@engelchen I have a similar situation - I'm hoping you can help with your expertise a bit. I am on the last term of my master which is supposed to be a 3-month pflichtpraktikum. From the school's perspective I can trade this in for a full-time job, which is precisely what I want to do. I have offers from 3 companies for a full-time role that starts from the date on which I should start my pflichtpraktikum. It is not clear to me if I can sign any of these contracts while still on my student visa. My visa allows me 120 full/240 half days of work a year and I have enough work days left to see out the period of the pflichtpraktikum. Can I sign the contract and then apply for either a job-seeker or a work permit soon as I have completed my obligations to the master (which is when the school will be able to furnish me with an official document stating the same) - this way, unforeseen circumstances aside, I will still be able to change my residence status before my working days quota is up.
Another aspect to consider is whether I can sign the contract and already apply for a work permit before completing my master - if I understand correctly, this is also possible to do if I have a degree from a foreign university comparable to a German Hochschule qualification (my school has a H+ rating and my degree a A3 - which I understand is sufficient). Moreover, I also have 5+ years of relevant work experience to show for.
The worst case scenario is that I ask the companies to offer me 2 separate contracts - one for a 3 month pflichtpraktikum and another for a full-time role that becomes active after the 3 month period. This would compromise my leverage to demand the same salary for the months of pflichtpraktikum, which are not subject to minimum wage and hence not a favorable option.
I have been to the ABH today and they were not willing to give me any conclusive advice - which I already anticipated because in essence what we are talking about is gaming the system.
I'm also very curious to understand what is the meaning of "Approval by the Federal Employment Agency (if applicable)" - like when is this required and when is it not? There's no clear indication on this and lots of sources report contrasting information.
I know this is very specific and in detail but if you can offer any insights, I would be very grateful.