If you plan to study at any University in Germany, you have to first find out whether you need to apply for a German Student Visa. While some of the students can pursue their educational programs with a Residence Permit and do not need a Student Visa, others have to get a German Student Visa to enter Germany for educational purpose.

Germany is a popular destination for students across the globe. Thousands of international students from all corners of the world head towards Germany every year, to take admission in various educational programs in its world class universities. Just like any other country, the Federal Republic of Germany has its own requirements in order to decide who can entry the country.

Do You Need A German Student Visa?

German Student Visa Requirements

If you are a student applying for a study program in Germany from any place within the European Union that includes Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, you do not need to get a German Student Visa for entering the country.

Scholars from US, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Israel and South Korea do not need a Visa for studying in Germany. They need to obtain a Residence Permit for which they need to register at the Local Residents’ Registration Office and Aliens’ Registration.

Students belonging to Andorra, Brazil, Honduras, Monaco, San Marino, El Salvador or Taiwan would only require a German Student Visa if they plan to work in Germany before or after their degree program. In that case they would need to apply for a Visa in their home country via their German embassy or consulate. Within two weeks of entry into Germany, visa or non-visa holders also need to apply for the Residence Permit.

If a student belongs to Taiwan, his passport must have an identity card number.

Now coming to the rest of the nations of the world. Scholars from all other nations barring the ones mentioned above will need a German Student Visa. Students have to apply for the Visa via the German consulate or Embassy in their home country.

As of Feb 2020, German student Visa application can be submitted six months in advance of your planned trip.

What are the types of study programs you can take up with a Student Visa in Germany?

If you are enrolling for the below mentioned study types, you will be granted a German Student Visa.

  • German Language Courses
  • Full time Academic Programs
  • Propaedeutic courses
  • Mandatory preliminary internship program
  • State preparatory college known as ‘Studienkolleg’. This is a course foreigner students need to undertake in case their school leaving certificate from the home country is not recognized in Germany. Once the students successfully complete the course, they have to sit for the test “Feststellungsprüfung”. On passing the test, they are awarded the University Entrance Qualification Certificate. Then they are eligible to apply for University program admission in Germany.

Process of German Student Visa Application

German Student Visa Application

As mentioned above, you can apply for the Student Visa at the German Embassy or Consulate in your home country. You may also apply through any intermediary agency in your country. It is crucial that you provide all the necessary information and supporting documents. An original copy of these documents along with two xerox copies is required.

Here is the Checklist of Documents required to apply for the Visa

  • Two National Visa Application Form – Duly Completed
  • National Passport
  • Two recent Bio-metric Portrait Photographs
  • Proof of admission from the German educational institution
  • Proof of German Language Proficiency – For German only and mixed language study program
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency – For English only and mixed language study program – TOEFL IELTS to name some.
  • Certificates related to earlier education
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Means of Subsistence – Evidence to prove you have enough bank balance to sustain yourself in Germany – covering expenses related to living, accommodation and more.

These include –  Blocked German Bank Account, Letter of commitment by a German Resident, Letter of declaration by one of the parent of the student or Scholarship Certificate.

  • Student Health Insurance – An insurance of at-least € 30,000 coverage
  • A letter of purpose – A letter expressing the reason of choosing a specific university and program. Your reason for choosing the program, how it is going to improve your career and also details about your career plans.
  • Marriage certificate and certificate supporting date of birth of child (Wherever applicable)
  • German Visa Application Fee Receipt

Student Visa Fee

The fee for German Student Visa application is EUR 75. Applicants need to pay the fees via Bank Transfer. The Money order needs to be made in the name of the German Embassy or Consulate of the home country of the student and should not be older than 60 days. Cheques, Debit or Credit card payments are not accepted.

How Long Can One Stay In Germany With A Student Visa?

Initially a Student Visa gives you the right to stay in Germany for 3 months. Within this time frame you need to apply for Residence Permit to study. The Residence Permit allows you a maximum of 2 years of stay in Germany. However, depending on the length of your study program, your residence permit can be extended.