Student Visa Germany

Every year, many students from different countries choose Germany as their study location because their universities are some of the best. To study in Germany, you need to apply for a Student Visa. It is vital to understand the application process and documentation requirements. Here is the information on how to apply.

For expert help on applying for a Student Visa, including the requirements and the costs involved, our team at Total Law can help. Call our office today on (+44)333 305 9375 or message us online to discuss which visa option is best for your circumstances.

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    Overview Of The Student Visa To Study In Germany

    Germany offers various types of student visas for international students who wish to pursue their education in the country. The duration and eligibility criteria for a visa for students, along with its benefits, are crucial aspects to consider.

    Types of German Student Visas

    • National Visa: A long-stay visa allows students to stay in Germany for more than 90 days. There are different categories based on the purpose of the stay.
    • Prospective Student Visa: For applicants who want to enter Germany to explore study options at universities. It is valid for up to 9 months.
    • Schengen Visa: A short stay visa that allows students to stay in Germany for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Suitable for language or short-term courses.
    • Student Applicant Visa: Allows applicants to enter Germany to take enrolment tests and interviews at universities. It is valid for up to 9 months.
    • Language Learning Visas: Allows applicants to study the German language. Typically issued for duration of 3 to 12 months.

    Benefits of Holding a German Student Visa

    • Residence Permit: Upon arrival in Germany, students with a national visa can apply for a residence permit that allows them to live and study in the country.
    • Work Opportunities: Student visas enable them to work part-time while studying, providing an opportunity to supplement their living expenses.
    • Travel Within Schengen Area: With a German student visa, students can travel freely within the Schengen Area comprising 26 European countries.
    • Access to Healthcare: Students holding this visa are eligible to access German healthcare services provided by public health insurance companies.
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    Requirements for Student Visa in Germany

    As part of the Student Visa application, international students are required to have a confirmed university admission letter before applying. They will also need:

    1. Proof of Financial Funds – Around €10,326 per year.
    2. Health Insurance – Proof of valid German health insurance coverage.
    3. Passport – Signed passport with validity covering duration of studies.
    4. Application Form – Fully completed national visa application form.
    5. University Entrance Qualification – Must be translated.
    6. Language Proficiency – Beginner German language certificate.
    7. Visa Interview – In some cases, attending an in-person visa interview is required.

    Meeting all academic, financial and immigration requirements is essential for students from non-EU countries to secure their German Student Visas.

    Upon arriving in Germany, students must obtain a residence permit from the Einwohnermeldeamt to reside legally within Germany during their study period.

    The process can be complex, so seeking professional guidance is highly useful. Our team at Total Law can assist with your application. Call our office today on (+44)333 305 9375 or message us online to discuss your options.

    Who Needs A Visa To Study In Germany?


    Typically students coming from countries outside the EU/EEA need to obtain a visa to study while in Germany. This requirement applies to those who plan on pursuing long term studies, such as university degrees or language courses.

    Germany’s visa regulations classify students based on their nationalities and the purpose of their stay. However, there are exceptions to the student visa requirements.

    For example, citizens of EU/EEA member states and Switzerland do not need a student visa. Additionally, individuals from many other countries may be exempt if they enrol in short term courses or programs that are less than 90 days.

    These include, citizens of Andorra, Australia, Brazil, Canada, El Salvador, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Korea (republic), Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino and the United States of America.

    Furthermore, students who already possess residence permits or visas issued by Schengen Area countries can enter Germany without needing an additional visa.

    Countries That Require Student Visas

    • Bangladesh
    • Brazil
    • China
    • Egypt
    • India
    • Indonesia
    • Iran
    • Kenya
    • Mexico
    • Morocco
    • Nigeria
    • Pakistan
    • Philippines
    • Russia
    • South Africa
    • Sri Lanka
    • Thailand
    • Turkey
    • Ukraine
    • Vietnam

    Note: This is an incomplete list, and there are other countries not featured here that may also require student visas. Please check with the German embassy in your country for the most up-to-date and accurate information on visa requirements.

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      How To Apply For Germany Student Visa?

      Here’s how to apply for the German Student Visa:

      Step 1: Gather Required Documents

      When applying for a student visa, it’s important to ensure you have all the necessary documents. Including a valid passport, and proof of acceptance from a German university. You will also need:

      • A completed student visa application form
      • Two recent passport-sized photographs
      • Copy of your birth certificate
      • Marriage certificate (if married)
      • Child’s certificate (if you have children)
      • Proof of financial means to support yourself
      • Valid health insurance certificate
      • Proof of German language proficiency

      Step 2: Schedule a Visa Appointment

      Your next step is to schedule an appointment at the German embassy or consulate in your home country. You can usually do this online or by phone.

      Step 3: Attend the Visa Interview

      You will be required to attend an interview at the German embassy. Expect questions about your study plans and financial situation, so be prepared.

      Step 4: Submit Documents and Visa Fee

      During the interview, you will be asked to submit your documents and pay the visa fee. Which can vary depending on the type of visa and your country of origin. The approximate fee amount is 75 euros.

      Step 5: Receive Your Visa

      After submitting your application, you will receive a notification regarding the processing timeline for your visa application. Once your visa is approved, you will be notified to collect your passport with the issued visa.

      Processing Time For A Student Visa In Germany


      The processing time for German student visas can vary depending on the applicant’s home country and the workload of the German embassy or consulate. Typically, it can vary between a few weeks to a couple of months.

      However, for applicants from countries like China that require complex background checks, it can take two months or three months to process an application.

      During peak seasons, such as summertime when the student application deadlines approaches, wait times can extend to more than 3 months.

      Countries with relatively fewer applicants may be able to process applications more rapidly, within 2 to 4 weeks.

      Priority services are also available for an extra fee that can help accelerate visa processing timelines.

      Applicants should check with their consulate or embassy about current wait periods for visa applications before planning to travel.

      Our experts at Total law, recommend students apply for their visas at least 3 months before their intended date of travel. This allows sufficient time for processing.

      Residence Permit In Germany

      A residence permit enables those who are not citizens of the EU to legally live in Germany. In the case of students, it is usually granted for the duration of their studies.

      However, it is important to apply for a permit at the registration office within 2 weeks of arriving in the country. Neglecting to do so, could jeopardise their stay.

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        Student Visa Application Fee

        The cost of a Student Visa application can vary depending on the type of visa and the applicant’s nationality. In general, the standard fee is 75 euros.

        However, some countries are exempt from paying visa application fees, typically determined by bilateral agreements between Germany and these nations.

        Countries including the following are exempt:

        • Armenia
        • Azerbaijan
        • Bosnia and Herzegovina
        • Georgia
        • Kosovo
        • Moldova
        • Montenegro
        • North Macedonia
        • Serbia
        • Ukraine

        Working Hours For Students In Germany

        During their study period, students have the opportunity to work part-time.

        Foreign students with a visa for studying in Germany are currently allowed to work 120 full days or 240 half days per year without compromising their studies.

        Should they wish to work beyond these hours, they must obtain approval from both the Federal Employment Agency and the Foreigners’ Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt). This ensures they adhere to all regulations.

        Staying In Germany After Obtaining A Degree

        After completing their studies and obtaining a Degree, foreign graduates of German universities can apply to extend their stay.

        Students can:

        Apply For A Job Seeker Visa

        Graduates can extend their legal stay by applying for a Job Seeker visa. It permits them to reside in Germany for up to 18 months after finishing their studies to search for employment related to their degree.

        To qualify, applicants need to initiate the renewal process prior to expiration of their existing student visa and residence permit. Supporting documentation like proof of a job offer or admission letter into an advanced degree program may be required.

        Apply For An 18-Month Residence Permit 

        Another pathway is for graduates to apply for an 18-month residence permit from the Einwohnermeldeamt immigration office within 90 days before their student visa ends.

        It enables them to remain in Germany for an extended term to seek jobs at German companies or explore business opportunities.

        Pathway to Permanent Residence

        International students who succeed in securing qualified professional employment in Germany relevant to their studies may submit an application for a multi-year National visa. It is a long-term permit that offers permanent residency in Germany.

        Students should start their renewal visa application well in advance as this will help to prevent any delays. Last-minute applications may lead to complications, which can impact one’s ability to continue studying or working in Germany.

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          Visa For The Purpose Of Applying For A Course Of Study

          Germany offers a special visa category for prospective students who need to enter the country to explore their study options and apply for university programs. It falls under the category of national visas and includes obtaining a residency permit.

          Eligibility Criteria To be eligible for this visa, applicants must provide proof of:

          • Financial means to support living costs during the stay
          • Acceptance letter from a language school if taking preparatory courses
          • Intent to apply to recognized German universities

          Validity and Permitted Activities

          This visa allows holders to stay in Germany for up to 9 months.

          During this time, they can:

          • Attend university interviews
          • Take entrance exams or assessment tests
          • Complete the application process for their programs
          • Enrol in German language courses to meet university requirements

          Importantly, it does not guarantee admission into universities. Applicants must qualify academically and meet entry criteria set by their chosen course.

          Pathway to Student Residence Permit

          Once students receive an admission letter from the university, they can return home to complete the standard student visa application. Thereafter, they must apply for their residence permit within 3 months of entering Germany again.

          Student ID Card

          Once the visa and permit are secured, students can obtain a student ID card, which serves as official documentation and provides access to many facilities.

          How Can Total Law Help?

          If you require help processing your Student Visa application, it is recommended that you contact immigration specialists. Our expert team has a deep understanding of the German visa and immigration system and particular expertise in helping foreign students obtain their visas.

          We are passionate about helping them enter and study in Germany legally. If you want to apply, we can help you through immigration services that include:

          • Evaluating your eligibility for Student Visas.
          • Assisting in compiling the necessary documents.
          • Completing and submitting application forms.
          • Providing regular updates on the status of an application.
          • Acting as intermediaries with French immigration authorities.

          Contact us at (+44)333 305 9375. You can also email or discuss with us via live chat on our website.

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    Yes, it is possible to bring your family members with you to Germany on a student visa. However, they will need to apply for a Family Reunion Visa. It allows spouses and children under 16 of the student visa holder to join them.

                    If you happen to be a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland, there is no requirement for you to obtain a student visa. However if you come from a different country it is generally necessary to acquire a student visa in order to pursue studies in Germany.

                    Yes, with a German student visa, you have the freedom to travel throughout the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days within a span of 18×0 days. Just remember to check that your passport and residence permit are still valid, before travelling.

                    No, it’s generally not possible to switch from a tourist visa to a German study visa. It’s advisable to apply for the appropriate type of visa before entering any country.