Can a University Student Change to an Azubi? Converting a Study Visa into an Ausbildung Visa

University students in a lab

We come from a society that worships studying, going to University and having many degrees. We love it when people refer to us as Daktari (Doctor) or Professor, which are titles we sometimes use on anyone who has been to University and not really on the kind of qualifications they have. With such a background, all of us dream of joining University regardless of what we would like to become, we believe going to Uni is the only way there.

Coming to Germany you find they offer Ausbildung, which is in no way inferior to University but because we don’t have it where we come from, we resort to joining Uni instead for bragging rights. After the culture shock of being at a German Uni plus the financial constraints and the realization that this wasn’t your dream, you try to change to an Ausbildung. So is this allowed, is it possible? NO

According to the Aufenthaltsgesetz Chapter 2, §16:

(2) Während des Aufenthalts nach Absatz 1 oder 1a soll in der Regel keine Aufenthaltserlaubnis für einen anderen Aufenthaltszweck erteilt oder verlängert werden, sofern nicht ein gesetzlicher Anspruch besteht.

(2) During the stay under paragraphs 1 or 1a a residence permit for a different purpose of stay may not be granted or renewed, unless there is a legal right.

Paragraph 1 refers to students at a University, Studienkolleg or language school while 1a refers to students applying to Uni.

With this background, converting a study visa into an Ausbildung becomes impossible.

Secondly, as a third state foreigner applying for an ausbildung requires that the Embassy in the home country together with the German Federal Job Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit), verify that indeed:

  • the profession is on demand in Germany (to ensure you don’t move to Germany and live on welfare)
  • the same profession is in good supply in your home country (to ensure your home country doesn’t need to import professionals in that same field)

Sometimes this is also the reasoning behind the migration officials refusing to issue Ausbildung visas to Au pairs, but fortunately for au pairs, when the stories hit the media people feel sorry because the au pair’s dreams are being cut short and the people’s court ends up changing the migration officials’ decison.

For a student who has studied for some time trying to convert to an Ausbildung, it would be hard to get public sympathy thus such a story in the media would result in you being deported even faster for being “undecided” and a potential welfare case. (I know it sounds harsh, but this Schublade society can be ruthless with indecisive characters.)

My advice is if you’re here as an au pair or volunteer, think long and hard before you choose to join Uni or do an Ausbildung. Some articles to help are:

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