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German Student Visa-Application Process and Requirements


Most international students are likely to choose Germany as the best place for pursuing their higher education. This is because they believe Germany is a place to be when it comes to quality of higher education, research infrastructure, low cost of studies, career prospects, and teaching methodology. However, you will be needing a German Student Visa as an international student to study in Germany.

German Student Visa

Meanwhile, not every international student will be needing a German Student Visa in order to study in Germany. Also, just like any other visa it has, it’s own requirements for application. Therefore, this article provides detailed information that will guide you through the requirements and application process of the German student Visa.


Moreover, when you receive an admission offer to study in a university in Germany you will need to find out whether you need to apply for a visa. As many students do not need a German Student Visa but a residence permit to study in Germany.

Do You Need a German Student Visa?

Meanwhile, not every international student needs a visa to study in Germany. Residents of most countries are qualified for a visa-free journey to pursue their academic studies in Germany. Therefore, here’s a breakdown of applicants according to their region to determine if you will be needing a German Student Visa for your travel:

  • Applicants within the European Union/EEA (including Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, and Liechtenstein):

    However, EU/EEA citizens do not need to obtain a German Student Visa before entering the country. If you have decided to study in Germany and come from a country within the EU/EEA, you will only be needing a valid ID card to enter the country. Then, you should schedule an appointment as soon as you have settled with the resident’s registration office in your university town. You will receive a document stating your entitlement to remain.

  • Applicants from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, South Korea, Japan:

    Applicants from any of these countries outlined above do not need a visa to Germany. But you will need to apply for the residence permit within two weeks of your entry if you will stay in the country for more than 3 months.

  • Applicants from Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco, San Marino: 

    Applicants from these countries may enter Germany without a visa. But you will need a German Student Visa if you intend to work during or after your degree. Nevertheless, you should visit German Embassy or Consulate in your home country for application and further information. Moreover, both visa and non-visa holders from these countries will also need to apply for a residence permit within two weeks of their arrival.

  • German Student Visa Applicants from other countries:

    You will need a German Student Visa if your country of residence is not among the mentions above. You will have to apply through a German diplomatic mission(embassy or consulate) in your country.

Check Also: How to Apply For US Student Visa

What Type of Visa Do do You Need?

You might be issued a Schengen visa or a national visa depending on the purpose and duration of your visit. However, if the reason for your visit to Germany is for educational studies longer than 3 months, you will not be needing the Schengen visa. Which is for short-term language studies, holidays, and business trips, and extension is not possible. Therefore you will have to apply for a national visa, which is for long-term studies.

Moreover, there are three types of German Student Visa you can apply for depending on the circumstance of your study program.

  1. German Language Course Visa: This is for short German language courses lasting from 3 months up to a year.
  2. German Applicant Visa: You need this visa if you haven’t been offered a formal admission notice from the university or need to apply in person or take entrance admission. It only last up to the duration of its purpose and doesn’t allow you to study in Germany.
  3. German Student Visa: This is a long-term study visa for international students who have already been accepted to a German university.

Recommended Opportunity: Fully Funded Scholarship in Germany.

Requirements For German Student Visa

In order to obtain the German Student Visa, applicants must however ensure to meet the following criteria and also provide the following documents:

  • Completed application form
  • Valid passport
  • Two recently taken portrait photographs
  • Proof of admission. This can be in form of the German University admission letter
  • Original certificates of previous education
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Proof of sufficient financial resources to support your studies
  • Certificate showing proof of German language proficiency, in case you enroll in a German-only/mixed-language study program.
  • Proof of English language proficiency. This can be in form of either
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test scores. Or
    • International English Language Test System(IELTS) test scores.
  • Receipt of paid visa application fee
  • Declaration of authenticity for all documents submitted

Click here to view the full list of requirements.

German Student Visa Application Process

Meanwhile, the application process may vary from country to country, but here is a general overview of the main steps.

Therefore, follow the step by step application guide below to apply for your German Student Visa :

  • Firstly, you have to locate the nearest German Embassy or Consulate in your country and submit your application. You can find the addresses of the German Embassy or Consulate on the website of the Federal Foreign Office. Then you can also get further information on the exact documents and requirements.
  • Once you have located the next step is to carefully review all the requirements and procedures before moving to the next step.
  • Thirdly, you should schedule a visa appointment by following the steps described on the official website of the German Embassy.
  • Once you confirm your visa appointment date, the next step is to cross-check all the documents and prepare for your visa interview.
  • Ensure to pay the visa application fee and have the payment confirmation or receipt with you when attending your visa interview. Also, make sure to be 100%  prepaid for the interview by looking up online for common German Student Visa interview questions.

Click here for a complete guide on the application process.

Important Notes

Ensure to apply for your visa as early as possible. The processing time for the visa varies depending on the German Embassy/the country you are dealing with. But it usually takes up to 25 days.

Additional documents may be required by the visa officer upon the visa interview. Therefore do ensure to review the requirements on the official website before setting up an appointment. Note that incomplete visa applications can be declined.

Your visa appointment schedule should be online via the German Embassy’s official website, and not by phone, e-mail, or in-person. You will be given the main reason in case of visa denial.


However, visit the official website for further information using the link below.

Official Website


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