Germany has lured many bright students from around the world to study at one of its prestigious universities in the past decades.
With around 300 educational institutions with more than 15,000 different study programs, the European country attracts a lot of international students every year.
Do I Need a Student Visa for Germany?
Even though many citizens of the world do not need a visa to study in Germany, some of them might need a Germany study residence permit. There are also many others who need a visa in order to be able to enter Germany and request German student residence permit afterward.
Citizens of the following countries must register at the local Residents’ Registration Office and the Aliens’ Registration Office two weeks of arrival in of Germany:
- New Zealand
- South Korea
Nationals of the following countries need a visa only if they want to work during or after their studies in Germany:
- El Salvador
- San Marino
Otherwise, if they only plan to complete their studies and go back to their country, then they do not need a visa. However, both of them, who plan to work and who do not plan to work, must register for a residence permit within two weeks of arrival.
Nationals of other countries of the world, not mentioned above, must apply for a German Student visa.
Types of German Student Visa
The respective German authorities offer different types of German Student visas depending on the purpose of the study. The types of German Study Visas are the following:
Germany Language Course visa
The Germany Language Course Visa is for those who wish to learn the German language in Germany before applying to a German University, or for another reason. The validity of this visa may be from 3 to 12 months.
Germany Student Applicant Visa
If you have applied for a course and have a confirmation letter but have not received a formal admission yet, you should apply for a German Student Applicant Visa.
This visa is also for those who need to take acceptance exams for the university they have applied in Germany. The Student Applicant visa is valid for 3 months, with the possibility to extend it for 6 more months. You must apply at the German Consulate or Embassy in your country.
Germany Student Visa
If you have already received your admission letter from the German university you have applied at, then you can apply for a Germany student visa. You cannot obtain a Germany Student Visa for as long as you are not admitted to any university in Germany.
Germany Study Visa Requirements
There are some standard required documents that are required for every Germany long stay visa application. In addition to them, you must also submit the following documents for any of the Study visas:
- Proof of covered health insurance for the entire period of stay in Germany.
- When applying for a Language Course visa: A motivational letter for attending the language course.
- Curriculum Vitae. Attach to your CV evidence about any previous and current internship and employment.
- The minimum amount of financial means of at least 8,640 Euro per year. The following are accepted as proof:
- Personal financial statements for the last three months.
- A scholarship award certificate.
- Written confirmation of parents or sponsor that he/she will cover your costs.
- Fixed deposit statement “Sperrkonto” – Blocked account.
But you must also provide the following additional documents based on the German Study visa type that you are applying for:
Germany Student Applicant Visa Requirements
If you have not received your university admission yet, you shall apply for the Germany Student Applicant Visa. Aside from the Recognized School Leaving Certificates and documents proving Means of Subsistence, which are two of the very important requirements, you must also submit other documents.
The required documents to apply for a Student Applicant Visa are:
- Confirmation of application. This is usually an e-mail from the university, confirming the successful submission of the application for studies.
- A certificate of admission in a preparatory course. In German, this is called “Propaedeutic Courses”, or a registration confirmation letter in a German language course (containing not less than 18 hours of lessons per week).
- A recognized school leaving certificate “Abitur”. Or the equivalent of it.
- Proof of German or English language proficiency (depending which is the language in which lessons are taught).
- Proof of former education. Certificated of former degrees.
Germany Student Visa Requirements
If you are applying for a German Student Visa then there are some requirements you must fulfill in order to be eligible to enter and stay in Germany during your period of studies.
This type of German visa is typically issued for periods longer than 3 months. If you have to stay more, then you must apply to the Alien Registration Office in the German city where the university you are going to study at is located and get the Germany Student Residence Permit.
The required documents to apply for a Germany Student Visa are the following:
- Acceptance letter from the university. A document, a university admission letter confirming your application for studies and an offered place to study in the program you have applied for
- Certificates of earlier education. Submit all certificates of previous formal and informal education.
- Motivational Letter. Explain through it the reason for choosing the university, the program, study plan, and your plans on how these studies will improve your career in the future.
- For programs in German, international students must provide a TestDaf or DSH score. Whereas, for courses in English, students will have to provide a TOEFL or IELTS score.
German Student Visa Application Process
The German Student Visa application along with the necessary documents should be submitted at least 8 weeks prior to the date traveling to Germany in order to avoid any possible delay.
You have to apply for a German Student visa at the German Consulate or Embassy in your country. Your passport will remain at the Embassy/Consulate where you have applied during the entire process of visa proceeding. If you need to withdraw your passport for any reason, whether it be traveling or else, you will have to apply again from the beginning.
The application process for a Germany student visa is not much different from the standard procedure of applying for any Germany long stay visa. To apply for a German Student visa you must go through the following steps:
- Fill out the application form for a German national visa.
- Make sure you have all the required documents.
- Schedule an appointment for a German student visa interview at the German embassy or consulate in your country.
- Go to the visa application center for the interview and submit your Germany Student visa application.
- Make sure you have paid the German student visa fee.
Can I Work in Germany With a German Study Visa?
Foreign students in Germany are allowed to work with a German study visa while carrying their studies, but the number of hours they can work is restricted. Citizens of EU/EEA countries and Switzerland can work freely in Germany for a maximum of 20 hours a week during term time, (including voluntary work).
Students coming from other countries are also allowed to work, but they cannot exceed more than 120 full days a year or 240 half days. Unused days cannot be carried over to the next year.
International students with a residence permit, who want to work in Germany after the completion of their studies can extend their permit for up to 18 months, as long as they have found a job in their field of study.
Graduates from EU/EEA countries can stay and seek work without any restriction or permission. After two years of employment in Germany, it is possible to apply for the permanent residency status.