Rothenburg, Germany

Study in Germany: Student Visas & Permits

If you’re a student coming from a non-EU and non-EEA country you must get a German student visa as soon as you receive the admission letter. It is important that you do not enter the country on a tourist visa, as this cannot be converted into a student one, but rather consult the options below to deem which is suitable for you:

Types of Student Visas in Germany

  • Student applicant visa (Visum zur Studienbewerbung) If you have not yet received an offer from a Germany university, but wish to enter the country to conduct the application process, attend open days etc, then this is the visa for you. It grants a stay of three months with the possibility of extending it to a maximum of six months. If you are admitted to an institution during this period, you can apply for a student visa whilst still in the country.
  • Student visa (Visum zur Stedienbewerbung)If you have already been admitted to a German university, then you will need to apply for a student visa. This is also valid for three months, however if your duration of study exceeds this time then you can extend the visa at the Alien Registration Office in Germany.

How to Apply for a Student Visa in Germany

You will submit your visa application and conduct your visa interview at the German embassy in your home country, the address of which you can find on the website of the German Federal Foreign Office. Once the application and relevant documentation is submitted, they will be sent to the Immigration Office of your chosen university for approval and then returned. This process can take up to 25 days, so it is important that you leave plenty of time in order to minimize stress.

Required Documentation

The German Embassy in your home country will advise you on exactly what documentation you will need to present alongside your application, however it is likely to include some or all of the following:

  • Transcripts of certificates of any previous diplomas or qualifications
  • Proof that you have adequate financial resources to support yourself during your studies, deemed by the German government to be a minimum of 720 EUR per month
  • Proof of language proficiency in German – this can take the form of an A1 certificate from the Goethe Institute, KCSE certificate from KNEC or TestDAF and should not be more than 4 years old
  • Failing this, proof that you intend on undertaking a language course once you arrive in Germany
  • A document confirming that you have purchased health insurance for your time in Germany
  • For a student applicant visa – university entrance qualification recognized in Germany
  • For a student visa – notification of acceptance for your chosen institution of study
  • A valid passport, two passport size photos and a completed application form
  • You will also need to pay a fee of 60 EUR

Residence Permits in Germany

Unlike other European countries where the visa entails a residence permit, Germany requires non-EU students to apply for this separately. If your application is approved, you will receive a two-year residence permit. This can be extended for a maximum period of three years to seek employment (you must apply for this extension before the permit expires). You will need to obtain a residence permit within the first three months of arriving in Germany and can do so at your local Alien Registration Office. The documentation required for a residence permit includes:

  • Confirmation of registration from the Resident’s Registration Office
  • Confirmation that you have health insurance
  • Your student ID from your German university
  • A valid passport and your student visa
  • You may also be asked to present a certificate of health and/or a tenancy agreement, if applicable
  • There will also be a residence permit fee

Study in Germany - Overview

Over 400,000 international students choose Germany as their study abroad destination every year. Click here to learn why.

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Education System

Want to learn about how the higher education system works in Germany? Germany is one of the popular destinations for a variety of students, given its diverse programs. Take a minute to find out more about the structure of the education system in Germany!

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Housing & Living Costs

No matter where you study abroad, it’s important to create a budget in advance so that you’re prepared. Therefore, we’ve detailed average living and housing costs so that you can get a better idea of what you would be paying as a student in Germany.

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Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees for degree programs in Germany may vary. To cover the rest of the costs, there're some scholarship opportunities available.

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Language & Culture

Germany is a country rich in history and culture. Find out more about what the country offers in terms of language, culture, and more!

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Meet the English Requirements

Make sure you're ready to start studying abroad in Germany. German schools will normally want to see evidence of your English-language abilities. The TOEFL® test is accepted by more than three-hundred leading schools right across Germany. Find out more about the TOEFL® test and how it can help you.

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Application Process

Ready to look at education in Germany? Use our search engine to find and compare top programs in Germany today!

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Ready to look at education in Germany? Use our search engine to find and compare top programs in Germany today!

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Last update: 29 Jun 2021


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