Applying for Your Visa


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Apply for the Visa Early

In our experience, the visa application procedure may take two to three months from the day of submission of your visa application to the day that you actually receive the visa, provided that you have submitted all the necessary application documents to the German embassy or consulate in your country. Therefore, international students who are required to have a visa, should take this time into account and schedule an appointment with the embassy or consulate to apply for a visa as early as possible.

Mobility Certificate for non-EU Students with a Valid Residence Permit in an EU Country

In some cases students from outside the EU, who have a valid residence permit in an EU country do not have to apply for visa or German residence permit, but can acquire a mobility certificate via the so called REST-directive.

International Researchers

For international researchers, our Welcome Center for researchers is at your disposal with a consulting service.

Duration of Stay

It is helpful to provide information on the intended stay as this facilitates application processing.

Purpose of Stay

If you are applying for a student visa, you must provide evidence of the purpose of your stay in Germany. The German representative offices abroad want as exact information as possible and want to know if you

  • plan to study with the goal of acquiring an academic degree from a German university (including preparatory courses such as a German course)
  • or if the stay is for a limited time as an exchange student or free mover.

You must verify your planned stay with

  • the original acceptance letter
  • proof of registration for a preparatory intensive language course at a German language school and documents about the studies to follow (for example probationary admission to a university, application confirmation)

Financing Your Stay

When applying for a student visa, you must submit proof that you have sufficient funds to cover the cost of your stay. This proof differs from country to country. You can get reliable information from the German embassy or consulate in your home country, where you will submit your application.

The International Office cannot offer any concrete information about what type of documentation is accepted.

Following Documents May Be Accepted as Proof of Funding:

Funding your stay yourself:

Academic stays are usually funded by third parties (typically by parents). Typical documentation of funding includes

  • a state of liability or Verpflichtungserklärung (A guarantee that your studies will be completely funded. This is issued after earnings and assets are assessed)
  • a "blocked bank account" or Sperrkonto (with a bank in Germany) with 10,332 euros per year (that is 861 euros per month). Information on opening the blocked bank account can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

Caution: this proof of funding is not accepted equally in all countries.

Funded by a scholarship:

If you are funding your studies with a scholarship, you must submit the scholarship grant with specific information about the scholarship amount and duration.

Family Members

Information about your intentions to bring your family (spouse, children under 18) are necessary so that nothing is neglected if they plan to accompany you to the Federal Republic of Germany.

In this case, separate applications for residence permits (within the context of your family joining you) are required.