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.
Information from the Ausländerbehörde (Foreigners´ Registration Office ) Berlin about studying in Germany (in German).
Citizens Who Do Not Need To Apply For A Visa Before Their Arrival
Citizens of certain countries such as citizens from Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea and the USA can enter Germany without a visa. The same applies to citizens from Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino as Long as they do not seek employment in Germany. Swiss citizens do not need to apply for an entry visa.
Submission of a Valid Study Visa for Your Enrolment
Citizens who require a visa for studying in Germany have to submit proof of it (or of a valid German residence permit if they already live 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.
Be sure to apply for a long-term national (D) visa for study purposes.
Attention: 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 and won´t be transferable to a residence Permit.
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 urge you to 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.
Almost all the students, who are applying for a visa must proof their financial means in order to apply for a national visa. They must prove that they are able to financially cover their expenses during their studies in Germany. There are various ways to prove that you can finance your studies.
The following forms of proof are possible:
- Your parents can submit documents certifying their income and financial assets.
- Someone with permanent residence in Germany can guarantee the Foreigners´ Registration Office to cover your expenses.
- A security payment can be deposited into a blocked account.
- You can present a bank guarantee.
- You can present a scholarship award notification from a recognised scholarship Provider.
Bear in mind that visa rules and regulations can differ considerably from country to country. It is known that in some countries, blocked bank account is the only financial proof that is accepted. Therefore, it is crucial that you contact the German Embassy in your home Country.
A blocked account is an account that is subject to foreign exchange controls in a country that restricts the amount of its currency that can be transferred to other countries or exchanged into other currencies. In short it is an account, which is not freely accessible to the account holder And, to prove adequate meansoften requires a blocked account.
There are several banks, some online, that provide this service. Some are directly recommended by the Embassies or the third-party agents who act as liaison between the applicant and the Embassy. A quick internet search is also be helpful to find out, which banks provides this service.
When you receive your visa, you will notice that it is only valid for 90/180 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 Foreigners´ Registration Office Berlin after your arrival in Berlin. For more information about the German residence permit application in Berlin, please click here.
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.
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.