The German Student Visa

The German Student Visa is a type of German Study Visa. It is awarded to non-Germans who want to study a full-time course at a German higher education institution. However, the student must have an admission letter from the German institution. Also, the institution must be a recognized German higher education institution. A foreigner with a German Student Visa can take full-time studies or foundation courses. Foundation courses are preparatory courses for a full-time program.

Which kind of study programs can I take with my German Student Visa?

You can take any of the following programs if you have a student visa. However, take note that you must obtain an admission letter before the visa is awarded.

  1. German Language Courses as a preparatory step for studies.
  2. Academic Studies (Full-time programs)
  3. Propaedeutic course(s)
  4. Compulsory preliminary internship
  5. State Preparatory College: This is a course you must take if your foreign certificate is not recognized in Germany. Also, you take a test after finishing the course. The test is “Feststellungsprüfung”. You are awarded a University Entrance Certificate when you pass the test. At this point, you can apply for admission to a German University.

Requirements when applying for Germany’s Student Visa

Below is a list of all the required documents when applying for a German Student Visa. Provide all the documents where applicable. This will increase your chances of getting the visa.

  • Two copies of the application form: Fill the application form, download it. Thereafter, print out two copies and sign them at the end.
  • A valid national passport: Also, include all previous passports. Tie older passports with a rubber band. Do not staple previous passports together.
  • Two passport-size photographs: These must be taken within the last 3 months of the application.
  • Health Insurance: The German Embassy or Consulate has to recognize. Therefore, obtain insurance from a German Company. Health Insurance must cover a minimum of €30,000. Also, it must be valid for at least 3 months. The EDUCARE24 plan by DR-WALTER is the best option. German Embassies and Consulates worldwide recognize them because they meet all the requirements.
  • Previous Education Certificates:
    • Transcript or Academic records in your previous institution
    • Academic Qualification from an institution recognized in Germany. This document shows that you are capable of taking the program you applied to study in Germany.
    • German University Entrance Qualification: The German for this is “Abitur”. Provide this document if you a from a foreign institution which is not recognized in Germany.
  • Admission Letter from a German Institution: This depends on the type of programme you want to study. It may be any of the following:
    • Admission letter from a German University
    • Letter of admission into a Propaedeutic course.
    • Admission letter for a Foundation course. This must come from the institution where you intend to take full-time studies.
    • Admission Letter from a Preparatory German Language course.
  • Proof of Finance: This is the most considered requirement. You must show that you have enough funds to take care of yourself in Germany for a whole year. This includes tuition, books, accommodation, and other living expenses. Provide any or all of the following documents as the case may be:
    • Blocked Account: Fintiba is the easiest and preferred way to create a German blocked account. It permits you to set up your Blocked in just a few minutes. Read how to create a German Bank Blocked Account. German Embassies and Consulates recognized German Bank Blocked Accounts created through Fintiba.
    • Scholarship Certificate: The scholarship must cover all your tuition, books and other living expenses like accommodation and feeding. Also, it must show the amount awarded by the scholarship.
    • Support by a parent or sponsor: They must provide a letter stating that they are responsible for your expenses in Germany. Also, they must provide their bank statements, payslips if applicable.
    • Letter of Commitment from a German resident: A German resident shows that he/she is ready to take care of your accommodation and/or living expenses. This is for the entire time you will be in Germany.

  • German Language Proficiency: Provide proof of your German knowledge if your program is in German, or German and English. Any of the following will suffice:
    • GDS: Goethe Institute of German Language Diploma.
    • DSD: German Language Diploma of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, Level II.
    • DSH: German Language University Entrance Examination for International Applicants.
    • TestDaF: Test of German as a Foreign Language.
  • English Language Proficiency: Provide proof of your English Language knowledge if your program is in English or German and English. Check with your university to know the minimum score requirements for these tests. Any of the following will suffice:
    • TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language.
    • IELTS: The International English Language Testing System.
  • Motivation Letter: Write a letter explaining your choice of university and program. Explain your career plans and goals. Also, explain how this program will impact your career. Explain what you intend to do with the knowledge immediately you return to your country. Lastly, talk about your plans.
  • Visa application fee: The non-refundable student visa application fee is €60.
  • Marriage certificate: Submit your marriage certificate if you are married. Also, include your children’s’ birth certificates if you have any kids.

All applications for a German student visa must be made at the German Embassy or Consulate in your home country. However, some countries have Visa Application Centres, VAC where you can submit your documents. Find out about the German Embassy or Consulate in your home country to apply. Thereafter, get the list of requirements for a German Student visa.

The decision on your application depends on these submitted documents, and other information you provide. Therefore, it is in your best interest to provide truthful information. The information you provide must match on all your documents. Also, the information must be true if it is verified.

How long is my student visa valid?

The German student visa enables you to stay in Germany for 3 months. Get a residence permit during this period. This allows you to study in Germany. The residence permit is valid for 2 years. However, you can extend it when it expires. Extension of the validity depends on when your studies will finish.

What can I do with my German student visa?

As a foreigner with a German student visa, you can do the following in Germany:

  1. Get a part-time job: You can work 120 days per year. Your work must not interfere with your studies. You work on or off-campus.
  2. Apply to extend your residence permit: There are certain requirements for an extension. This is possible if you have not completed your studies.
  3. Apply for a job-seeking residence permit after graduation: This is only possible after your graduation. This permits you to stay in Germany for 6 months. Also, you will be looking for a job during this period. Also, you can be self-employed.

What I CANNOT do in Germany while on a German Student Visa

  1. You CANNOT leave your studies: You are in Germany on a student visa. Your job here is to study. You cannot abandon your studies for any reason. Failure to attend classes and take exams may lead to cancellation of your visa. Also, it may result if effective repatriation.
  2. You CANNOT get a full-time job: Firstly, you cannot get a work permit as a student. Therefore, you cannot work for 240 days per year or more. Every student must work at most 120 days per year.

Arriving in Germany: Things to do once in Germany

These are some important things to do once you arrive in Germany. These are essentials before beginning your studies.

1. Get a permanent accommodation in Germany

Get permanent accommodation once you reach Germany. You may choose to stay in student residences on-campus or off-campus. Also, you can share apartments with roommates or rent your place. You will need your permanent resident address for so many other things in Germany.

2. Obtain a Health Insurance

Everyone living in Germany has Health Insurance coverage. It is compulsory. There are many insurance companies in Germany. You can obtain Health Insurance from any of these companies. However, most students are always satisfied with DR-WALTER. Students always provide positive feedback while using the EDUCARE24 plan by DR-WALTER. This plan is affordable and it is suitable for students.

Students from European who have the EHIC: European Health Insurance Card have to get German statutory health insurance. The EHIC covers all types of health treatments in Germany. Students from the EU, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Morocco, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia, Tunisia and Turkey are particularly concerned here.

3. Matriculate in School and get an Enrollment Certificate

After getting a permanent accommodation and settling in Germany, the next thing is matriculation. Matriculation is the official enrollment into your school. The student service office in most schools can handle this. The deadline for matriculation is always stated in the admission letter. You will get a certificate of enrollment after the matriculation. You cannot attend classes or sit for exams without this certificate. Also, you need this certificate to register your address when applying for a residence permit.

You need the following documents to apply at a German University:

You will not get official enrollment by just applying. Firstly, you will be issued a certificate of enrollment. This serves as your temporary student ID. You get officially enrolled when you pay the semester fees and contributions. You pay after receiving your student ID card. The average semester fee is €250. It covers the tickets for local public transportation, social services and other services.

Every student ID card has a unique Student ID, an account which is accessible using an e-mail and a password. Most noteworthy, always change the default password to your student account. You can access your account on the school’s servers. The student account enables you to access important information and other resourceful materials in the school and your particular study program. Also, you can use this card in the library.

Take note that you have to re-enrol at the beginning of each semester. Otherwise, you will be expelled from school.

4. Create a bank account in a German Bank

The next thing to do is to open a bank account with a German Bank. The bank should be a recognized German bank. You need the account to do many things. For instance, paying rents, enrollment, study fees and contributions, registration fee and other bills. Also, you need this account to receive your salary. There is no charge to open an account. However, you need the following documents to create an account in Germany as a foreigner:

  • Proof that you are a student:
    • Student visa
    • Admission letter
    • Student registration certificate “Immatrikulationsbescheinigung
  • A valid passport
  • Confirmation of registrationMeldebescheinigung

5. Register your living address with the German authorities

Register your home address one week after getting your permanent accommodation. Do this at the Resident Registration Office in your area. Also, you can register at the Citizen’s Bureau. Thereafter, you receive a confirmation of registration or “Meldebescheinigung“. You need this to create a German bank account. Repeat this step each time you change your residence. Also, register your home even if you change the apartment in the same building.

Find out all the documents you need to register your home address in Germany as a foreign student.

6. Apply and obtain a Student residence permit

A residence permit is a document which enables its holder to live, study or work in Germany. Apply for a student residence permit immediately after getting your confirmation of registration. Also, note that your student visa must be valid while applying for a student residence permit.

Read the latest articles on our blog