Germany Guide: How to get a German visa and a residence permit

As an international student, you may need not only an entry visa for Germany, but also a residence permit. Now, we will tell you briefly about the most important “points” of those two aspects.

Applying for German visa correctly

While applying for a visa, you should keep the following in mind:

  • Submit your application as early as it is possible! Visa processing can take two or three months or more and you could not influence it.

  • Apply for the correct visa! There are several types of German visas and they can’t be converted into each other.  If you have the wrong type of visa, you will be sent into your home country in order to apply for the correct one. The most popular types of German visas for students are a “travelling” visa, a “student” visa and a “language course” visa.

  • Make sure your passport is valid for your entire stay! If it’s not, you will be sent into your home country. Moreover, when applying for a German visa, your passport must be valid for more than 1 month. Otherwise, German embassy will not except your application.

As it was written earlier, the type of visa is VERY important. For studies in Germany, there can be two types of visa only.

  • Student applicant visa („Visum zur Studienbewerbung“)

If you have not yet received notification of admission to a university or foundation course, you should apply for a student applicant visa. It is valid for three month, but you can also extend it to a maximum of six month.

  • Student visa („Visum zu Studienzwecken“)

If you have received your notification of admission to university or a foundation course, you should apply for a student visa. That type of visa is valid for three months, too. Until the end of that period, you must get a residence permit at the Alien Registration Office in your university town in order to able to continue your studies in Germany.

Required documents for German visa application

  • Health insurance

  • Proof of financial resources, usually that is a bank statement

  • Certificates of past academic work and achievements

  • Certificate of German or English language proficiency or a proof that you will attend a language course in Germany

  • For a student applicant visa: university entrance qualification 

  • For a student visa: notification of admission from your German university

Residence permit (Ausländeramt)

Students from the EU, the European Economic Area and Switzerland do not need a residence permit, but they must prove that they have health insurance and that they can finance their studies. However, if they are going to stay for their studies in Germany for more than 90 days, they will also need a residence permit.

Citizens of other countries are required to apply and obtain a visa prior to entry.

Make sure to take the following documents with you when you apply:

  • Valid ID card or passport with visa

  • Visa application fee, cash only

  • Two biometric passport photographs

  • Birth certificate

  • Health insurance

  • Residence registration (Anmeldebestätigung)

  • Proof of means of support (usually a letter from your employer) or - of adequate financial resources (Finanzierungsnachweis) - around €700/month.

  • Certificate of Health for Residence Permit (Gesundheitszeugnis für Aufenthaltserlaubnis), which can be obtained from any German doctor or local health office (Gesundheitsamt). Certificates cost around €150 from a doctor or around €75 from the health office.

  • Certificate of good conduct (Führungszeugnis), which can be obtained from your home country's embassy or consulate.

A residence permit for studies in Germany is issued for a period of two years and must always be extended before that period expires. The extension depends on how you conduct your studies in Germany so that you have to present a letter of confirmation to this effect from your university.
Julia Linnik

2022-01-14 10:15:21
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