Student visa regulations in Germany











1. Regulations and Application Procedure
2. Financial Requirements

3. Work, Language and other matters



1. Regulations and Application Procedure

What is the admission procedure for Non-EU-students in Germany?
Everybody interested in studying in Germany needs to apply for a visa at a German consulate or embassy before coming to Germany. During the first three months in Germany it is necessary to obtain a residence permit from the local aliens authority.
Generally, there are four important requirements to fulfill to get a student visa for Germany:
The first requirement is the proof of purpose. As the purpose of coming to Germany is study, you need to provide proof for this – for example the letter of admission from the university you want to study at.
The second is, you need to provide proof of sufficient funds to finance your stay in Germany.
The third requirement is the language requirement. Most study courses in Germany will be held in German. However, if the course will be held in English or any other language, you will need to show confirmation of sufficient knowledge of that language.
The fourth point that will be examined is the overall plausibility of your desire to study in Germany. For example, if an applicant has dedicated his whole life to Spanish literature, it will be difficult to convince the consulate that he now wants to study chemistry. The most important thing is to check the website of the embassy to find out about requirements and procedure. Apply as soon as possible because the embassy will need some time to process the application. This is especially due to the fact that the embassy can only issue a study visa with the consent of the local aliens authority.

What is the visa situation if I am an EU citizen?
You may come to Germany and start studying without a visa procedure. As an EU citizen you will only be required to register at the local authority (“Einwohnermeldeamt”).

As a Canadian, I have been told I do not need any kind of visa for my stay in Germany. Is this correct?
Canadian citizens are among those who do not need a visa prior to coming to Germany for a long stay. However they do need to apply for a residence permit at the local aliens authority within the first three months of their stay in Germany.

What are exactly the requirements for student applicant visa (Studienbewerbervisum)?
For a student applicant visa more or less the same for requirements as for a student visa apply. However the proof of purpose will not require a letter of admission from the university. The embassy will check whether your school leaving certificate will already be sufficient to enter a German university and enquire about your specific plans for an academic career in Germany.

When should I start the application process for a student visa? How long does it take to receive confirmation?
As soon as possible. In some cases the visa procedure may take several weeks or even months.

When can I apply for a student application visa? How does it differ from a regular student visa?
A student visa is mainly for persons who already know what they want to study and at which university they want to do their studies. Therefore they will be able to provide a letter of admittance. However, if for example you already know that you want to study information technology in Germany but you have not yet decided whether you want to study at the university in Berlin or in Munich a student applicant visa might be the better option.

Can I apply before being admitted to a German university?
Yes, in some cases a conditional admittance or a letter from the university stating that a personal interview is necessary may be sufficient. Also there is the possibility of a student application visa as described above.

I want to apply for a student visa but I am studying abroad already so can I apply for a German visa directly from here or do I need to go back to my home country?
In general the application should be lodged with the German embassy or consulate at your place of residence. So if you do live and study abroad and if you are not just there for tourist reasons e.g. then the German embassy at your study location would be competent to take in your application.

If I want to study at a different university than the one I named when I applied for a student visa, will this affect the extension of my visa?
If you decide to start studying or continue studying at a different university from the one you named when you applied for your visa, it will be the local aliens authority at the place you ultimately wish to study at who decides whether this is possible or not.

2. Financial Requirements

What are the financial requirements for the student visa?
You will need to show that you have 659 € for each of the first twelve months of your stay in Germany. (7.908 Euros in total)

What are the valid proofs of personal income to finance my stay in Germany that I can show at the embassy?
This proof of financial means can be provided in different ways.
For example if you receive a scholarship of above 659 Euros for each month you should provide a letter stating how much funds you will receive as scholarship. Also, if relatives provide for your stay this may be taken into account as well. (“Verpflichtungserklärung”). The most common is a blocked account in Germany in the name of the visa applicant showing a minimum balance of 12 by 659 Euro for the first year (in total 7.908 Euros).

I have been accepted for a master’s degree in Germany and I come from Iran. Because of Iranian banks sanctions there is no logical way to open an account and block the money for the embassy requirements. Is there a way to get the residence permit without blocking money? Can I bring the money with me on the flight?
Yes, it is possible for an Iranian citizen to bring the money with you on the flight as long as it does not exceed an amount of 10.000 Euros.

Is the amount (659 euro/month) the same in the East and West part of Germany?
Yes, it is.

What is needed to prove as a sufficient sources for living for those whose scholarship is 500 € per semester?
As you receive a certain amount as scholarship you will only be required to show a “top up” so that your own means plus the scholarship-amount cover the requirement of 7.908 Euros per year.

Is it essential to show/block the full financial resources required for two years (MS study) at a time during visa application?
No, one year is enough. 

3. Work, Language and other matters

I am 35 years old and I want to apply for student resident to study my master in Germany. Is there any age limitation for granting residence permit?
There is no strict age limit for students in Germany.

I have been admitted in a Master program using English as language of instruction. If I apply for visa, do I have to provide proof proficiency in Germany?

Is there a possibility to work with a student visa and if, for how long?
With a student visa / residence permit, it is possible to work for up to 90 days or 180 half days per year.

After completion of course, how can one apply for a work visa? Is a work visa difficult to obtain? And how is work visa different from student visa and permanent residence?
After having successfully completed your studies you may be issued with a residence permit for one year to find a job that is adequate to your degree.

I want to study MS in Germany and then continue to work for a few years there. Will the student visa provide me a work permit after my studies? If not, is it possible to extend or renew it?
After having successfully completed your studies you may be issued with a residence permit for one year to find a job that is adequate to your degree. If you find a suitable job within that year you should apply for a residence permit at the local aliens authority. This will also include the work permit.

Should I have a rented flat in Germany, before my application for the Visa?
It is not necessary to have accommodation before applying for a visa.

For the health insurance, do I have to get it in my home country or will I get it when I arrive in Germany?
With your visa application you should provide proof of health insurance for the first three months of your stay in Germany. After arriving in Germany you need to insure yourself for the rest of your stay. Your university might be helpful in finding an insurance.

Are spouse allowed to stay with student during studies in Germany?
This is a very complicated topic. You will need to discuss your individual case with your embassy or consulate. Generally it will be more difficult to bring your spouse along if you study for one year or less. However no generalization can be made.

What is the procedure to convert the student applicant to a student visa upon arrival in Germany?
You should contact the local aliens authority in the city in which you have been accepted to a university.

With the student visa, is it possible to travel around the Schengen countries without applying to a Schengen visa?
Yes, the student visa or residence permit allows you to travel to other Schengen countries for short stays (not extending 90 days in a half year).–17579/

One comment

  • Mary

    I am 44 yrs old Kenyan lady. I want to do an undergraduate degree in Germany as an adult student.

    Are the rules for adult students same as normal students? Will I pay higher for my education or will I be denied a student visa because of my age?

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