German Student Visa - Requirements, Fee, Processing Time, Residence Permit

by ashmita.tamta

Do you need a German student visa?

Applicants within the European Union (EU), Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, and Liechtenstein: No German student visa required.

Applicants from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Japan, South Korea: Do not need a visa to study in Germany. However, you will need a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) within two weeks of arrival in the country.

Other non-EU nationals: Student visa for Germany is mandatory.

Types of Student Visas

Schengen VisaNational Visa
For studying in Germany for less than 90 daysFor studying in Germany for more than 90 days
Permits you to stay in Germany for 90 days.Need to obtain a resident permit to stay in the country.

Types of German National Visas for Study Purposes

  • Language Course Visa (Visa for Language Learning)

For the purpose of participating in short German language courses lasting for 3 months up to 1 year.

  • Student Applicant Visa (Visum Zur Studienbewerbung)

If you want to study in Germany and have decent prospects for admission but are still have not been confirmed admission. This visa allows you to stay in Germany for three months to look for a university program in the country.

  • Student Visa (Visum Zu Studienzwecken)

If you have already been confirmed admission in a German university.

German Student Visa Process

When to Apply?

The German student visa processing time is usually around 25 days. Apply at least three months before you move to the country. To do this, contact the local German embassy or consulate in your home country in person.

Also, it is mandatory for all applicants to be physically present at the German Embassy when the application is being filed.

German Student Visa Checklist

  • A duly-filled application form with a cover letter stating the purpose and duration of your stay
  • A valid passport
  • Two recent photographs
  • Acceptance letter from a German university
  • Transcript of academic record
  • A certificate of German language proficiency/a proof that you intend on pursuing a language course in Germany (Ph.D. applicants and Erasmus Mundus Scholarship holders are exempted.)
  • Proof of valid private or public health insurance
  • Declaration of the authenticity of documents submitted
  • May also need a proof of not having a criminal record and/or free of certain diseases..
  • A proof of your financial means to study in Germany (EUR 8,700 per year)

Note: To prove your financial standing, deposit a security amount into a blocked account which you cannot withdraw until after you arrive in Germany.

Avoid submitting original documents with your visa application. Hand over certified photocopies instead.

Student Visa Fees

  • Remit the visa fees by a bank transfer.
  • The money order must be drawn in favor of the consulate in your home country and must not be older than two months.
  • Cheques or credit cards are not accepted.
  • Visa fee will not be reimbursed if your visa application is rejected.
Schengen visasEUR 60
National visaEUR 75

German Dependent Visa

International students are allowed to bring their marriage partners and unmarried minors with them to Germany.

Students from countries that do not belong to the EU or the EEA need to provide a proof that there is sufficient living space for their dependent members in Germany and that the family is financially capable.

  • Request a written confirmation from the host university or institute in Germany.
  • Your spouse and/or family members accompanying you will need to apply for a long-stay visa(s) individually.
  • Start the dependent visa application process as early as possible.

The dependent visa fee for adults is USD 70 and for children, it ranges from USD 34 - USD 40.

German Residence Permit

  • Along with a student visa, you must apply for a residence permit for study purposes.
  • A residence permit is valid for two years.
  • Should be renewed before it expires.

How to Apply?

Register with the local Alien Registration Office (Bürgeramt or Einwohnermeldeamt) within two weeks of arrival.

German Residence Permit Requirements

  • Health insurance certificate
  • Certificate of acceptance from your university
  • Proof of sufficient finances
  • Valid passport
  • Current student visa (if you have one)
  • Health certificate (if applicable)
  • Tenancy agreement (if applicable)
  • Biometric passport photos (if applicable)
  • Residence permit fee
  • Proof of language proficiency (not mandatory)

International students may need to provide:

  • TestDaf or DSH score - For courses taught in German
  • TOEFL or IELTS score - For courses taught in English
Cost of residence permitEUR 100
Fee for each extensionEUR 96

Rejection of German Student Visa

The acceptance rate of German student visa is 92 percent which is more than the United States (80 percent) and the United Kingdom (85 percent). Despite a high acceptance rate, the country can reject a student visa application for the reasons stated below.

  • Weak Financial Background
  • Unsatisfactory Academic Record
  • Insufficient Language Skills (German and/or English)
  • Inconsistent Choice of Study Programs
  • Lack of Preparation of Your Interview

If you appeared for a visa interview, you can request the visa officer for the reason of rejection. In case, you were not called for the interview, you will receive a document stating the grounds for declination.

The German embassy lets you reapply if your visa was declined the first time. You can rectify the reasons and reapply with a German student visa fee of USD 70. The processing of your application may take around 25 days.

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