General information

Do I need a visa?

For stays of less than 90 days: Canadian citizens do not require a visa for an internship if they have a certificate of agreement (ZAV certificate) from the “Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung” (ZAV) in Germany. This also applies to nationals of other countries who are allowed to stay in Schengen countries for up to 90 days without a visa or if they have a German or EU scholarship.
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 stays of more than 90 days: Canadian citizens require a visa or residence permit for stays of more than 90 days.

In general, Canadian citizens as well as citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States of America can apply for a residence permit after entering Germany at the local immigration authority, without applying for a visa beforehand. Please note that until the work permit has been issued you will not be able to work yet.

Internships related to your field of study

Only students currently enrolled at a Canadian university may undertake a study-related internship. This minimum requirement does not apply to graduate or post-graduate students. You will need an original certificate of enrollment as proof. Please have the relevant form (Federal Employment Agency website) completed by your university and send it to your employer in Germany together with a copy of your passport.

  • You have already completed at least 4 semesters
  • The intended internship is directly related to your university studies
  • The internship is limited to a maximum duration of 12 months
  • The internship salary is at least € 934 gross per month for a weekly working time of 40 hours. If no salary or a lower salary is paid, you will need a declaration of commitment or proof of sufficient funds to cover your living expenses.

As an internship involves taking up work, prior agreement from the ZAV (“Einvernehmen”) is required for taking up work - even if the internship is unpaid.

Your internship provider in Germany must submit the application for agreement to the ZAV Student Placement Service. Your employer can find the application form, information on the procedure and the necessary documents as well as the contact address of the ZAV in the leaflet “Studienfachbezogene Praktika in Deutschland für Studierende aus dem Ausland” on the website of the Federal Employment Agency.

As soon as the employer has received the certificate of agreement from the ZAV (“Einvernehmen”), they will forward it to you so that you can submit the visa application.

Government internships, EU-funded internships and internships as part of official exchange programs

Internships for specialists and managers who receive a scholarship from German public funds or who are funded within the framework of official EU programs such as TACIS, ERASMUS, etc., as well as internships within the framework of the international exchange program of associations and public institutions or student organizations (e.g. DAAD, etc.) do not require approval from the ZAV. You can submit the visa application directly to your German mission abroad.

Internships arranged by the Federal Employment Agency with a maximum duration of 9 months

This includes, for example, interns placed by the ZAV (e.g. hotel management students placed in the hotel industry) for whom the ZAV has issued a placement confirmation.

Necessary documents

Please do not staple the documents!

  • Completed and signed application form:
    Please fill out the online application (VIDEX) form, print it out, sign it and submit it along with the other documents. Please ensure that the barcode is printed in high quality.
  • Printed and signed Declaration Use of Mail Services
  • Printed and signed Visa Declaration
  • Valid national passport (issued within the last 10 years and valid for at least 6 months from the intended arrival in Germany, with 2 subsequent blank pages) - original plus 1 copy of the data page
  • Recent biometrical passport photograph, stamped (35 x 45 mm, front facial view, white background, not older than 3 months). Digitally altered pictures will not be accepted. - please do not attach the photo to the application form
  • For non-Canadian citizens: Proof of Canadian residence permit, e.g. PR card, work/study permit - original plus 1 copy of the data page
  • Prepaid self-addressed Xpresspost envelope (Canada Post only), Regional standard to Ontario or National standard to all other provinces (shipment to a Canadian address only). Please note that the German Missions will not be held responsible for any loss or damage of passports due to postal or courier service delivery.
  • Proof of housing, e.g. hotel/hostel/AirBnB (min. for the first week) with full address
  • To be provided prior to final approval of the visa application:

    Proof of sufficient health/travel insurance coverage valid in Germany (including details about coverage: at least € 30,000 and including repatriation costs. Please highlight relevant passages in the insurance terms and print only the relevant pages)

  • Visa fee: see here

  • Internship contract from German company where you intend to have your internship, also indicating the salary and working hours
  • Letter from your Canadian university confirming that internship is part of the course (if applicable)
  • Original and copy of the confirmation from “Bundesagentur für Arbeit – Einvernehmen gemäß § 15 Nr. 6/§ 15 Nr. 4 der Beschäftigungsverordnung”

Incomplete application may result in the rejection of your application. You might have to come again for a new appointment.

Please note that you may be asked to present additional documents. Submission of the required documents does not guarantee that a visa will be granted.

Additional information and appointment booking

  • Once you have obtained your visa please check carefully that all entries are correct and in accordance with your application. Please inform the visa section immediately if there are any mistakes.
  • Your entry visa will allow you to travel within the Schengen area. However please be aware that you will be still subject to the 90 days within 180 days rule outside of Germany.
  • Upon your arrival the border authorities may examine whether the requirements for your entry continue to be valid. Entry may be refused by the border authorities although you are in possession of a valid visa. We advise you to carry with you documents giving evidence to the purpose of your stay.
  • Please do not forget to register at the registration office (Meldebehörde) shortly after you arrive in Germany and to make an appointment with the foreigners authority (Ausländerbehörde). Be aware that some foreigners authorities have long waiting times for appointments.

All Canadian residents need to apply at the Consulate General in Toronto in person. You will have to prepare all the necessary documents (see above) and book an appointment online.

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