Academic Progress Certificate

  four students sitting at a table with learning materials Copyright: © Martin Braun



Dominika Lichteveld

Betreuungsprogramme / BeBuddy / Interkulturelle Trainerin


+49 241 80 90833



In order to extend a student’s residence permit, the Immigration Office will, in some cases, require a so-called Academic Progress Certificate and/or Study Progress Assessment (SPA). You can find general information about these certificates and how to apply for them here:

What is an academic progress certificate or Study Progress Assessment (SPA)?

An academic progress certificate is a detailed certification of a student’s current academic performance – also offering a prediction of their future academic progress – issued by their departmental advisor. They will specifically provide a subject-related assessment. The SPA is an additional certificate issued after a confidential discussion with a staff member of the International Office about the student’s overall situation. The departmental academic advisor will decide whether this is needed.

When do I have to submit an academic progress certificate to the Immigration Office?

If you have exceeded or are expected to exceed the standard period of study at the time your residence permit needs to be extended, the Immigration Office may ask you to submit an academic progress certificate. Also, if you change majors or universities after your third semester, you will usually be asked to submit an academic progress certificate.

What is the procedure for having an academic progress certificate issued?

If you need an academic progress certificate, please contact your Departmental Academic Advisors well ahead of time.

What documents do I need to provide?

Each faculty has its own requirements. You should provide your departmental academic advisor with your faculty-issued academic progress certificate, your official transcript of records (from RWTHonline or the Central Examination Office), attendance certificates, and other academic documents. It is also important for the departmental academic advisor to know when your residence permit expires. With the help of your departmental advisor, you will need to fill out this academic progress certificate. If you cannot open the link to the eform above, you can also download a version of the form to print here. Present this document to the immigration office. You should also provide proof of why you need additional time to complete your studies (e.g., illness, mental health issues, family emergencies, etc.).

Why does the Immigration Office check my academic performance?

Since the residence permit is tied to pursuing studies, the Immigration Office regularly checks whether its purpose is still valid.

How often can a residence permit be extended?

A residence permit can be extended as long as the purpose for residing in Aachen has not yet been but can still be achieved within a reasonable period of time. Even if you take far longer for your studies than expected, your permission to stay can be extended. However, it is up to the Immigration Office to decide. You are strongly advised to submit an extension request early on and provide valid evidence/reasons for still pursuing your degree program.

What can I do if I get into trouble during my studies?

There are many resources to support RWTH students: If you have doubts about your studies or fear setbacks, check out the Student Advice Centre. They offer support sessions and seminars on topics such as test anxiety, doubts about your academic path, or finding a new direction in life. They also provide psychological counseling. Please seek assistance early so that you do not have to worry about residency issues but can fully concentrate on your studies.

When do I need to contact the International Office?

Please only make an appointment with the International Office for issuing a Study Progress Assessment (SPA) if the departmental advisors have checked “Yes” on the “Certificate of Progress of Studies” form on page 4, item 4.5. Please bring all records of your studies at RWTH as well as the certificate filled out by your departmental academic advisor.