I have a summer internship offer from Germany. It'd be a summer internship of six weeks in Munich, unpaid but I am willing to bear all expenses (accommodation, travel etc).

Can I do that on a 'normal' Schengen visa or would I require a work visa?

I read that a work visa is usually required when the stay is for longer than 90 days, but for six weeks which particular visa is required?

1 Answer 1


If you are staying for six weeks, what you need is in any case a regular Schengen short-stay visa. But if what you are doing count as work, you need to secure a separate “authorization” before applying for said visa. In practice, your prospective employer generally has to apply on your behalf to the Bundesagentur für Arbeit and, once they get the approval, to send you a document that you can present to the consulate. So you need to get in touch with your employer about this as soon as possible.

The German Foreign Office has a page (in German!) detailing under what conditions an internship is allowed. Some things like internships funded by government money can be done without any specific authorization but I think you would need one. You might want to ask the consulate or try to get advice from someone who knows German law better to make sure.

Whatever you do, be absolutely forthcoming in your application. Do not try to pretend you are going for tourism and then enroll in an internship, you could get in serious trouble.

Also, if you already have a multiple-entry short-stay visa, be very carefully if you are considering using it for your internship. You want to make absolutely sure that it is allowed by the rules and that your employer completed all required formalities. Definitely have the authorisation from the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) with you when crossing the border.

  • Thanks. I have internship offer from a Lab in Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich. So in case that wouldn't be government funded by Govt as you mentioned authorization isn't required for that. Moreover, I don't have a Schengen visa as of now, and I plan to apply for a Valid visa only that would allow me to do internship legally. But as per the link of "under what conditions an internship is allowed" that you provided, I guess the point 2 & 6 tell I might not be needing this authorization thing? p.s i translated using Google Translate.
    – Shumail
    Commented Mar 6, 2015 at 19:43
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    @ShumailMohy-ud-Din Point 2 only applies if are studying at a German institution. Point 6 does in fact mention a kind of authorization (“im Einvernehmen mit der Bundesagentur für Arbeit”). But a large university like the LMU should have an international relations office that will have more experience than I do with this situation.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Mar 6, 2015 at 21:21
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    Thanks a lot for support. I think the authorization would be required in my case and perhaps, if I am right, this is the form that my employer needs to fill and submit to ZAV for authorization: arbeitsagentur.de/web/wcm/idc/groups/public/documents/webdatei/… Am i right ?
    – Shumail
    Commented Mar 8, 2015 at 11:56
  • @ShumailMohy-ud-Din Yes, I think this is correct, I will add the link to my answer (but like I said, I never had to do it myself). The document also explains the procedure in detail. Note that the less money/support you get from the employer, the more money you need to have to satisfy the consulate and get a visa.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Mar 8, 2015 at 15:24
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    Little penalty if getting caught and assuming this isn't going to be taken seriously because it's unpaid work is definitely wrong. That's not the way immigration law works, you can be faulted for the deception itself, no matter how innocuous it might seem. The site is full of questions by people who thought this or that wasn't serious or they could embellish some details and getting in big trouble because of it. And your friends' experience obviously don't tell you anything about that. So I stand by my advice.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 16:25

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