Visa / Immigration Info

For different countries there are different rules for the application of Visa. Generally, students from the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland do not need a visa, for them it is only necessary to have a valid ID card to enter Germany. Students from other countries need a visa if they want to stay longer than 90 days. If you are from Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea or the USA you can apply for your Visa even after arriving in Germany. This also includes Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino, if the student from one of these countries does not want to work before or after his studies. People from other countries, however, need to apply for the Visa before entering Germany. There are two types of visa, the student visa and the applicant visa. Everyone who has a written approval for preparatory study or a place at a university can apply for the student visa. Everyone who is still waiting for the notice of admission or who needs to travel to the university for an entrance test, can apply for an applicant visa. Once you are in Germany you need to submit your applicant visa to the foreigners’ authority to convert it to a residence permit for study purposes. Because of the long waiting process of visa (it takes several months to be issued), you will have to apply very early. In order to avoid missing courses because you wait for your notice of admission, it is recommendable to apply for an applicant visa and then convert it to a residence permit for study purposes in Germany. Generally, you will need the following documents to apply for a visa:

  • a valid passport
  • the confirmation of application from the university (applicant visa) or the notice of admission from the university (student visa)
  • proof of adequate funds for living expenses (proof of financial resources)
  • health insurance coverage
  • proof of financial resources, the following can be possible:
  • proof of parents' income and assets
  • the Foreigners' Registration Offices receives confirmation that someone whose place of residence is in Germany commits to assume the costs for you
  • a security sum on a blocked account
  • scholarship from a recognised scholarship foundation
  • funding in accordance with the German Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz (BAföG - Federal Education and Training Assistance Act)

(Source: DAAD)

If you don’t stay longer than 90 days there are also some regulations to consider. Citizens from Venezuela, Vatican City, Uruguay, Singapore, Seychelles, Paraguay, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, Mauritius, Malaysia, Macau, Croatia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Chile, Brunei, Brazil, Bolivia, Bermuda, Barbados, Bahamas and Argentina do not need a Visa for this time. More information will be available at the German embassy in your home country.