Germany Student Visa – Germany is one of the top study abroad destinations in the world. 46 of its universities are ranked globally based on QS World University Rankings. According to recent international student surveys, around 40% of students get attracted to studying in Germany because of the low or no tuition fees at German Universities. Most international students would need a student visa to pursue any studies in Germany.
In this article, know about Germany student visa types, application process, visa fees, scheduling an appointment and much more.
Germany Student Visa – Visa types and Application Form
You will be issued a German student visa for studies for a range of study levels and degrees including undergraduate, exchange, graduate, or postgraduate studies after your application is approved.
Generally, there are three types of visa you can apply to study in Germany:
1. German student visa – Normal student visa to pursue UG or PG courses in German Universities.
2. German student applicant visa – You need this visa if you need to be in Germany to apply for university admission in person. If you have not yet been accepted to study at a German university then you may consider applying for a student applicant visa. This allows you to stay in Germany for 3 months in order to look for a university program.
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Germany Student Visa – Application Procedure
Applying for a Germany students visa can turn out to be a troublesome process for many students. Thus, to help you with the application procedure, here is a step-wise description for the same. Follow the steps given below to apply:
1. Locate German Embassy nearby.
2. Go to German Embassy website and find student visa section to review all the specific requirements for your country and the procedures to set up a visa appointment.
3. Set up a visa appointment by following the steps described on the official website of the German embassy in your country.
4. Once the appointment is approved then double check all your documents so that you don’t miss out any documents to be presented before the visa officer.
5. You should pay the visa application fee of EUR 60.00 – EUR 75.00 and have the payment confirmation with you at the time of your visa interview. This fee is non-refundable if your visa is rejected.
6. Prepare for the visa interview.
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Germany Student Visa – Key Documents Required
The following documents have to be submitted online while applying for a German student visa:
Visa Application Documents
- Duly filled out and signed national visa application form
- Valid national passport
- Two photocopies of your passport
- Certificate of birth
- Marriage certificate (if applicable)
- Child’s certificate of birth (if applicable)
- Recent passport-style photographs
- Photocopies of previous German residence titles (if any)
- Previous Schengen visa (if any)
- Previous German resident permit (if obtained)
The students also need to provide proof of finance and university admission at the time of visa application. They also need to provide Certificate of German Language course and University Entrance Qualification.
To show proof of finances, following documents must be presented:
- EUR 10,236 deposit confirmation at a German blocked bank account
- Letter of commitment and evidence of your parent’s income records
- Letter of commitment by a German resident “Verpflichtungserklärung”. It should be taken by the German resident who is going to cover your costs during your studies
- Scholarship awarding certificate (if any)
- Bank guarantee issued to you by a recognized German bank
Proof of University Admission
Students would need to have a confirmation of admission in studies called “Zulassungsbescheid” issued by a recognized higher education provider in Germany. This confirmation certificate should mention study duration and taught language.
They should also show proof of conditional admission “Bedingter Zulassungsbescheid” and a confirmed intensive course named as “Intensiv–Sprachkurs”. The letter must show that you have a confirmed position to participate in an intensive language course before getting the final university admission. The course must be of more than 6 months, with not less than 18 hours of lessons in a week. You should have your original school leaving certificate and degree certificates.
The German law requires everyone in Germany to have insurance, including foreign students. International students in Germany must get a good health insurance plan for better chances of getting their student visa approved.
There are two types of health insurance in Germany:
1. Compulsory health insurance (public)
2. Private health insurance
Every student is required to have an insurance plan in Germany, but depending on where they come from, they might be eligible to use the plan they already have in their home country.
Germany Student Visa – Cost
German student visa costs up to EUR 75 and the students have to pay the visa fee via bank transfer. Cheques or credit cards are not acceptable.
Germany Student Visa – Processing Time
The processing of a Germany students visa takes up to 6-12 weeks of time. Short term study visa application might take up to 15-30 days of time. The students are advised to plan their visa application accordingly.
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Germany Student Visa – Appointment at Visa Application Centre
Once your visa application is ready for submission, you will need to book an appointment to have your fingerprints and photo taken at a Visa Application Centre. This is known as ‘biometric information’.
Germany Student Visa – Visa Interview
German student visa interview is a vital part of the whole process of applying to study in Germany. Personal and professional questions are asked during the interview. Students must know why they want to study in Germany, they must be aware of their current academic skills and financial status, accommodation in Germany, plans for future, basics of German language etc.
They may be asked the following questions during visa interview:
1. Why do you want to study in Germany?
2. Why did you choose the particular course to study in Germany? Is it relevant to the previous study you have pursued in your home country?
3. How did you know about the university you have applied?
4. What is your motivation to study in Germany?
5. How good is your German language skill?
6. What do you know about the particular university you are applying for? Where is it located? Information about German city.
7. What is your intended travel date?
8. What was your GPA in your last passed degree course? What are your IELTS scores?
9. How are you going to fund your study?
Germany Student Visa – Checklist 2019-20
Students applying for studying in Germany should follow the checklist and arrange the following before submitting visa application:
Documents to be prepared before visa submission
- Valid passport
- 1 copy of passport’s data page (A4 size copy)
- 3 passport pictures according to biometric specifications
- Cover letter from the applicant explaining the exact purpose and duration of stay
- Letter of admission from German university
- Proof of payment of study fees, if applicable
- Proof of language proficiency in English and/or German
- Proof of other academic qualifications
Proof of financial means to cover the costs for the time of your studies:
1. Scholarship or stipend confirmation or
2. “Verpflichtungserklärung” (formal obligation letter) by sponsor living in Germany
- Travel insurance
- Two sets of application along with original documents
When applying for a visa, you must be able to show your living costs by opening a blocked bank account. You can choose a bank account provider of your choice for opening this account. From August 2019, you will not be able to withdraw more than EUR 853 per month from this blocked account. You should have access to sufficient financial means to afford your studies in Germany. German consulate has the right to approve or reject your application.
Germany Student Visa – Applying for Residence Permit
Once you have arrived in Germany, you need to visit the local registration office within two weeks. Here you have to present your visa, passport and admission letter from the university along with other documents to get converted into a residence permit which will allow you to pursue your studies (in case its a degree course or diploma, generally these courses have a duration more than 6 months period). Generally, the residence permit approved to a foreign student is valid for two years, and, if needed, should be renewed before it expires. Residence permits initially cost EUR 100 with a fee of up to EUR 96 for each extension.
Germany Student Visa – FAQ
Q. What is the difference between German student visa and Schengen visa?
A. German student visa allows international students to pursue study programs in Germany for the said time-frame. Schengen visa allows foreigners to travel and stay for 90 days in Germany.
Q. How long does it take to get Germany Student Visa?
A. It takes 6-12 weeks of time to get your student visa processed.
Q. How long can you stay in Germany with a student visa?
A. Within the first two weeks, you need to apply for the residence permit (by visiting local registration office) which will allow you to stay as long as the course demands for.
Q. Do international students get jobs post studies in Germany?
A. Yes, there are plenty of jobs available in the German job market for eg. in areas of Engineering, Biomedical Research, Business etc. You need to apply for work visa after completing your studies in Germany. Student visa will not allow to work for full time job.