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Guide to getting a residence permit to study in Germany, what are the types, requirements, eligibility and more relevant details.

A Student Residence Permit is a German residence title for those who wish to study in Germany. It is a German temporary residence permit, which can be obtained under the following purposes:

  • To enroll in university/college studies.
  • To take part in a study exchange program.
  • To enroll in study preparation courses.
  • To enroll in preparatory language courses.
  • To enroll in vocational trainings and internships.

Who Needs a Germany Student Residence Permit?

Everyone (except EU, EEA and Swiss nationals) who wants to study in Germany for longer than three months has to get e residence permit from the German Foreigner Authority (Ausländerbehörde).

Citizens of the non-EU countries listed below can enter Germany and apply for the residence permit directly. Everyone else has to apply for a national study visa (D) from the German Embassy beforehand.

  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Great Britain
  • Brazil
  • El Salvador
  • Honduras
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Canada
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • San Marino
  • South Korea
  • United States of America

Germany Student Residence Permit Requirements

To apply for a Germany student residence permit you have to submit several documents at the immigration authorities. If you came to Germany through a national student visa, you should submit the documents listed below, when applying for a residence permit:

  • Standard required documents for a German Residence Permit.
  • Proof of admission/enrollment. Depending on what you will be studying in Germany during your time there, you should submit proof of admission or enrollment in that institution/university/college.
  • Authenticated certificates of earlier education. School diplomas/certificates, mark sheets, etc.
  • Registered address. When you register your address in Germany, you will receive a confirmation document. Submit this document at the immigration authorities as a proof of your address registration.
  • Health insurance for international students in Germany. It is compulsory to have health insurance in Germany for everyone applying for a residence permit there. Make sure your insurance is acceptable in Germany, and that it covers accidents, illnesses and repatriation in case of death.
  • Proof of financial means. You need to prove you have the means to financially support yourself while in Germany, You can do so through:
    • A blocked bank account. The easiest way to open a German Blocked account is through Fintiba.
    • Letter of commitment. A letter written by a person living in Germany who pledges to take over all your expenses while you are here, including accommodation and study expenses.
    • Proof of scholarship award. If you have gained a scholarship that covers your expenses, you simply need to present a letter of confirmation issued, signed and stamped by the granting organization/institution.
  • Proof of German/English Language knowledge. Depending on which language you will be attending your studies in Germany, you will need to submit proof you know either German or English in the required level.

Note that the immigration authorities hold the right to ask you for extra documents. If they do so, make sure you submit these documents as soon as possible, within the given time.

How to Apply for a Germany Student Residence Permit?

To apply for a Germany Student Residence permit you should follow some strict steps. The application process may vary on your nationality and the exact reason why you are applying.

Following, find the main steps you will need to undertake in order to get a residence permit as a student in Germany.

Get the right Germany National Visa

In order to be able to travel to Germany, you will first need to get one of the following German long stay visas:

The process to obtain a visa to study in Germany is pretty much the same as the process for all German long stay visas. The sole difference is in the required documents. Without a visa, you cannot travel to Germany and get your residence permit.

Note that you cannot apply for a Germany Student Residence Permit under a short-stay visa.

Register your address in Germany

After you get your German visa, you can freely travel to Germany. Upon arrival, you should register your address in Germany within two weeks. Register your address at the registration office that is closest to your home.

Apply for a Germany Student Residence Permit

You can then apply for your Student Residence Permit in Germany. Note that you have 90 days from the day you enter Germany, to do so.

The application process is simple and quick. You first need to appoint a meeting at the Immigration Authorities that are nearest to your living location in Germany. There you can also get the application form.

On the day of your interview, you will need to submit this form and the required documents. Below you can find a list of the required documents for a Germany Student Residence Permit.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a German Student Residence Permit?

A German Student Residence Permit may cost from €56 to €100, depending on your situation. You will have to pay this fee when you submit your application at the Immigration Authorities.

Germany Student Residence Permit Application Processing

The processing of a Germany student residence permit takes two to three weeks. You will be notified by the office of the Immigration Authorities on the decision on your application.

Germany Student Residence Permit Validity

The German Immigration authorities grant residence permits to students valid for the whole period of study. If you fail to complete your studies within the validity of your residence permit, you can apply to extend it.

Can I Work in Germany with a Student Residence Permit?

German law permits foreign students in Germany to work for a limited number of hours. While studying, you can work full time for 120 days a year or part-time for 240 days a year.  You are not permitted to enter long-term contracts during this period.

Can I Stay in Germany After I Graduate?

If you graduate from a university in Germany, you are permitted to extend your residence permit there for another 18 months. You can do so, only if you intend to find a job in Germany during that period.

If you succeed in finding a job, you can then apply for a German Employment Residence Permit.

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