship you just need to find the placement which will offer you minimum wage, get a letter of acceptance from the company, and proof that you have enough funds to cover your stay (670 € per month, counting the salary that you would receive).
FOR NON-EU CITIZENS
If you are a non-EU citizen your internship has to be approved by the German Federal Employment Agency Zentrale Ausland- und Fachvermittlung (ZAV).
*) Exception: Nationals of the member states of the European Union (EU) - with the exception of Croatia - or of the European Economic Area (EEA) do not need any agreements. That does also apply to persons who in addition to a foreign nationality have citizenship of Germany or of any other EU member state. Bundesagentur für Arbeit (BA)
To be approved you need (source www.zav.de/arbeitsmarktzulassung) :
A subject related placement enables the transformation of theoretical aspects into practical working knowledge, skills and experiences. For this placement in Germany, as defined under § 15 Nr. 5 Employment Regulation (Beschäftigungsverordnung - BeschV), only students of foreign nationality are admitted who, for the total duration of the placement, are enrolled in an accredited foreign university of applied sciences or a university and who have successfully completed at least 4 semesters. Technical colleges or schools providing vocational education are not included.
The same conditions apply
- to examination papers (degrees/diplomas, bachelor or master theses)
- to clinical traineeship and PhD thesis works
- to foreign students who primarily study at a foreign university/ university of applied sciences, but who are enrolled for a guest semester at a German university. Evidence must be produced by presenting an original certificate of matriculation (no copies, faxes, e-mail, scans).
Study-related placements may last up to 12 months. These 12 months do not have to be completed in one block but can be divided and distributed over the entire study period
The placement salary closely reflects the maximum possible for students according to Germany’s Federal Education Assistance Act (called BAföG). Currently, the minimum amount is 1360 Euro per month gross with a maximum weekly working time of 40 hours. Should no salary or only a very low one be paid, the ZAV would need proof in form of a formal obligation or a statement of equity to demonstrate sufficient means of subsistence for the duration of the stay in Germany. In principle, your contact person is your future employer. They contact the ZAV in Bonn and receive information on which documents are to be submitted.
You could speed up the procedure by sending your documents to your employer in advance. After a successful examination, the ZAV grants its agreement.
This agreement is an official document bearing the seal of the ZAV and serves as evidence for permitted employment in Germany since foreign students are only allowed to work - that includes any placement – in Germany if the German Federal Employment Agency, represented in this case by the ZAV, grants permission. The employer receives this document and passes it onto the student so that, if necessary, a visa application can be submitted.
For detailed information regarding visa requirements and visa procedures, please contact the respective German embassy. Please note that even in the case of a visa exemption, an agreement from the ZAV is nevertheless required and that the final decision about the stay of foreign students from non-member States rests with the respective immigration authority.
This information is only informal and Internship Germany is not responsible for wrong interpretations!