For students from the EU and from Iceland, Norway, Switzerland or Liechtenstein, it is only necessary to have an identity card to enter Germany. It is not necessary to have a student visa.
Students from Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea, and the USA can apply for their visa after having arrived in Germany. For students from other countries, it is necessary to apply for a student visa before coming to Germany.
If staying less than 90 days in Germany, there are even more regulations. Citizens from certain countries can enter Germany for 90 days without a visa. These are Venezuela, Vatican City, Uruguay, Singapore, Seychelles, Paraguay, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, Mauritius, Malaysia, Macau, Croatia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Chile, Brunei, Brazil, Bolivia, Bermuda, Barbados, Bahamas, and Argentina.
Visit the website of the German Federal Foreign Office for the latest visa requirements for all countries.
There are three types of visa for study purposes in Germany:
- Language Course Visa (Visa for Language Learning) – the perfect option for those that want to learn the German language in Germany.
- Student Applicant Visa (Visum Zur Studienbewerbung) – if you want to study in Germany, but are still trying to find the right program or you still haven’t got the confirmation letter from your University.
- Student Visa (Visum Zu Studienzwecken) – if you have already been accepted to a German university.
You will need to apply for your visa at the German embassy or consulate in your home country. First, you need to schedule an appointment for a visa interview. On the day of the interview, you should offer your visa application documents. You will typically need a letter showing you’ve been accepted by a German university, a certificate of German language proficiency or proof that you intend on attending a language course in Germany (if studying in German), proof of sufficient funds to support yourself while living in Germany, and health insurance, among others.
The processing time for a Germany long-stay study visa may take 6-12 weeks from the application day. Short-stay study visas are usually decided within 15-30 days by the German missions abroad. In any case, you should apply as soon as possible, and at least three months before your move to Germany.
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