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South Africans in Germany

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Vocational Careers

The Bundestag will discuss the new immigration proposals (Fachkräfte / Chancenkarte) on 23.06.2023. Here is the draft if you are interested. It is in German. 
We will update this page as soon as everything is official

Vocational careers are where you apply hands-on trade school experience in a professional environment. Currently, there is a big demand for skilled craft and tradesmen in the following sectors (according to make it in Germany)

Construction and development, Metal and electrical industry, Wood and plastics industry, Property cleaning trades, Artisanal food production, Healthcare and personal hygiene trades, Clothing, textile, and leather trades, Graphic design trades

Also have a look at the other professions in demand (Nursing, Engineers, IT Specialists, Scientists and Physicians)


Recognition of South African Vocational qualifications

If you completed your vocational training in South Africa, you may need your qualifications to be officially recognised. You can find information on the following websites:

Finding a job in Germany

The make it in Germany website has excellent information about finding a job in Germany.
Other options include

  • Applying directly at companies that are in your line of work, e.g Bosch, Daimler, BMW, Audi, Siemens, Liebherr. Also, consider smaller companies
  • The Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK)
  • The Budesagentur für Arbeit or Arbeitsagentur – it the Federal employment agency, they have to approve all foreign job applications and can advise you on what you need for recognition

Vocational training in Germany

You can apply to do your vocational training in Germany. You will need some level of German proficiency, depending on your type of visa
See more on our Vocational training page or the links below


  • If you have a job offer you can apply for an employment visa 
  • Have you applied to have your professional qualifications recognised and the competent authority for the recognition procedure in Germany has determined that your qualifications cannot be fully recognised due to missing qualifications? In such cases, you can attend a qualification program in Germany in order to acquire the missing theoretical and/or practical skills. Examples of this would be company training courses, technical training courses, preparatory courses or job-related German language classes.
    To take part in these programs, you require a residence permit for the recognition of foreign qualifications (Section 16d AufenthG (German Residence Act)). More information on make it in Germany
  • Job seekers visa – If you’re having difficulties searching for a job from abroad, you can apply for a residence permit that enables qualified professionals to enter Germany for the purpose of seeking employment in accordance with Section 20 (1) (2) AufenthG (German Residence Act). See more on make it in Germany
  • If you received qualified vocational training, you can receive a residence permit (without the consent of the Federal employment agency) that enables you to obtain employment in Germany as a qualified professional. See sections 18a and 18b of the German Residence Act

One particular option is provided by the Skilled Immigration Act: Under specific conditions, companies are able to apply for an Accelerated procedure for the residence of Skilled workers from third countries. The purpose of this is to shorten the duration of the recognition procedure to two months.

Tip:  Under certain conditions, you can enter Germany for 6 months after completing your professional training in order to search for a job. You can find out more at visa for jobseekers.

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