German Student Visa Requirements – Application, Fees & Processing Time

The number of foreigners choosing Germany for their abroad studies is increasingly growing each year. Before coming to Germany to study, most international students will need to obtain a German student visa from a German consulate in their home country. To make that easier for you, we have compiled German student visa requirements, the application process, fees, and processing time.

Germany is a great place to be in terms of higher education quality, research infrastructure, teaching methodology, low-cost studies, and career opportunities. As a result, many international students continue to believe that Germany is the best place to continue their education.

German Student Visa Requirements
German Student Visa Requirements

However, not every foreigner is able to pursue such a dream right away. This is due to the fact that certain nationalities are NOT permitted to enter and stay in Germany without a valid German visa.

Depending on your country of origin, however, you may be exempt from requiring a visa to study in Germany, but you must still obtain a residence permit once you arrive in Germany for studies lasting more than 90 days.

Do You Need Visa to Study in Germany?

Table of Contents

  • Schengen visa is required for studies that last up to three months.
  • But, for studies that last more than 3 months, you need a German national visa.

If you enter Germany on a national visa, you must extend your stay at the Foreigner’s Office by obtaining a German residence permit for studies. This is something you should do while your entry visa is still valid.

The first step is to determine whether you need a visa to study in Germany as an international student, and if so, what type of visa you need to apply for based on the length and nature of your studies.

Also, read Germany Work and Study Visa Application – See How To Apply

Types of Germany Study Visas

A German visa for studies may be granted for a variety of study levels and degrees. This includes undergraduate, exchange, graduate, and postgraduate studies. This also includes participation in a pre-academic measure or a non-academic German language course.

There are three types of German student visas that you can apply for:

  • German Student Visa. This is the standard student visa for international students who have been admitted to one of Germany’s official universities and are ready to begin their studies.
  • German Student Applicant Visa. If you need to be in Germany to apply for university admission in person, you will need this visa. This visa does not allow you to study in Germany; it is only valid for the application process to universities.
  • And, a German Language Course Visa. This type of visa is required to study for a German language course in Germany.

German Student Visa Requirements

Germany Work and Study Visa
Germany Work and Study Visa

The following are the most important requirements for your Germany student visa application:

Visa Application Documents.

    • Duly filled out and signed national visa application form.
    • Your valid national passport.
    • Your certificate of birth.
    • Two photocopies of your passport.
    • Your marriage certificate. (If applicable).
    • Your child’s certificate of birth. (If applicable).
    • Photocopies of previous German residence titles. (If applicable).
    • Your recent passport-style photographs. (Up to 3).

Proof of Financial Resources “Finanzierungsnachweis”.  (One of the following)

  • €11,208 deposit confirmation at a German-blocked bank account.
  • Letter of commitment and evidence of your parent’s income records and financial assets.
  • Letter of commitment by a German resident “Verpflichtungserklärung”. This letter is taken at the Alien’s Registration Office, by the German resident whose going to cover your costs during your studies.
  • Scholarship awarding certificate. It must show the number of costs it covers.
  • Bank guarantee. Issued to you by a recognized German bank.

Proof of University Admission – German Student Visa Requirements

    • Confirmation of admission in studies “Zulassungsbescheid”. Issued by a recognized higher education provider in Germany, showing when you’re starting your studies and the language of teaching.
    • Proof of conditional admission “Bedingter Zulassungsbescheid” and a confirmed intensive course “Intensiv-Sprachkurs”. The letter must show you’re conditioned and confirmed to participate in an intensive language course before getting the final university admission. The course must last more than 6 months, with not less than 18 hours of lessons in a week.
      • Proof of conditional university admission.
        • Letter from “uni-assist”.
        • Confirmation of admission as an applicant.
        • Communication with the university, regarding conditions for final admission.
      • Proof of having paid for the language course. Accompanied by a confirmed place in the course. The payment must cover at least 3 first months.
    • Confirmation of admission in a university preparatory course “Studienkolleg”.
      • Proof of conditional university admission.
        • Letter from “uni-assist”.
        • Confirmation of admission as an applicant.
        • Communication with the university, regarding conditions for final admission.
      • Proof of having been confirmed as a participant in the course.
  • Evidence of your earlier education.

    • Original school-leaving certificate.
    • Degree certificate. (If you’re entering Master’s or Ph.D. studies).
  • Student Travel Health Insurance.
  • University entrance qualification.
  • Certificate of German or English Language Proficiency.

How to Apply For A German Student Visa

Many international students find the German student visa application process challenging. The procedures vary by country, but a general overview of the main steps you must take is provided below.

The following are the steps to apply for a German Student Visa:

Find the nearest German embassy or consulate

You can use Google to find an embassy or consulate near you in your country (or another nearby country) to learn more about the requirements and schedule a visa appointment. All official German missions abroad have an official website that includes their physical address and contact information.

Examine the Requirements and Procedures

When you find the German embassy website, go to the student visa sections to review all of the specific requirements for your country and the procedures for scheduling a visa appointment. Before scheduling a visa appointment, carefully review all of the information provided (especially the documents you must have).

Book a Visa Appointment

When you’re ready, make a visa appointment by following the instructions on the German embassy’s official website in your country. In some countries, you should apply for your visa appointment a few weeks ahead of time because that particular embassy may have a high volume of visa applications and may take longer to respond to you. Timing is critical; sometimes all student visa interview slots are taken, so act quickly.

Prepare all the visa application documents

Once you’ve confirmed your visa appointment date, double-check all of your documents to ensure they’re all in order. You can do it yourself, and there is no need to pay outside consultants or agencies to do it for you.

Get Ready for Your Visa Interview

You must pay the visa application fee (€60.00 – €75.00) and bring the payment confirmation to your visa interview. If your visa is denied, this fee is non-refundable. You must check the current exchange rate of your country’s currency and pay the exact amount. You should prepare for your interview ahead of time. Here are some of the most frequently asked and answered questions about student visas. After the interview, you will be informed whether your visa has been approved or rejected.

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When To Apply For a German Student Visa – German Student Visa Requirements

German Student Visa Requirements

The best time to apply for a German student visa is as soon as you receive your university letter of acceptance and have secured the necessary funds to live and study in Germany.

This is one of the most important requirements, and if you have not been awarded an official scholarship, you must demonstrate financial resources in other ways, such as having funds deposited in a German-blocked account.

Important Tip: Use a Blocked Account as Proof of Financial Resources to Increase Your Chances of Obtaining Your German Student Visa.
A blocked account is a type of bank account used to demonstrate that you have enough money to live in Germany for a year.

As of 2022, a foreigner in Germany needs at least €934 per month for living expenses. So, before applying for a German internship visa, you must have a total of €11,208 in your bank account.

What is the minimum bank balance required for a German study visa?

Before applying for a German student visa in 2021, you must have €11,208 in your blocked bank account.

Germany Student Visa Processing Time

Your German student visa application can take up to 25 days to be processed. The processing time varies according to the country and German embassy to which you apply.

All other German study visa applications are typically processed within three months.

Germany Student Visa Fee – German Student Visa Requirements

German Student Visa Requirements:

The application fee for a German student visa is 75,- EUR.

Students must pay their visa fees via bank transfer. Credit cards and checks are not accepted. The money order must be in the name of your home country’s Embassy/Consulate and no more than two months old.

Please keep in mind that if your application for a student visa is denied, you will not be reimbursed for the visa fee.

German Student Applicant Visa – German Student Visa Requirements

If you intend to go to Germany to apply for university admission in person, you should apply for a German student applicant visa.

This visa is valid for three months but can be extended for another six months once you arrive in Germany.

If you receive the long-awaited letter of admission to a full-time university study program or a university preparatory measure within six months, you will be able to switch to a German student visa or a residence permit to study.

How To Get Student Residence Permit in Germany

German Student Visa Requirements:

1. Find your permanent Accommodation. As soon as you arrive in Germany with a student visa, you must find a permanent residence.

2. Register at the Resident’s Office. Following that, you must register such a living address with the local Resident’s Office. After registering, you will receive a registration confirmation called “Meldebescheinigung.”

The Required documents to register in Germany as an international student are:

  • Your valid national passport or national ID card. It must show that you have a valid visa if you’re a visa-regime citizen.
  • Rental contract.
  • Letter confirming your living address. Issued by the landlord of the place you’ve rented.

3. Enroll in studies. To participate in studies and gain access to university resources, you must first officially enroll at the university. This must be completed during the enrollment period, by the deadline specified in your admission letter.

This process is known as matriculation, and it is completed by submitting a list of documents to the student affairs office “Studentensekretariat” of the university where you will be studying. In addition, you must pay a semester fee before receiving your ID, password, and ID card as a student.

Required documents to enroll in university studies in Germany as an international student are as follows:

German Student Visa Requirements:

  • National Passport/national ID Card. If you are a citizen who is eligible for a visa, it must show that you have a valid entry visa for studies.
  • Confirmation of admission in studies.
  • German University Entrance Qualification. Or, equally recognized qualification, permitting you to start university studies in Germany.
  • Student Health Insurance.
  • Recent passport-sized photographs.

Note: Your university’s international office (“Akademisches Auslandsamt”) is the primary point of contact for information about your studies and residency requirements.

4. Apply for a residence permit for studies. As a student, you must apply for a residence permit for studies through the local Foreigner’s Authority “Einwohnermeldeamt.”

Required documents to apply for a residence permit for studies in Germany:

German Student Visa Requirements:

  • Duly completed application form for a residence permit. The original name ‘Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels’.
  • Your national passport/national ID card. It has to show that you have a valid entry visa if you’ve entered with a visa.
  • Recent passport-type photographs.
  • Documents showing your permanent address in Germany.
  • Confirmation of registration.
  • Rental contract.
  • Proof of financial subsistence. (Send the same evidence you provided when applying for the visa).
  • Proof of being admitted in studies. (e.g. certificate of enrollment, confirmation of admission, or evidence of conditional admission in studies.)
  • Letter from landlord confirming your permanent address.
  • Money to pay the application fee. The cost of applying is 56-100 euros for first-time applications and 49-96 euros for an extension of the residence permit. For Turkish students, it’s 28.8 euros.

Important Things To Know as a German Visa applicant and/or Holder

German Student Visa Requirements:

  • The visa officer may request additional documents during the visa interview.
  • Attend the visa interview in person.
  • Be cautious about the validity of your passport; it must be valid for the duration of your stay, including the anticipated extended period.
  • Keep in mind that an incomplete visa application may result in denial.
  • Do not affix photographs to the visa application form.
  • During a visa interview, do not bring anyone with you to the Embassy or Consulate.
  • Every applicant has the legal right to challenge the embassy or consulate’s decision on her/his visa application.
  • Obtaining a Visa for Study Purposes rather than a Tourist Visa is important because it allows you to obtain a residence permit once you arrive in Germany. REMEMBER that a Tourist Visa cannot be extended if you need to stay longer in Germany!
  • If the applicant is deemed to be a threat to the security and public order of the Schengen Area, the visa will be denied.
  • In the event of visa rejection, the applicant is informed of the primary reason for the rejection.
  • Make sure that your trip to Germany is scheduled early enough so that you have enough time to enroll in a university.
  • Upon arrival at the airport, original documents may be required.
  • German study visas are not automatically granted, so you must wait up to 4 MONTHS for a response from the
  • Embassy or Consulate, and there is no guarantee that you will be granted a visa.
  • The application form is available for free download on the website of the Embassy or Consulate in your country.
  • The passport is kept at the Embassy / Consulate throughout the visa process.
  • Visa appointments should only be made using the online system (not by phone, e-mail, fax, or in person)
  • Visa In the event of visa refusal, the fee will not be refunded.

German Student Visa Requirements FAQ

What activities are covered by a German student visa?

Non-academic language course studies

A 3-12-month course with at least 18 hours of instruction per week. The course should not be designed to prepare you for further academic studies.

Pre-academic measures

A course that lasts more than three months and is designed to prepare you for full-time academic studies.

Pre-academic German language courses

Participation in a preparatory course prior to taking any of these recognized tests before beginning studies must be a university requirement before final admission.

Preparatory foundation course ‘Studienkolleg’ studies

The course must prepare you for the ‘Feststellungsprüfung’ qualification test. If you pass this test, you can expect to receive a recognized university entrance qualification called ‘Hochschulzugangsberechtigung.’ (This is true if your foreign high school diploma is not recognized in Germany.)

Propaedeutic course studies

These courses must provide language and academic skills, as well as specific knowledge of the German educational system and methodology. They must be held by the educational institution where you will be studying.

Partaking in a mandatory preliminary internship.

Participation in an internship must be a requirement for acceptance into the study program, i.e. at the University of Applied Sciences.

University degree awarding studies

You must have received admission confirmation from a recognized higher education provider here. This applies to studies leading to a recognized higher education degree, such as a Bachelor’s (BA, BSc, BEng), Master’s (MA, MSc, MEng), or Ph.D.

What is a university admission confirmation letter?

A university admission confirmation letter is written proof that you have been accepted as a student. The following information is typically included in a confirmation letter:

  • Details of the education provider. The one you have been admitted to study.
  • Acceptance reply card. You will be required to confirm that you accept the offered study location. This is accomplished by returning a signed card to the university admissions office.
  • Enrollment deadline. Dates within which you should enroll as a student
  • Examination dates. When will the German language test or university entrance examination be held? (If admitted conditionally.)
  • Details about the orientation day. A day when new students learn about the university’s facilities and activities.

What is the University Entrance Qualification (HZB)?

Hochschulzugangsberechtigung (HZB) is one of the most important documents required to apply for admission to a German higher education provider. It confirms that your foreign education certificate is equivalent to the German Abitur.

If your previous education does not qualify as equivalent to a HZB, you must take a test for recognition. This is only relevant if you meet the other university admission requirements.

What’s the university conditional admission confirmation letter?

It is a decision made by the university admissions office after you apply, but you must complete a few more requirements before you can officially become a student at that university.

Participation in preparatory measures and/or passing specific pre-academic tests are common examples.

What is an accreditation certificate?

It is a document issued by the relevant national ministry of education or similar national authority in order to recognize an education provider or/and study program. You can confirm that your qualification has been received by a state-approved provider if you have this document.

What are the transcripts of grades from earlier studies?

It is the official document issued by your university/other HEI where you previously studied, detailing all grades received during your studies. It must be both signed and sealed.

What’s the notarization of documents? German Student Visa Requirements:

Notarization (also known as authentication) requires that photocopies of your original documents bear the official seal and authentic signature of the relevant authority.

The rule is inapplicable to digital signatures, certifications, and verifications.

What’s a curriculum for studying in Germany? German Student Visa Requirements:

The curriculum for studying in Germany is a document that lists all of your previous knowledge and skills. Such potentials, however, must be relevant to the requirements of the specific university program to which you are applying.

A catalog of relevant study modules, which provides a detailed description of a degree program, department, division, and university, must be included with the curriculum.

What does the equivalence to a bachelor/master’s degree in Germany mean?

If you want to begin master’s studies in Germany after previously completing bachelor’s degree studies outside of the Bologna process, you must first confirm the equivalence of these studies with bachelor’s studies in Germany. This document must be obtained from the provider of an earlier academic degree.

What is the information to be included in the curriculum vitae?

When a CV is required, you must include information in chronological order about your previous formal and informal education, internships, employment activity, and national services.

It must also include information about your skills and other unique abilities. The formal education must include information about the schools and universities where you studied, the subjects you studied, and the dates you graduated.

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