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Germany Student Visa Policy

Visa is required paperwork to prove a citizen has the right to enter and stay legally on the territory of Germany for the purpose of study, in a specific time period.

Therefore, if you are a foreigner:

  • Just received an offer from a German university
  • Soon you will receive an offer of admission from a University you have applied to in Germany
  • It is necessary to register for a preparatory course before applying to a University in Germany
  • A preparatory course (Studienkolleg) is required to prepare for the proficiency test “Feststellungsprüfung”
  • Need a PhD
  • Want to participate in a research project in Germany

You MUST apply for the appropriate German Student Visa at the German Embassy or Consulate in order to be able to enter and stay during your intended period of study in Germany. Depending on your country, you may be exempted from a visa to study in Germany, but you will still need to obtain a residence permit for studies lasting OVER 90 DAYS or 3 MONTHS, immediately after you arrive in Germany.

                                                       German Student Visa

How many types of German student visas are there?

There are three types of visas for international students who intend to study in Germany:

1. Visa for Language Learning 

Visa for German Language Course is an educational visa issued to foreigners who intend to study an accelerated language course lasting 3-12 months and CANNOT be extended. Visa applicants are expected to complete courses of a minimum of 18 hours of study per week.

If you wish to continue your studies after this course, you will have to return to your home country to apply for another type of Visa that will suit your future study needs in Germany. You CANNOT apply for any other type of Visa while in Germany.

2. Visum Zu Studienzwecken - Visa for students to study in Germany  

This is a Student Visa for international students who have been admitted to a university in Germany and are ready to begin their studies at a full-time university program. With a German student visa, you can easily apply for an extension of your residence permit while studying and working after graduation. Besides, you can also find and do part-time jobs to earn extra income. Of course, like previous visas, if they find out that you have dropped out or have not fully participated in the study program, your Visa will be cancelled. 

With a German Student Visa, you will be able to stay in Germany for the first 3 months. Meanwhile, you will have to apply for a residence permit to study, up to a maximum of 2 years. Naturally, you will still have the opportunity to extend your residence permit, depending on the length of your studies.

3. Visum Zur Studienbewerbung - Visa for student applicants in Germany

This visa is for foreign students who want to study in Germany, but have not yet started their studies at a regular university program and are still looking for a suitable study program. You will have to study for a foundation program, take an entrance test or attend an interview to complete the admissions process. However, if it is more than 9 months away from your admission time, you will not be granted this Visa.

This visa does NOT allow you to study in Germany, it is only valid during the enrollment process. Therefore, as soon as you are admitted, you can convert to Visam Zu Studien Zwecken - Student Visa to study in Germany. Also, if they find out that you have dropped out or have not participated in the necessary preparatory programs, your Visa will be cancelled. 

The types of education the student applicants are enrolled in, including:

  • Studying at Universities
  • Preparatory German courses for study & research
  • State Studienkolleg Preparatory College - the course that foreigners must take before taking the Feststellungsprüfung test in order to receive their foreign university-preparatory diploma (for foreigners with high school graduates from non-recognized countries in Germany)
  • Propaedeutic course
  • Preliminary internship required

This visa has an initial visa period of 3 months, however, you can extend it for another 6 months through your residence permit in Germany to complete the necessary admission procedures, as well as converting it into a residence permit to continue your studies once you have been admitted.

What documents are required for a Visa application?

Generally, a visa application requires:

  • 2 Visa application forms filled in with valid information
  • 2 recently taken portraits 
  • Any document that proves you will receive a letter of admission in the near future such as an offer of admission to a University, a foundation course at a Studienkolleg, a Propaedeutic course, a preparatory German course, etc.
  • Certificates/Educational qualifications you have previously obtained such as Abitur University entrance certificate or any other certificate of equivalent value, school report or transcripts, etc.
  • Curriculum Vitae with previous work experience (if so)
  • Valid passport
  • Finanzierungsnachweis - Proving your financial ability (10.332 EUR/year) with one of the following documents:

             -  Personal financial statements for the last three months

             - Certificate of Scholarship Award (with scholarship value)

           - A copy of the statement of the fixed deposit to the Sperrkonto - blocked account, a special bank account for students studying in Germany. 

          - Letter of commitment “Verpflichtungserklärung” from a resident in Germany will cover your expenses during your study

             - A letter of commitment and documents proving your parents' financial ability in the last 6 months.

  • Medical insurance for students during their study & stay in Germany, eg EDUCARE24 by DR-WALTER
  • A letter of intent
  • A marriage certificate, if you are married, may include birth certificates of any children involved
  • Certificate in German or English depending on the curriculum
  • Visa fee receipt (60 - 75 EUR)

* Note: Each original application must have 2 copies attached.

How can you apply for a Visa?

Applying for a Visa includes 5 steps including:

1. Find the nearest German Consulate or Embassy 

You can find your nearest German Consulate or Embassy for more information on the requirements and to make an appointment for a visa. All representatives of the German authorities in other countries have a website online, along with addresses and contact information.

2. Review the required requirements and procedures

Once you find the website of the German embassy, you visit the Student Visa section to review all the requirements specific to your country and the procedures for making a visa appointment. Be sure to carefully review all relevant information, especially regarding the documents you will need, before making your visa appointment.

3. Make an appointment to apply for a Visa

Once you are ready, you should make an appointment for your Visa by following the instructions described on the official website of the German embassy in your country. In some countries, you SHOULD apply for your visa several weeks in advance, as that embassy may have a lot of Visa applications and it may take longer than expected to get to you. Time is very important, so take the initiative to do things quickly.

4. Fully prepare all visa application documents

Once your visa application date has been confirmed, you SHOULD double-check ALL your documents to make sure you've prepared everything well. 

5. Prepare for your Visa interview

You must pay the visa application fee (60 - 75 EUR) and receive a receipt. This fee will not be refunded if your Visa is denied. Besides, you should prepare for your interview in advance. Immediately after the interview is done, you will get an answer whether your visa has been approved or denied.

Usually, you should apply for a German student visa as soon as you receive your university's admission letter and ensure you have the necessary funds to live and study in Germany. Because the processing time for a long-term student visa in Germany can take from 6-12 weeks from the date of application. While a short-term German student visa is usually decided within 15-30 days by German representatives abroad.

Notes for Visa applicants

In addition to what has been mentioned above, you also need to keep the following in mind:

  • Visa appointments should only be made through the online system (not by phone, email, fax or in person).
  • DO NOT paste your photo on the visa application form
  • DO NOT bring anyone with you to the Embassy or Consulate during your Visa interview
  • Remember that an incomplete Visa application may be rejected
  • The interviewer may ask for additional documents during the visa interview
  • In the situation of a visa refusal, the applicant is informed of the main reason for the refusal
  • Passport will still be kept at the Embassy/Consulate during the entire visa application process
  • The Visa fee will not be refunded in case of visa refusal
  • Make sure your trip to Germany is scheduled early enough so that you have the necessary time to apply to the university.
  • Original documents may need to be presented upon arrival at the airport