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Study Visa for Germany

Who Needs a 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 (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 and English) regarding this issue can be found on the website of the Auswärtiges Amt (German Foreign Office) or the Ausländerbehörde Berlin (Alien’s Office Berlin).

How Long Does The Visa Process Take?

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.


Important Notice: Please keep in mind that universities are not involved in the student’s visa application process. They have neither directive authority nor effective influence on the processing times of governmental authorities.

For Which Visa Do I Have To Apply?

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 only) and will not cover your study stay in Germany.

Which Documents Are Required?

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.

For How Long Has The Visa Been Issued?

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, please click here.

Important Notice For Exchange Or ERASMUS Students

SRH Hochschule Berlin urges exchange or ERASMUS students to request a national (D) visa that is valid up to 12 months instead of a 90-day national (D) entry visa. According to § 6 Abs. 4, § 16-18, § 20 and § 21 AufenthG and Art. 18 Abs. 2 SDÜ, non-EU citizens who will stay in Germany for less than one year may obtain such a visa. Since it should cover the entire period of your stay, you will not need to apply for a residence permit after your arrival in Germany, which will save you time and effort.

Information from the Alien’s Office Berlin about the 12-month national (D) visa

Important Notice for Students Enrolled In The Tripartite Master Programme In International Management

The above named national (D) 12-month visa is not suitable for Master students who are enrolled in the Tripartite Master Programme. Tripartite Master students who plan to spend their second or third semester outside of Germany must obtain a German residence permit in order to complete the student visa application for the next host country.

Important Notice For Tripartite Master Students Beginning In A Country Other Than Germany

Students enrolled in the Tripartite programme with the 1st semester in Querétaro, Vilnius, Granada or Prague are urged to contact the Mexican, Lithuanian, Spanish or Czech Embassy in their home country to find out whether or not they need a student visa for Mexico, Lithuania, Spain or the Czech Republic and to start the visa process if necessary.

Information for Guest Lecturers

If you are invited as a guest lecturer to our university and you do not have the citizenship of the European Union, of an EEA state or of Switzerland, you must apply for a national (D) visa at the German Embassy in your home country BEFORE you come to Germany. You may not enter Germany with a Schengen (C) tourist visa. Please check with the respective German Embassy or Consulate in your home country about the requirements and application procedure. The decision on a visa application may take several weeks. Applications should therefore be submitted in due time before the beginning of your stay.

International Office

Exchange Coordinator

Anne Hübner M.A.

Tel.: +49 30 374 374 153
Fax: +49 30 374 374 375

Visa Service

Dipl.-Üb. Gloria Thiller

Tel.: +49 30 374 374 155
Fax: +49 30 374 374 375

Coming up

March 2016: The application deadline for the academic year 2016/2017 (winter semester 2016/2017 or summer semester 2017) is Thursday, March 24, 2016. You are invited to browse the Moodle course International Office and to take a look at our website for more information.

April 2015: This spring, SRH Berlin Master's students will have the opportunity to take part in an exciting Business Simulation Game, which is organized in cooperation with the University of Granada. The game is based on a realistic computer simulation of the automobile industry and is a great learning experience!

May 2015: In May 2015, Mathieu van den Hoogenband (previous chairman of Weleda AG) will once again organize a workshop for our Master's students on the subject of leadership and success. During the workshop, titled “Life Stages,” Mathieu van den Hoogenband  will reveal his secrets to success and how to incorporate personal and business life into a meaningful and satisfying career. 

2014-2020: Congratulations! SRH Hochschule Berlin has just been awarded with the new Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) which qualifies us to participate in the ERASMUS+ program in the years 2014-2020. The new ERASMUS generation will bring some changes which we will inform you about once all of the details have been finalized.