Germany Student Visa

The German student visa gives prospective students who have been accepted to attend university in Germany the right to live and study in the country during their course.

For more in-depth information on the German student visa application and for bespoke advice based on your unique circumstances, contact one of our helpful Total Law legal experts today by calling us at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or using our online callback request form.

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    Student Visa Application to Study in Germany

    German universities are well-regarded around the world. Their public universities even offer free tuition (with few exceptions) to everyone, including international students. It’s no wonder that many UK-based prospective students are hoping to study there.

    Before you can attend, however, you will need to apply for a Germany study visa. There are three visas for you to choose from, depending on your goals and circumstances:

    1. Language Course Visa
    2. Student Applicant Visa
    3. Student Visa
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    Do I Need a Visa to Study in Germany?


    In most cases, you will need a visa to attend university in Germany. The good news is that there is also an applicant visa that you can apply for if you have not yet secured your place at a German university.

    In general, you will need a visa if you:

    • Have accepted a place in a German program (undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctorate)
    • Are expecting a response to your university application
    • Need to enrol in a foundation course
    • Need to undertake a foundation course known as Studienkolleg to prepare for a qualification assessment examination (Feststellungsprüfung)
    • Want to start a long-term research project in Germany

    When Don’t I Need a Visa to Study in Germany?

    There are a few instances where you would not need a visa:

    Short-Period Stays

    British nationals don’t need a student permit or visa for study or research visits so long as their stay is 90 days or less. For example, if you are a student at a UK-based university and need to travel to Germany to conduct research for your dissertation, you may do so without a visa.

    Short-Period Stays After ETIAS Launches

    Keep in mind that once the ETIAS program goes live, you will need to apply for this before you travel to the EU. This travel authorisation gives you 90 days of travel in any 180-day period. The ETIAS must be renewed every three years.

    Multi-National Students

    If you are a dual citizen and have citizenship in an EU-member country, you may study at a German university with the same rights as a German national without a visa.

    EU Nationals with Right to Remain

    All EU and EEA nationals can attend German universities without a visa. However, you cannot leave the UK for more than two years on the ILR or four years if you have settled status without losing your right to remain, so keep that in mind.

    What Type of Visa Do I Need to Study in Germany?

    British nationals without ties to the EU will need to obtain a German study visa. While there isn’t a specific cut-off time when you need to apply, the recommended period is at least three months before your university program begins. There are three different types of visas that you can apply for:

    Language Course Visa

    This visa is designed for those who want to complete an intensive language course (18 hours per week or more) in Germany.

    What are the Limitations with This Type of Visa

    There are several limitations with this type of visa, including:

    • You cannot work
    • You cannot apply for or start university while on this visa
    • You cannot convert this visa into a student, student applicant or work permit visa

    If you want to attend a German university after your language course, you will need to return home and start a fresh visa application. You cannot do this while you are in Germany.

    How Long Can I Stay in Germany With the Language Course Visa?

    This visa typically grants you permission to stay in Germany for 3 to 12 months. If you were initially granted a three-month stay, you can extend your visa up to 12 months to continue the language course.

    Student Applicant Visa (Visum Zur Studienbewerbung)

    You can apply for this prospective student visa if you are waiting to hear back from these types of institutions:

    • Full-time University
    • State preparatory college (Studienkolleg)
    • Propaedeutic course
    • Mandatory internships
    • Preparatory German language courses

    How to Prove You’re Waiting for An Answer

    You will need to give these required documents to receive a prospective student visa:

    • Proof that your application has been received by the university
    • Official letter outlining you have a spot reserved on a program
    • A certificate stating you’re enrolled on a preparatory course and that your presence is necessary
    • A certificate stating you’re registered to a Studienkolleg, a Propaedeutic course, a school leaving certificate, or German language courses of 18 hours per week or more

    This information is on top of the required documents that you will need for any study visa.


    There are a few limitations to this prospective student visa:

    • You cannot work
    • You cannot abandon any mandatory preparatory courses

    Length of Stay

    The Student Applicant Visa is a short-term visa that is given for a three-month period. This can be extended up to six additional months if necessary. You will need to switch it into a residence visa permit once you have confirmation of your admittance.

    Student Visa (Visum Zu Studienzwecken)

    If you have an acceptance letter and a spot on a German program, you can apply for this German Student Visa at the German embassy or consulate in the UK. The visa you receive is only valid for up to three months. You will need to exchange it for the student resident permit once you enter the country. With that permit, you can live, study, and even work in Germany for one to two years, with the option to extend.

    Where Do I Apply for the Visa?

    To apply for the visa, you’ll need to book a Germany student visa appointment at the German embassy or German consulate. There are currently two in the United Kingdom:

    1. The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in England.
    2. Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany in Edinburgh.

    For help obtaining a German student visa, speak with our team today. Contact Us

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      What are the German Student Visa Requirements?

      These are the German visa requirements necessary for all three visa types:

      • Confirmation of your enrollment (or proof you are waiting for confirmation) to a German language course, prep course, or university degree
      • German language proficiency, if you aren’t studying in German
      • Two completed visa application forms
      • Two biometric portrait photos
      • Proof of financial support
      • Proof you’ve paid for health insurance for the duration of your stay
      • Proof of accommodation
      • If you’re employed, an official letter of leave
      • Work and educational CV
      • A valid passport
      • Proof you’ve paid the visa fee

      How Much Money Do You Need in Your Account?

      You need to have at least €11,208 in your account per year of study. To prove you have this money, you need to show one of the following:

      1. Three months of personal financial statements
      2. The scholarship award that covers this cost
      3. A fixed deposit statement in a Sperrkonto or blocked account
      4. A letter of commitment from a German resident promising to cover your expenses
      5. Letter of declaration from your parents and their financial records proving they can support your stay in Germany for the last six months.

      What’s the Processing Time for a German Student Visa?

      The Germany student visa processing time is currently between 4 and 12 weeks. If you have a scholarship from a German institution, for example, DAAD, then these processing times may be shorter.

      How Much is the German Student Visa Fee?

      The German Student Visa fee depends on which type of application you are applying for, as well as your age. If you are over 18, for example, the fees are as follows:

      Visa Type Student Visa Germany Cost (In Euros)
      Student Visa 75€
      Language Course Student Visa 75€
      Student Applicant Visa 60€

      If you are under 18 years old and are considered a minor, the visa fee is reduced. In this case, you only have to pay 37.50€.

      We can make sure your German visa application process is smooth and streamlined. Contact Us

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        How Do I Get My Student Residence Permit in Germany Once I Arrive?

        Your visa gets you into the country. Once you arrive, you have two weeks to convert your entry visa into an Electronic Residence Permit. This is not necessary for those whose visa covers their entire course stay (for example, if you are in Germany for an intensive German language course).

        Registering Your Address

        To get your German residence permit, you’ll first need to go to the local resident’s registration office (Bürgeramt) and register your new residence with them. Doing this will give you a Registration Certificate (Meldebestätigung).

        To get this certificate, you will need:

        • The Proof of Residence Certificate (Wohnunggeberbestätigung) from your landlord
        • A Completed Bürgeramt Registration Form
        • Your Passport
        • Your Visa

        You should get your certificate the same day as your appointment.

        Applying for the Residence Permit

        Once you have the residence certificate, you will then apply for the permit at your local immigration office, known as Ausländerbehörde. This process is very similar to the visa application you have already gone through. The cost of applying for this residence permit is €110, though it is free of charge if you are on a scholarship.

        How Long Does the Residence Permit Take?

        You should expect your student residence permit to be ready in around four to six weeks. You will need to pick it up at the immigration office where you applied.

        How Long Does the Electronic Residence Permit Last?

        The permit lasts between one to two years. At the end of that period, you will need to extend it by proving you’re on track with your studies and that you will finish in the standard timeframe. Permit extensions cost €100.

        Students on grassy area, outside concrete building with German flags

        What Am I Allowed to Do With My Temporary Student Residence Permit?

        Once you have the student residence permit, you are free to live, study and work in Germany. How often you can work depends on when you intend to work

        Can I work while studying in Germany on a student visa?

        Yes, you can work while studying in Germany with a few limitations:

        When You Work Student Visa Germany Working Hours Total Number of Days in a Year
        During the Semester 20 Hours Per Week (Part-Time) 240 Days Per Year
        During Breaks 40 Hours Per Week (Full Time) 120 Days Per Year

        How Can Total Law Help?

        The study visa process can be challenging for young people to navigate, especially for those with uncertain circumstances (for example, if you are waiting for your acceptance letter). Having experts on your side can take the stress out of the application process entirely. Since you are sure to have everything you need the first time, you can also speed up your application process by removing any potential hiccups.

        Our friendly team at Total Law can help guide you through the entire Germany student visa application process step by step to give you peace of mind while preparing for this next big phase of your life, so get in touch with our team by calling us at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or by using our online form for a callback.

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                  Related pages for your continued reading.

                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Only German residents can sponsor your study. They must reside in Germany and undergo a credit check to make sure they can afford to support you during your stay.

                  IELTS is not mandatory for English-speaking students.

                  You don’t need A Levels to apply for a student visa, though you will need at least 3 A levels at CCC or higher in order to be accepted to a German university.

                  Yes, Germany is currently accepting visa applications from international students, including UK-based students.

                  While the exact amount of living expenses will differ from student to student, you can expect to need between 700 to 1500 EUR per month, depending on where you live.