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Find out in good time (approx. one year) before your trip at a German embassy or consulate in your home country about the visa procedure and the documents you need for an application. You can find detailed information on visa requirements on the website of the German Foreign Office.

International students often need a visa to enter the Federal Republic of Germany.
This does not apply to nationals of EU countries and other countries for which the European Community has abolished the visa requirement for short-term stays of up to 90 days within a period of 180 days with the Visa Regulation.
You can check whether you need a visa on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

You can also find more information on the DAAD website.

Visa for study purposes: you apply for this visa when you have been admitted to the university or to the preparatory course. This visa is usually issued from 3 to 6 months. Within these months you must apply for a residence permit at the Immigration Office in your place of residence in Germany.

Visa for the purpose of study application: If you have not yet been admitted to a university or a Studienkolleg, then apply for the visa for the purpose of study application. This visa is valid for three months and gives you the opportunity to complete the requirements for admission. If the time is not sufficient, the duration of stay can be extended for a maximum of six months.

Language Course Visa: You apply for this visa if you are taking a language course in Germany. It is only valid for the duration of the course and cannot be converted.


You can find out which documents you need in addition to the application from your German mission abroad. Normally you need

  • valid passport,
  • proof of health insurance,
  • proof of financing,
  • proof of your previous academic achievements,
  • proof of any German language skills you may have or a planned language course in Germany, or English language skills if your course of study is in English
  • additionally for the visa for study purposes: a university entrance qualification recognized in Germany.
  • additionally in case of a visa for study purposes: Letter of admission from the university (can be replaced by a certificate from the university stating that there is a good chance of admission).
  • possibly a health certificate.

You can find more information here.

Please note!

The so-called "Schengen visa" is not suitable for studies, a doctorate or a research stay in Germany and can also not be changed in Germany. In order to get a new visa, you have to leave and return to Germany.

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