Depending on where you are from and how long you plan to stay in Germany, you may need a visa. It is important to know that you do not necessarily need a letter of admission to apply for a visa, since there are different types of visa.
Do I need a visa?
If you are from the European Union, the European Economic Area, or Switzerland, you do not need a visa to enter and study here. If this is not the case, you need to apply for one. Visit the website of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs for more details on your country.
How long does it take to get a visa?
First of all, you need an appointment at the German embassy in your home country, whereby the waiting time for online appointments is up to three months. After your appointment, the visa needs to be processed, which can take another 8–10 weeks. Be sure to apply well ahead of the start of your studies!
1) If you did not receive your notification yet
You should apply to the prospective student visa (“Visum zur Studienbewerbung”) which is valid for three months and gives you time to meet the requirements of German universities and receive your notification of admission. This type of visa can also be extended up to six months, if you need more time to fulfil the requirements for a student visa.
What documents do I need for my visa application?
The following documents are usually required fir visa application. The German Diplomatic Mission in your home country or our partner Fintiba will give you more information about additional documents:
– Valid passport
– Proof of health insurance
– Proof of financial resources (e.g. blocked account)
– certificates of previous academic education
– Proof of language proficiency (German or English, depending on your chosen study program)
– University admission letter
For prospective student visa:
university entrance qualification recognised in Germany and proof of submitting university application/language school registration
For student visa:
letter of acceptance from German university
Good to know:
Apply for the correct visa!
Be aware that tourist and language course visas cannot be converted into a (prospective) student visa later on, which is why you would have to leave country.
Apply early enough!
Getting your visa can take up to several months, which is why you have to submit your visa application early enough. Without a valid visa, you will not be able to enter the country.
Be sure that your passport is valid!
Your passport has to be valid for the whole length of your stay. Otherwise you will have to return to your home country and extend it there, if it expires during your time in Germany.
Consult our partner Fintiba or the German Diplomatic Mission in your home country, since there may be special regulations and documents needed in your home country.