Other documents you will need
While a placement is not a permanent job, it is regarded as a type of employment under German legislation. Therefore, you must observe certain formalities and may be required to obtain certain permits depending on where you come from. The formalities and permits are specified in the following list.
A placement is classed as a form of employment according to the German Employment Regulations (Beschäftigungsverordnung) and the German Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz). Students who are not from the EU or EEC must apply for a certificate exempting them from the work permit requirement at the ZAV – International Placement Services (German) at the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency). This certificate is proof that the work activity in the context of the placement has been approved by ZAV. The certificate is also required in order to apply for a residence permit. You cannot start your placement before you have obtained approval from ZAV.
Students from EU states, EEC countries and Switzerland
Students who are citizens of an EU member state (except Croatia) and students who are citizens from an EEC state or Switzerland do not need a permit from ZAV for a placement. This means that they do not have to apply for a certificate confirming their exemption from the work permit requirement.
Placement students who are not citizens of an EU or EEC state
Citizens of a non-EU or non-EEC state who want to do a placement in Germany require the approval of ZAV and a visa.
Placement students who are older than 35 cannot get a certificate of exemption.
The certificate of exemption from the work permit requirement is required in order to apply for a visa. We therefore ask you to apply for the certificate in good time.
ZAV usually needs approximately three to four weeks to process the certificate of exemption. Therefore, we recommend that you plan the placement well in advance and submit the documents to RIA or ZAV as soon as possible.
Who applies for the certificate of exemption?
If your placement is part of an Erasmus scholarship programme or an exchange programme or you are from one of FAU’s partner universities, the certificate of exemption from the work permit requirement is applied for by RIA. Once you have been registered as a future placement student with RIA we will contact you and ask you for the required documents. RIA also depends on support from the host institution.
In all other cases, the certificate of exemption must be applied for by the chair or institute inviting the placement student. Please see Information der Bundesagentur für Arbeit (in German) (information provided by the Federal Employment Agency) for information on what needs to be observed.
Issue of a certificate of exemption from the work permit requirement
Several copies of the certificate of exemption are issued and sent to RIA or the institution which applied for it. One copy is for the student, one is for the employer and the third copy is for the local immigration authorities. RIA or the host institution forwards the certificates to the appropriate authorities. Students need their certificates for their visa application.
Placements without remuneration
Placements without remuneration are considered a form of employment under German immigration law. Therefore, they require a certificate of exemption to be obtained from ZAV.
Extension of the placement
If you have to extend you placement please note that not only your residence permit but also your certificate of exemption from the work permit requirement from ZAV must be extended. Please submit an application for extension as soon as possible.
Please also find out prior to your arrival whether your residence permit in Germany may be extended as it depends on the nature of your residence permit or visa whether the local immigration authorities can extend it. If in doubt, please enquire with the German immigration authorities where you have applied or will be applying for your visa or residence permit.