Young Student applying for an Visa

German Student Visa

A German Student Visa is necessary for all non-EU, non-EEA, or non-Swiss citizens. There are three types of visa; the standard Student Visa, a Student Applicant Visa and a Language Course Visa. It’s important that you understand everything that is required for the visa before you begin your application, which is what we will look to in this article. Learn more about the required documents, the visa fee and the duration.

What is a German Student Visa?

Learn everything you need to know about the Student Visa for Germany.

A German Student Visa is necessary for all international students who wish to study in Germany, with the exception of EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals who can do so without a visa. The visa grants you the right to remain in Germany for the duration of your course. A German Student Visa is not particularly costly, but it does require you to jump some bureaucratic hurdles before it will be granted. It could also require a visit to your German consulate.

It’s important to understand that there are three types of Student Visa:

  • The main German Student Visa (Visum Zur Studienzwecken) which is for those who have already been accepted onto a university course
  • Language Course Visa for those accepted onto a language preparatory course that lasts between three months and one year
  • Student Applicant Visa (Visum Zur Studienbewerbung), which is for those who haven’t chosen their course yet or who are still awaiting confirmation of acceptance.

Get your Student Visa Step by Step

Health Insurance

Everyone who comes to Germany for work oder studies needs to register for healthcare insurance.

Funds

You’ll need to prove you have the funds to cover living costs for one year or the duration of your stay.

Qualifications

You will need to supply your high school diploma or equivalent.

Visa paperwork

2x biometric photos, your passport, photocopy of passport and visa application filled out.

Language Skills

Depending on whether you are doing a German or English-taught course you’ll need to prove you have a grasp of the language.

Acceptance

You’ll need to provide proof of acceptance onto your university course.

How much is a German student visa fee?

The Student Visa fee is 75 €.

Is ielts necessary for Germany student visa?

Those undertaking a degree course that is taught in English may need to prove they have a sufficient level of English via an ielts English language test.

If you are undertaking a German-taught degree course, then it is possible to apply for a Germany student visa without ielts, but instead you may need proof of sufficient German via a TestDaf score.

How long does it take to get a student visa for Germany?

the German Student Visa processing time is typically around 6–12 weeks, although it can take up to 4 months in some instances.

 

Student Applicant Visa

The Student Applicant Visa is necessary for those who have still not decided on the course they want to apply for or have still not received confirmation of their place, but in either case, they are ready to move to Germany.

Sometimes referred to as the Prospective Student Visa, this visa allows students applying to German universities to enter and stay in Germany. Unlike a student visa, which may be granted for up to four years, a Student Applicant Visa is valid for three months, but it can be extended to up to nine months. If you haven’t been accepted onto a course after nine months, you will need to return home.

Once you have been accepted onto a course, it’s important to make your application for a Student Visa. You do not need to leave Germany to apply for the Student Visa.

Requirements for a German Student Visa

To apply for a German Visa, you will need the following documents:

  • Proof of your acceptance on the course
  • Evidence of existing qualifications (high school diploma)
  • a passport, passport photos and photocopies of your passport
  • Proof of funds (via a blocked account) or proof that your costs will be covered by your parents
  • Evidence of health insurance.

Make sure you have considered the living costs and that you have found a way to cover them (i.e. from parents) or are able to deposit the amount to cover you for one year in a blocked account. You may be able to get additional funds through a scholarship from your home country or possibly even a student loan.

Existing Funds for Student Visa

Although you are permitted to work up to 120 days a year on a student visa, you cannot include this as your proof of funds when applying for your visa. At Expatrio, we can help you set up a blocked account for proving your existing funds before moving to Germany.

It is mandatory by law for all residents in Germany to have health insurance, and you will need proof that you have registered for healthcare insurance before you apply for your Student Visa. Students over 30 have the choice of registering for private or public health insurance.

Those under 30 have to take out public healthcare insurance, but they can enjoy a discounted rate (EUR 80. 41 a month). Expatrio’s health insurance partner, the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), is one of the biggest public healthcare providers in Germany, and the Nr. 1 provider for international students.

We can help you register for healthcare cover with TK before you make your visa application. You can find out more about this on our Healthcare for International Students page.

Application Process

How can I get a student visa for Germany?

You need to begin your student visa application around four months before the start date of your course. This should provide enough time to make an appointment, do the necessary paperwork, attend the interview, and wait the 6–12 weeks for your visa to be processed.

The process to obtain your visa involves liaising with the German consulate in your country, ensuring you have filled out all forms correctly, and having the necessary documents prepared.

Step one: Make an appointment with the German consulate

You will need to attend an interview at the German consulate in your home country in order to be accepted for a student visa. Because these appointments get booked up in advance, you need to do this in good time. After you have made the appointment, go through the following steps and ensure they are all completed by the time you attend the interview.

Step two: Set up a Blocked Account

A blocked account is a type of German bank account for international students to prove they have the funds to cover their costs of living during their studies. Because the average cost of living for a student in Germany is 720 € a month, you will need to have an account with a balance of at least 8,640 € (12 months of living costs). See Expatrio’s Blocked Accounts service page to start the process of setting up an account quickly, easily, and safely online.

Step three: Apply for health insurance

Make sure you are registered for health insurance and have proof of this cover that is valid in Germany (in almost all cases, this will have to be with a German provider). You can start the registration process with one of Germany’s top providers, the Techniker Krankenkasse, on Expatrio’s Health Insurance service page today.

Step Four: Fill in the application form

This can be downloaded from your nearest German consulate’s website. When you fill the application form out, take care to check you have included everything that is asked. Ask a friend or family member to go over it for you to check you haven’t missed anything. An incomplete form can result in a refusal of the visa.

Step five: Check you have all the documents ready

Ahead of your appointment with the consulate, ensure you now have all documents ready with a Germany Student Visa checklist. This includes your health insurance, passport, copies of passport, passport photos, high school certificate, course acceptance letter, birth certificate, proof of blocked account or funds, and the correctly filled out application form itself.

Tips for your Student Visa application

To sum up, here are some tips for your visa application.

  • It’s often worth seeking expert advice when it comes to applying for a student visa. Expatrio can offer individual support and advice to those applying for a German Student Visas. Expatrio can also help you with registering with public health insurance and setting up a blocked account.
  • Check your passport has enough validity on it. You will not be granted for a visa if your passport is going to run out during the course of your studies. It may, therefore, be necessary to renew your passport before you apply for your visa, even if it still has two years left on it.
  • Draw up a well-researched Germany student visa checklist, with all the documents you’ll need and the timelines involved. This will mean you are less likely to miss anything important, and the visa is more likely to be accepted. Any problems with your documents can cause a delay in the processing of the visa.
  • Do not confuse having a student visa with having a resident’s permit (Aufenthaltstitel). If a residency permit is what you need, check our German Permanent Residency Permit page.
  • UK residents may need to apply for a student visa to study in Germany when the United Kingdom exits from the European Union. Those from the UK looking to move to Germany should keep a close eye on Brexit developments.