How to apply for Germany student visa and residence permit. After fulfilling all admission requirements at a German university, the application phase for a student visa in Germany begins. Also, check Top 10 Scholarships in France for International Students
Visas depend on the applicant’s country of origin. Nationals of EU countries do not need a student visa in Germany.
How to Apply for Germany Student Visa
If you are a student from a non-EU and non-EEA country, you must obtain 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 visa, but rather consult the options below to determine which is right for you.
Types of student visas in Germany
- Student Applicant Visa (Visum Zur Studienbewerbung) – If you have not yet received an offer from a German university, but wish to enter the country to conduct the application process, attend open days, etc. ., then this visa is for you. It grants a stay of three months with the possibility of extending it up to a maximum of six months. If you are admitted to an institution during this period, you can apply for a student visa while you are 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, but if your study period exceeds this period, you can extend the visa at the foreigners’ registration office in Germany.
How to apply for Germany student visa
You will submit your visa application and conduct your visa interview at the German Embassy in your home country, the address of which can be found on the website of the German Federal Foreign Office. Once the application and relevant documents have been submitted, they will be sent to the immigration office of the university of your choice for approval and then returned. This process can take up to 25 days, so it’s important that you allow plenty of time to minimize stress.
Required documents for Germany Student Visa
The German Embassy in your home country will tell you exactly which documents you will need to submit with your application, but they are likely to include some or all of the following:
- Transcripts of any previous degrees or qualifications
- Proof that you have sufficient financial resources to support yourself during your studies, estimated by the German government at a minimum of 720 EUR per month
- Proof of German language proficiency – this can be in the form of an A1 certificate from Goethe Institute, KCSE certificate from KNEC or TestDAF, and must not be older than 4 years
- Failing this, proof of your intention to take a language course once you arrive in Germany
- A document confirming that you have taken out health insurance for your stay in Germany
- For a student visa applicant – university entrance qualification recognized in Germany
- For a student visa – notification of acceptance for the study institution you have chosen
- A valid passport, two passport-size photos, and a completed application form
- You will also have to pay a fee of 60 EUR
How to apply for a residence permit in Germany for student
Unlike other European countries where the visa implies a residence permit, Germany requires non-EU students to apply separately. If your application is accepted, 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 this at your local foreigners’ registration office. The documents required for a residence permit include:
- Registration Confirmation from Resident Registration Office
- Confirmation that you have health insurance
- Your student card from your German university
- A valid passport and your student visa
- You may also be asked to present a health certificate and/or rental agreement, if applicable
- There will also be a residence permit fee
Notes regarding residence permits:
You must apply for a residence permit within two weeks of arriving in Germany. If late, the student will be fined.
In principle, these residence permits are valid for two years and, if necessary, must be renewed at least one week before they expire.
Finally, residence permits generally cost €110 for the first application, then around €80 per renewal.