How to get the German visa?

Congratulations! You have received your acceptance letter from your university or you may be planning on studying in Germany in general. There are a couple of things you should keep in mind when applying for a visa:

Three things that you should keep in mind when applying for a visa:

  1. You have not received any response after one month regarding a visa.
    That is normal, as the application usually takes long. Submit your application as soon as you can in order to ensure your visa arrives in time.
  2. Can you take a tourist or language course visa?
    No, apply for the correct visa: the student visa.
  3. Your passport expires soon.
    Make sure that your passport is valid at least six months beyond the end of your exchange or time in Germany.

Application and Visa procedure

I am a citizen of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or from Switzerland.

If so, you are nearly good to go! You still must consider the last two things listed above. The only procedure you will be going through is the registration at the city`s registry office once you have found an apartment. You will be handed the residence permit for study purposes at the city registry office.

I am a citizen from a non-EU member state.

The following are step by step instructions of how to proceed in this case:

To enter Germany with no problems, you should apply for one of the following visas at the German embassy in your country.

  1. Student applicant visa (“Visum zur Studienbewerbung”)

Application procedures can take a very long time in Germany. So, if you have not received notification of admission to a university yet you should apply for this specific type of visa.

It grants you a three-month long stay during which you are supposed to meet the requirements for your admission. Don’t panic if you cannot fulfill your plans within this period, you may extend your visa to a maximum of six months.

As soon as you got accepted to a university, you may apply for a student visa.

  1. Student visa (“Visum zum Studienzwecke”)

Having received your admission letter already, you should apply for this visa.
The following list shows the normally requested list of documents by the German diplomatic mission:

  • Certificate of enrollment/admission from your German university
  • Certificates of academic work and achievements
  • Certificate of German language proficiency or intention on attending a language course in Germany
  • University entrance qualification (for student applicant visa)
  • Admission letter from your German university
  • Certificate confirming health insurance coverage
  • Proof of financial resources (€ 8700 per year)

Compared to the university application process, the visa application is often faster. Nevertheless, prepare the documents well and early in advance in order to avoid time restraints later on.

Proof of financial resources

Do not be afraid of the proof of financial resources prerequisite. Normally the following types of proof are accepted:

  • A security sum on a blocked account
  • Scholarship from a recognized scholarship foundation
  • Funding in accordance with the Federal Education and Training Assistance Act (German Bundesausbildunsförderungsgesetz – Bafög)
  • Proof of parents’ income and assets
  • The Foreigners’ Registration Office receives confirmation that someone whose place of residence is Germany commits to assume the costs for you

After you have found an apartment and have settled down in Germany, do not forget to go to the local/city´s registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) or citizens service centre (Bürgeramt) within the first three months.