FAQs about German Student Visa
If you are not a citizen of the European Union or of an EEA state (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway) and you are planning to study in Germany, you must apply for a visa at the German Embassy in your home country BEFORE you come to Germany. Without proof of a valid study visa for Germany universities are not allowed to enrol you.
Please contact the German Embassy in your home country to find out whether you need a visa or not.
List of all German Embassies and Consulates from the Auswärtiges Amt (German Foreign Office).
Information from the Ausländerbehörde (Alien’s Office) Berlin about studying in Germany (in German).
Attention: Citizens Who Do Not Need To Apply For A Visa Before Their Arrival According to § 41 AufenthV citizens of certain countries can enter Germany without a visa, such as citizens from Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea and the US. The same applies to citizens from Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino who do not seek employment in Germany. According to §§ 28 and 56 Abs. 2 AufenthV citizens from Switzerland do not need to apply for an entry visa.
Further information (in German) regarding this issue can be found on the website of the Auswärtiges Amt (German Foreign Office) or the Ausländerbehörde Berlin (Alien’s Office Berlin).
Submission of a Valid Study Visa for Your Enrolment
Citizens who require a study a visa for Germany have to submit proof of it (or of a valid German residence permit if they live already in Germany) to SRH at the beginning of their studies in order to be enrolled and to receive further documents, services and lectures. This regulation does not apply to citizens who do not need to apply for a study visa before their arrival: 1) Citizens of EU and EEA states & 2) citizens of countries according to the above mentioned §§ 41, 28 and 56 Abs. 2 AufenthV (Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea, the US, Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino, Switzerland). Neither the submission of a valid study visa nor of a valid German residence permit is required for your enrolment at SRH.
Be sure to apply for a long-term national (D) visa for study purposes. The short-term (C) “Schengen” visa is only valid for up to 3 months (for touristic purposes exclusively) and will not cover your study stay in Germany.
Please do not underestimate the process and keep in mind that you will not be able to study in Germany without a valid visa.
Visa processing times can take several months so you should apply as early as possible. Please consider that there might be a considerable waiting period for an appointment (4 to 6 weeks) and a processing period of additional 4 to 8 weeks. We recommend that you contact your German Embassy at least 3 months before the semester starts.
In order to be able to apply for a study visa, you need an acceptance letter from a Germany university. The other documents that are required to obtain such a study visa include a valid passport, a current photo, proof of financial support as well as some additional application documents. Bear in mind that visa rules and regulations can differ considerably from country to country. Therefore, it is crucial that you contact the German Embassy in your home country.
When you receive your visa, you will notice that it is only valid for 90 days. This is not a mistake and no reason to worry. This visa is an entry visa and has to be converted into a German residence permit at the Alien’s Office Berlin after your arrival in Berlin. For more information about the German residence permit application in Berlin, please click here.