Vocational language courses
You can learn German for your work with the programme “Job-related language training as per Section 45a German Residence Act [AufenthG])”. The aim of the vocational language courses: After a course, your job-related Germans skills will be better. This gives you a better chance of finding a job or an apprenticeship.
The Federal Agency of Migration and Refugees (BAMF) organises the vocational language courses. Many language schools offer these courses. There are various different programmes:
- Vocational language courses for A2, B1, B2 and C1 consist of 400 to 500 lessons of 45 minutes each. At the end of the course, you take an exam and receive a language certificate. You learn grammar and vocabulary that you need in your career. For example, you learn how to make conversation with your colleagues and how to write business letters.
- In the specialist vocational language courses, you learn special vocabulary and talk about the issues that are important in your profession. For example, you could attend a special course if you want to work as a doctor or a geriatric nurse in Germany. There are specialist courses for various careers.
You can find out more about the vocational language courses at the Federal Employment Agency (Arbeitsagentur), Jobcenter or BAMF. For online information, please see the BAMF website.
Who can take a vocational language course?
You can take a vocational language course if you:
• are living as a foreign national in Germany or
• are an EU citizen or
• are a German national with a migration background and want to improve your job-related German-language skills
• if you are an apprentice or seeking an apprenticeship
• are registered as looking for work and/or receiving unemployment benefit
• have a job and want to improve your job-related German-language skills
• need to reach a particular language level so that your professional qualifications can be recognised or so that you can access a career
How can I register for a vocational language course?
If you are registered with the Federal Employment Agency (Arbeitsagentur) or Jobcenter (for example, if you are looking for an apprenticeship, are registered as unemployed or if you receive benefits), enquire there about whether you can take part. If you have proof of eligibility, you can then register for a course.
If you have a job or apprenticeship or need to provide evidence of your German-language skills so that your foreign professional qualifications can be recognised, enquire at the BAMF about whether you can take a course.
To do so, send an email to the office responsible for your federal state:
• Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia
→ Berlin (deufoe.berlin(at)bamf.bund.de)
• Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland
→ Stuttgart (deufoe.stuttgart(at)bamf.bund.de)
→ Nuremberg (deufoe.nuernberg(at)bamf.bund.de)
• Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein
→ Hamburg (deufoe.hamburg(at)bamf.bund.de)
• Hessen, North Rhine-Westphalia
→ Cologne (deufoe.koeln(at)bamf.bund.de)
You must make an application. You will then receive proof of eligibility. If you have proof of eligibility, you can then register for a course.
How much does it cost to take a vocational language course?
A vocational language course is usually free of charge. You don’t have to pay anything.
You will have to pay a contribution to the course fee only if you are in work and earning more than €20,000 per year (taxable income).