I don’ t want to study anymore

If you do not want to continue your studies, you have the possibility to start an apprenticeship in Germany under certain conditions. In an apprenticeship you combine theory with a lot of practical experience, because you work directly in a company and learn a specific job. If you already have a professional qualification, e.g. from your home country, you can may also switch directly into a job under certain circumstances.

Requirements for right of residence

In order to be able to start an apprenticeship in Germany instead of studying, or to be allowed to work in a job, it is necessary to change your purpose of residence: If you come from a country that is not an EU or EEA member state, you need a residence title for entry and residence in Germany.. The residence permit is issued for a specific purpose. This is, for example, the purpose of education or employment.

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The residence title is an authorization required for foreigners to enter and stay in the federal territory. Residence permits are issued in the form of a visa, residence permit, EU Blue Card, settlement permit or EU permanent residence permit. The residence title entitles you to work if this is provided for in the Residence Act or the residence title expressly allows you to work.

While you are studying, you have a residence permit for the purpose of studying. If you do not finish your studies, i.e. start something new before the end of your studies – e.g. an apprenticeship – you will need to apply for a change in your residence permit. As long as you are still enrolled, it is possible under certain conditions that you can change to a residence permit for the purpose of an apprenticeship.

If you are already exmatriculated, the purpose of your residence permit is no longer valid. This means that you have to leave Germany (if you are not from the EU or EEA). Even in this case, you can still start an apprenticeship. But for this you need a visa again, which you can apply for at the responsible foreign mission in your home country.

You can contact the following offices for all questions regarding residence law:

  • Fachkräfteinformationszentrum Zuwanderung (FIZU)
  • Foreigners‘ Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde)

You can find the right contact person through our network. To do this, select the region where you are studying, here.

You would like to dropout of university…

  • but you do not yet have a professional qualification (e.g. a study degree or an apprenticeship graduation from Germany or your home country)?
  • and you want to learn a new profession?

Then click here to continue: I would like to start an apprenticeship.

You want to quit studying, and …

  • you already have a professional qualification that is accepted for your desired job in Germany (e.g. a study degree from Germany or your home country).
  • you want to continue working in this field of business?
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If you have already completed an apprenticeship or have a study degree, you may work directly as an employee in Germany under certain conditions. For this purpose you may have to go through a recognition procedure for your qualification so that you are allowed to work in Germany.

Is your profession regulated?

In Germany, there are regulated and non-regulated professions. Regulated professions exist, for example, in the health care sector (e.g., physician). You are only allowed to work here if you have an appropriate degree. Therefore you must go through a recognition process. This means that it is checked whether your foreign qualification is equivalent to the qualification you need to be allowed to work in Germany in that particular profession. You can find more information on the recognition of professions on the federal government’s portal „Make it in Germany„.

Non-regulated professions

Many professions in Germany are not regulated. You may still need to have your qualifications from abroad recognized. You can also find out more about this on the German government’s „Make it in Germany“ portal.

Job-seeking and application

To find a job in Germany, you have several options:

  • Job and career fairs: Companies present themselves there and you can get in touch directly with people from the company.
  • Online job portals and networks, company websites
  • Counseling at the employment agency: There are counseling centers of the employment agency in almost all German cities. There you can find out about vacancies in the region. On the BERUFENET website of the German Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) you will find detailed information on various professions and activities (website not available in English).
  • In addition, the German Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) also has an online job portal. The employees can also help with questions about the application and the application process.
  • You can also find more information about working in Germany on the federal government website „Make it in Germany„.