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If you intend to study in Germany, you are going to need a student visa although that will depend on some factors. The question of whether you need one will be addressed in this publication.
Germany is popularly known as a leader when it comes to manufacturing high-quality machinery and equipment. The country is not only known for innovation but has also earned a bragging right to education. It is also a country where students irrespective of where they come from can enjoy free education.
1 Do I need a Student Visa to Study in Germany?
Non-EU students will need a Student visa to study in Germany. Depending on certain factors, you could receive either a Schengen visa or a National visa.
However, If you’re a citizen of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland, all you need to enter the country is a valid ID card or a similar document. Easy as that!
2 Requirements for German Student Visa
- Confirmation of admission into a Germany-based university. A letter of acceptance or letter of offer would do.
- Students must have sufficient funds to take care of the cost of their education.
- Visa application application fee payable to the embassy or consulate.
3 What is the cost of the German Visa application?
The cost of a German student visa is 75€ for students who are over 18 years old at the time of application. Minors, that is students under 18 will pay 37.5€.
The fees are to be paid in your local currency and it is non-refundable.
4 How Do I Apply for a German Student Visa?
Applying for a German student visa is not as difficult as most people make it. It is quite straightforward although the process might differ a little in some countries. However, they are almost the same. Follow the guide below to get a Student Visa for Germany:
1. Get an acceptance letter from a university in Germany
The first ideal routine is to find a list of Germany-based universities online and carefully select the one(s) you intend to study there and apply for admission.
You must be accepted by a German University. The confirmation document will be a letter of acceptance given to you by the school which you will need as part of the documents required to process a student visa.
2. Determine the type of Student Visa you need
There are several factors that may come into play to decide if you need a student visa or not. Sometimes, you might even need a residence permit depending on the country you hailed from and how long you intend to stay.
There are two major types, Schengen and National Visa as already discussed. The Schengen visa is usually issued if you are spending 90 days but for longer study, a national visa will be issued which is the most common one usually applied for. These visas are for Non-EU citizens.
If you are a citizen of EU countries, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Iceland, you won’t need a student visa or residence permit.
Citizens of Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea or the US are also allowed to enter Germany provided they are only there for not more than 90 days. If it is more, they will need to obtain a residence permit.
3. Collect all the necessary documents
Before applying, you should get ready all the documents you will need for the visa application. According to the state government, below are the documents you are to provide copies or originals for sightseeing:
- Two completely filled-out application forms.
- Valid passport with at least six months validity.
- Other valid and expired passports.
- Two recent biometric passport photos (35 x 45mm) with a light background. One must be affixed to the application form and one attached loosely.
- School reports from your home country.
- Acceptance letter from a German university.
- If applicable, evidence of further studies, internships, or employment up to the present time.
- Certificate of English or German language proficiency.
- Higher education entrance qualification
- CV with details about your acquired diplomas, references, and certificates
- Computer-written, personally signed letter of motivation
- Proof of financial resources (a blocked account with a minimum balance of €934 per month for the first year or valid proof)
- If a minor, parents’ passport, and a signed letter that parents consent to it.
Note: The German Consulate may ask you to provide more.
4. Begin your Visa application
You can now begin your registration. To begin, you will need to set up a visa appointment. This can be achieved by reaching out through the contact details of the German embassy in your country. Google is your best plug for that, you just need to get the details.
It is very important to set it up early as there may be several applicants ahead of you. Go along with all necessary documents and have some important ones attached to your email or storage in the event you might need them. Before the appointment, you can request that the visa application form be sent to you in PDF via email which you can complete before going to the embassy or consulate.
The visa application fee will be received there and will be followed by your interview. This is usually a one-day setting.
5. Obtain Student Residence Permit
If you are a citizen of a non-EU country, you will need to apply for a residence permit upon entering the country. In most cases, whether you need one will depend on the country you are from but this is usually mandatory for non-EU citizens.
Students from Canada, US, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Britain, or Israel will also need to obtain residence permit if they will be spending more than 90 days in the country.
Upon entering Germany, the first thing is to get your permanent accommodation. After, proceed to the residents’ registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) to apply. Take along your passport, rental contract, and letter or payment confirming your address. Meanwhile, the office is usually within the citizens’ office (Bürgerbüro) of the local town hall, municipal building, or city administration.
EU students are also to go to the office with their valid ID, a letter confirming their living address, and a rental contract to get a document confirming their right to live and study in Germany.
5 When To Apply For a German Student Visa?
The best time to apply is immediately after receiving a letter of offer/acceptance or confirmation from the German school. This will give you enough to set things in motion.
Never think you have enough time. Visa processing at times can take 1 to 3 months depending on the country you live in. Starting early is the key to setting things fast.
6 Can I Work With a German Student Visa?
Yes, you can work as an International student in Germany but only for 20 hours per week during studies and 40 hours while on break and that is if you are a citizen of an EU country.
Students from non-EU can work in Germany while pursuing their studies, with a limit of 120 full days or 240 half days per year.
To work more hours, you need to get approval from the Employment Agency and the Immigration Office.