When it comes to higher education quality, research infrastructure, teaching approach, low-cost studies, and career prospects, Germany is one of the best places. As a result, many international students continue to believe that Germany is the greatest destination to further their studies. However, not every foreigner is immediately able to follow such an ambition. This is due to the fact that numerous nations are not permitted to enter and stay in Germany without first obtaining a valid German visa.
Do I need a visa to study in Germany?
Either a student visa or a resident permit are required to study in Germany. Whether these documents are necessary or not is determined by your country of origin and the length of time you intend to stay in Germany.
|What country do you hold citizenship in?||Student visa?||Residence permit?|
|EU/EEA, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland||No, you do not need a visa to enter Germany. You neither need to have an acceptance letter from a German University prior to entering Germany.||No, you just have to register your residence once you arrive in Germany, using a passport or valid ID.|
|Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand, the UK, and the USA||No, you do not need a visa to enter Germany. You neither need to have an acceptance letter from a German University prior to entering Germany.||Yes, if you intend to stay in Germany for more than 90 days, you need to apply for a residence permit at the Immigration Authority Office upon your arrival in Germany.|
|Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino||No, you do not need a student visa to enter Germany, if you do not intend to subsequently work in Germany.||Yes, if you intend to stay in Germany for more than 90 days, you need to apply for a residence permit at the Immigration Authority Office upon your arrival in Germany.|
|If you are not a citizen of one of the countries listed above||Yes, you need to apply for a student visa in order to enter Germany and begin studying.||Yes, upon landing in Germany, you must additionally apply for a study-related residence visa.|
It is strongly advised that you contact a German consulate general or embassy in your country for more information before traveling to Germany. If you don’t have enough time or can’t make it to a German diplomatic mission, you can also visit our visa consultation.
🎓 Student Visa
If you are not a citizen of one of the countries listed above, you can apply for a German long-stay visa to study in Germany for the following reasons:
- Language Course Visa – for educational activities lasting from 3 months up to 1 year, for the purpose of participating in short German language courses.
- Student Applicant Visa – if you want to study in Germany, but are still trying to find the right program or you still haven’t got the confirmation letter from your University
- Student Visa – if you have already been accepted to a German university.
Categories of people who can apply for a student visa
- just received the acceptance letter from a German university,
- soon is expected to get a response on his/her university application in a university in Germany,
- has to enroll in preparatory year (Studienkolleg) before applying to a German university,
- needs to take a preparatory year to prepare for the test “Feststellungsprüfung” – qualification assessment examination
- needs to complete a doctoral degree
- wants to engage in a research project in Germany
How can I apply for a student visa in Germany?
The following is a step-by-step guide to applying for a student visa in Germany:
- Apply for a study place at German universities
- Check to see if you’ll need a visa for a long stay in Germany.
- Find out where your visa application must be sent.
- According to the directions, gather all of the relevant documents.
- Set up a time for a visa interview.
- Pay the German student visa fee.
- Participate in the interview.
- Wait for your visa application to be approved.
Documents required for a student visa
To certify that you fit the requirements for a student visa, you will need to submit a number of documents to the German embassy or consulate in your place of residence. These documents, together with the visa interview, are essential components of your application for a German student visa.
Make sure you collect all of these documents according to the guidelines.
- Fully completed application form. Printed and signed at the end
- Passport photograph based on biometric specifications
- A valid national passport
- An acceptance letter from a state-recognized university in Germany
- Proof of sufficient knowledge of German (usually DSH-2 / C1 certificate) or English skills (IELTS / TOEFL certificate) – It is dependent on your study program’s language.
- University entrance qualification (Abitur / recognized school leaving certificate)
- Proof of financial means to cover the costs for the time of your stay in Germany by showing one of the following documents:
- Verpflichtungserklärung (formal obligation letter) by a sponsor living in Germany
- Blocked bank account (at least 10,332 € per year)
- Proof of your health insurance – valid from the start of your study program. Separate travel insurance must be presented for the time period between arrival in Germany and the start of study program if it is not already included in the mandatory health insurance.
- Personal covering letter explaining the exact purpose and duration of stay.
Did you know that many visa applications are turned down by the German embassy owing to simple formal mistakes? They don’t have a credible proof of financial resources or proof of health insurance. You will have to apply for a visa again if you are disqualified, and the previous fee will not be reimbursed, meaning you will have to pay the amount again or even more if it is rejected again. To avoid this problem, you can open a blocked bank account with us. We ensure that the financial institutions with whom we open your account are legally recognized in Germany. When you use our blocked account as proof of your financial means, you’ll have a better chance of receiving a student visa. Learn more about blocked account and health insurance here:
💡 Important information
Please note that you should apply for a student visa with the German representative organization responsible for visa admission (e.g. German embassy, German consulate) in your country of residence. After completing the application process in your home country, you will receive a 90-day student visa. The process is not done here. Once when you arrive in Germany, you must also apply for a residence permit.
Please keep in mind that you cannot study in Germany while holding another form of Schengen visa, for example, a tourist visa. If you want to enter to Germany to study, you cannot use tourism as a reason for doing so. You must initially apply for a student visa in your country of residence. When you are in Germany, you cannot convert your tourist visa to a student visa.
There are a few more things you should be aware of
- During the visa interview, the visa officer may request further documents
- Germany work visa is not automatically given – so you have to wait for up to 4 months to get a response from the Embassy or Consulate and there is no guarantee you will be granted a visa
- Keep in mind that a visa application that is incomplete may be denied.
- In case of visa rejection, the applicant gets informed about the main reason for a rejection
- Visa fee will not be reimbursed in case of visa refusal
- Upon arrival at the airport, original documentation may be required.
We understand that if you are not from one of the above-mentioned “favored nations”, the visa application processes appear to be complicated and difficult. To begin, you’ll need a study visa to enter Germany, and then you’ll need to apply for a study-related residence visa once you’ve arrived. After that, you’ll need to go to your local registration office and register your address. We’ve done our best to walk you through the process by describing it as clearly as possible. You may have noticed that our information is precise and simple to understand. This is because our AZAPA visa service staff has gathered these lessons from real-life situations. We are capable of providing competent assistance. You can contact us for a visa consultation to make all of the processes easier and to greatly improve your chances of acquiring a visa.
🏠 Residence Permit
Do I need a resident permit to stay in Germany?
✔️ Citizens of EU/EEA, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland do not need to apply for a residence permit. If you intend to stay in Germany for more than 2 months, you have to register your residence once you arrive in Germany, using a passport or valid ID. You can get the Confirmation on Registration (Meldebestätigung) at the registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt), which is normally in the town hall (Rathaus) or a central building of the municipal administration. If you cannot find your local registration office, search for “Bürgerbüro” and type the name of the German city you reside in.
➡️ Citizens of other countries who intend to stay in Germany for more than 90 days or 3 month are required to apply for a Residence Permit (Aufenthaltsgenehmigung) at the Immigration Authority Office (Ausländerbehörde) upon your arrival in Germany. After that, you must also obtain a Confirmation on Registration “Meldebestätigung” at the registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt).
|Citizens of other countries||Do I have to obtain a Residence Permit?||Do I have to obtain a Confirmation on Registration?|
|If you intend to stay in Germany for more than 2 months (but not longer than 3 months)||➖||✔️|
|If you intend to intend to stay in Germany for more than 90 days or 3 month||✔️||✔️|
Temporary Residence Permit
The Temporary Residence Permit, also known as the Limited Residence Permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis), is intended for shorter stays in Germany. This form of residence visa only allows you to stay in Germany for a year or up to two years. It does, however, have the option of being extended if your circumstances does not alter and you meet the standards.
Foreign nationals who have a specific cause for staying in Germany are awarded a Temporary Residence Permit. When you apply for this form of permit, you must explain why you wish to stay, and the card you receive will detail this. After that, you won’t be able to do anything that your residence permission forbids. If you apply for a temporary residency visa to study, it will indicate that you are only allowed to study and not work. Working part-time is permitted, but not in excess of the maximum hours specified in your residence permit.
You can also apply for a permanent residence permit if you have graduated from one of Germany’s institutions, worked in an area linked to your studies for at least two years, and paid all applicable taxes and payments to the government.
💡 Do you know that our AZAPA visa service team can assist you with Visa and Residence Permit Application Processes?
Our government-licensed Schengen and National Visa Service consultants are experts in German visa requirements and are up to date on the most recent criteria. We will provide you with the greatest possible assistance, and if you desire it, we will manage the full visa application process for you. Do you want to schedule a consultation? Now is the time to schedule a visa consultation with us.