Taking Internship After Graduating Uni- Student Visa or Work Permit?

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I graduate from my M.Sc. program here in Germany at the end of April (when I finish my thesis). I'm a non-EU citizen, from the US. I'm in talks with 2 companies about starting there in an intern/trainee capacity, which is then intended to transfer to full-time if the traineeship is "successful".

 

Each traineeship would be about 6 months, starting at the beginning of April. But here's the problem:

 

My current student visa is valid until September 19, 2019. However, I will be officially unenrolled from the university on April 30, when my thesis has been submitted. So, once I've been unenrolled and completed my degree, is my right to work under a student visa then invalidated? Will I need to switch to a job-seeking visa to continue at the traineeship after April 30?

 

For reference, the traineeships would each be full-time (39h) but with a lesser, intern-like salary (about 1500€ gross monthly)

 

Any advice or examples from experience would be greatly appreciated :)

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2 hours ago, sneaker said:

Do they pay you for the internship?

 

Hi @sneaker, yes, the gross monthly salary will be slightly more than 1500€ for either one.

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1 hour ago, sneaker said:

Are you aware of § 16 Abs. 5 AufenthG?

 

If you're referring to the 18-month work-seeking visa after completing my studies, yes. But I'm wondering if that's necessary, since my student visa is still valid until September, the position is a "traineeship", and I'm not making an actual full time income... I've been told it be in my best interest to stay on my student visa for the traineeship, as I would then pay less health insurance fees, be eligible for discounts on public transport, etc...

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I don't know what's your situation at the moment - but I wanted to give this thread a closure from my personal experience.

 

On 24/03/2019, 08:24:05, cbjonesing said:

I'm in talks with 2 companies about starting there in an intern/trainee capacity...

 

One has to be clear about the framework of the relation from the get-go:

There is the Freiwilliges (Voluntary) Praktikum Vs the Pflichtpraktikum (Mandatory).
The former obliges the company to pay the Mindeslohn (Minimum Wage), and the latter allows the companies to bypass the Mindeslohn (Minimum Wage).
Fee free to indulge into that complexity here https://www.absolventa.de/karriereguide/arbeitsrecht/mindestlohn-praktikum.

 

One the other hand, Traineeships and Appreneticeships are a different and rather muddily defined concepts here, afaik (others please feel free to chime-in for more on this).

Again, read yourselves numb here: https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/national-policies/en/content/youthwiki/35-traineeships-and-apprenticeships-germany

 

@cbjonesing So let's build the premis for your case:

One is not premitted to work beyond 120 full-hours per year on the student visa.

One is permitted to work without student-hour limitations once converted to 18 month Job-seeking Visa (immediately after graduation, without leaving Germany).

Any internship beyond 3 months does not fall under Pflichtpraktikum, hence Mindeslohn applies, by law.

 

On 24/03/2019, 08:24:05, cbjonesing said:

So, once I've been unenrolled and completed my degree, is my right to work under a student visa then invalidated? Will I need to switch to a job-seeking visa to continue at the traineeship after April 30?

Yes and Yes.

 

On 24/03/2019, 17:36:42, cbjonesing said:

But I'm wondering if that's necessary, since my student visa is still valid until September, the position is a "traineeship", and I'm not making an actual full time income...

Yes that's necessary, and you ought to be making Mindeslohn on your praktikum/traineeship since you are no longer a student and it's more than 3 months in duration.

Furthermore, Mindeslohn IS considered a fulltime income and is taxable accordingly.

 

On 24/03/2019, 17:36:42, cbjonesing said:

I've been told it be in my best interest to stay on my student visa for the traineeship, as I would then pay less health insurance fees, be eligible for discounts on public transport, etc...

When I applied for the 18 month Jobseeking visa, the duration was counted from the day when I was awarded the degree certificates and NOT the day I exmatriculated (which was 3 months after). This important fact even boggles my mind till date, since we were never intimated by anyone from the uni admins / Ausländerbehörde, and had to "go figure" it out.

 

You have not been advised in your best interest unfortunately.

I would not recommend any non-EU/EAA person studying in this country to venture into the "grey-area" with the Ausländerbehörde after graduation.

Because your visa status directly impacts your relationship with the state, in terms of health insurance, benefits, etc., and things might come back to take their pound of flesh in situations you'd have never foreseen.

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On 11/4/2019, 2:12:45, michaknows said:

When I applied for the 18 month Jobseeking visa, the duration was counted from the day when I was awarded the degree certificates and NOT the day I exmatriculated (which was 3 months after).


I must ask, what's the problem with that? 

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3 hours ago, vaonba said:


I must ask, what's the problem with that? 

 

Whilst I cant see why this should be incorrect, the problem is that the person ended up with effectively 15 months work permit instead of 18.

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On 11/6/2019, 12:15:34, zwiebelfisch said:

 

Whilst I cant see why this should be incorrect, the problem is that the person ended up with effectively 15 months work permit instead of 18.


I may have misunderstood something. But I don't see the problem why. The previous poster got his certificate. If he's procrastinating filing the exmatriculation, it doesn't mean he should get 3 months permit for free. I'm pretty sure he's working/looking for a job during that 3 months.

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9 hours ago, vaonba said:


I may have misunderstood something. But I don't see the problem why. The previous poster got his certificate. If he's procrastinating filing the exmatriculation, it doesn't mean he should get 3 months permit for free. I'm pretty sure he's working/looking for a job during that 3 months.

 

As I understood it, they thought they would get 18 months from the end of their university enrollment (exmatriculation) but in fact the date was from the day they got their degree which is not the same thing.

 

So its not a case of procrastination, but confusion of the definition of "nach erfolgreichem Abschluss des Studiums"

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