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    Germany Student Visa - Checklist, Requirements, Application, Fees, and Processing Time

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    Vaishnavi Agrawal

    Study Abroad Expert


    Applying for a Germany Student visa is a relatively streamlined process with fewer errors and delays, provided the applicant’s visa application is complete and the interview went well. With a reasonable cost of living and tuition-free education at public universities, Germany offers a true gem of experience to international students willing to study in Germany. 

    Most international students, specifically 37% of the foreign students, study Engineering in Germany. The second most preferred study fields for international students are Law, Economics, and Social Sciences with 27% of students seeking a degree at one of these study fields.

    Why do you need a Germany Student Visa?

    There are two important things you must take care of before applying for the Germany student visa, which is the last part before leaving the home country - Getting Blocked Account done and Getting Travel Insurance. 

    Keep in mind that the incomplete visa application can be refused. Check - Reasons for Germany Student Visa rejection

    Germany Student Visa is available in the following forms-

    • Programs that last up to 3 months, the applicant must apply for a Schengen Visa (short-stay visa).
    • Programs that last more than 3 months, applicants must apply for a German National Visa.

    A German Student Visa is necessary for all international students who wish to study in Germany, with the exception of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), and Swiss nationals who can do so without a visa. 

    Even the national visa grants you the right to remain in Germany for the initial 3 months of a course. During this period, you are required to apply for a residence permit to extend your stay in Germany. You should do this while your entry visa is still valid. The maximum period you’ll be receiving through such a residence permit is 2 years. You’ll also be given an opportunity to extend the residence permit, depending on the length of your studies.

    Types of German National Visas for Study Purposes

    The student visa in Germany is issued for a range of study levels and degrees. This also covers participation in a pre-academic measure or in a non-academic German language course.

    There are three types of Germany student visas you can apply for:

    • German Student Visa (Visum Zur Studienzwecken) - This is the standard student visa for international students who have already been admitted to one of the German universities and are ready to start their studies at a full-time university program.
    • German Student Applicant Visa (Visum Zur Studienbewerbung) - You need this visa if you need to be in Germany to apply for university admission in person. This visa doesn’t allow you to study in Germany, it’s only valid for the university application process.
    • German Language Course Visa - You need this type of visa to study for a German language course that lasts between three months and one year.

    Cost of a Germany Student Visa

    The fee for the Germany student visa application is 75 EURO. Student applicants have to pay the visa fees by a bank transfer. Cheques or credit cards are not accepted. The money order must be in the name of the Embassy/Consulate in your home country and not older than two months.

    Note that you will not get reimbursed for the visa fee if your application for a student visa gets rejected.

    Germany Student Visa Process

    When to apply?

    The best time to apply for a German student visa is immediately after receiving the university letter of admission and securing the necessary funds to live and study in Germany.

    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.

    Germany Student Visa Checklist

    It is mandatory to include all the required documents in your visa application. The decision about your application is based on the information and the supporting documents you provide. These documents have to be sent as originals, with two photocopies of each.

    Here is a checklist of the required documents to apply for a German student visa:

    1. A duly-filled application form 
    2. A smart cover letter stating the purpose and duration of your stay. You will have to express the reason for choosing the specific university, study program. Mention also your study and future plans and how these studies will be improving your career and life.
    3. Valid national passport. (It must have three more months of validity on the day you leave Germany)
    4. Two photocopies of your passport.
    5. Three recently taken biometric portrait photographs. (Strict requirements)
    6. Your certificate of birth.
    7. Covered health insurance- It must have coverage of at least 30,000 EUR and it must be valid for at least 3 months. 
    8. Letter of Admission into a study program from the German University
    9. Proof of Payment to the college/university
    10. Evidence of your earlier education.
      • Original school-leaving certificate.
      • Degree certificate. (If you’re entering Master or Ph.D. studies).
    11. Proof of Financial Resources to support your stay in Germany (Blocked Account Paper, preferably)
    12. Scores of Language Tests in Germany (Proof of German if you are applying for a course taught in German only)
    13. Travel Health Insurance

    NOTE- Be cautious about your passport validity- it needs to be valid for your entire period of stay, including the expected extended period. Do not stick your photographs in the visa application form.

    How to prove your Financial Resources in the Visa Application?

    You are also required to send any one of the following proof of Financial Resources Finanzieruungsnachweis”, in addition to the above checklist. 

    The evidence you provide must show you have enough money to cover living, accommodation, and study costs.

    • Blocked bank account- One of the easiest and the fastest ways to open a German Blocked Account is through Fintiba/Sutor Bank. The blocked account provided by Fintiba is accepted by German embassies/consulates all around the world. 
    • Letter of commitment by a local resident: A person living in Germany, showing they’ll be covering your accommodation and/or other living costs while you’ll be here.
    • Letter of a declaration by a parent: It has to show their commitment to support you financially during your stay here. It must be supplemented by their bank statements of the latest 6 months.
    • Scholarship awarding certificate: It must show you as a receiver and the amount of financial coverage granted to you by this scholarship.

    IMPORTANT TIP-

    To increase your chances of getting accepted for a Germany Student Visa, you should use a blocked account as proof of Financial Resources.

    A blocked account is a special type of bank account for international students in Germany, to prove you have enough funds to live in Germany for one year during your studies.

    As of 2020, it is estimated that a foreign student in Germany will spend an average of 853 euros per month at a minimum for living expenses. So, you need to have 10,236 EUR in your bank account before applying for a German student visa.

    What are the scores required for Language Proficiency Tests?

    Most of the international study courses in Germany are covered by the English language, as a language of instruction. An international study program in Germany, compared to other study courses, commonly requires a very basic command of German language or no command at all. 

    You are required to submit a Proof of German language proficiency for German-only and mixed-language study programs. You may present a certificate for passing one of the following recognized German language tests-

    • German Language University Entrance Examination for International Applicants (DSH).
    • Test of German as a Foreign Language (TestDaF).
    • Goethe Institute of German Language Diploma (GDS).
    • German Language Diploma of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, Level II (DSD).

    Proof of English language proficiency is mandatory for English and mixed-language study programs. You can either submit an IELTS score or your TOEFL score-

    Tests Accepted Score Required
    TOEFL PBT 550
    TOEFL CBT 213
    TOEFL iBT 79 - 80
    IELTS 5 - 6.5 overall

    What steps do I need to follow while applying?

    1. Prepare your visa application. Make sure you have everything from the checklist discussed above.
    2. Make an Appointment - It is mandatory that you book an appointment before you can go to the Application center to submit your documents for a German student visa. All visa applications are accepted only if you have made a prior appointment.
    3. Visit the Application Center- Get your appointment letter verified and get a token issued. Please be on time, the embassy may not be able to process your visa request if you are late for more than 10 minutes.
    4. Submit the Visa Application- The submission process is generally completed in 10 minutes. Make sure you submit all the documents at the center after verification.
    5. Enter the correct information in your visa application- Make sure you verify all the details and sign the form. After you pay for the visa you will be issued a receipt which you have to keep in order to collect your processed application.
    6. Biometric Data- A quick process that captures a 10-digit fingerprint scan with a digital finger scanner. This will usually take 7-8 minutes per applicant.

    Free higher education, world-class professors, and countless job opportunities after graduation are the main reasons why international students choose Germany.

    Ques- What can and cannot be done while having a valid Germany Student Visa?

    Ans. As a holder of a valid Germany student visa, you can apply for the extension of the student residence permit, get a part-time job, and apply for a residence permit for job-seeking after graduation. However, as a holder of the German student visa, you cannot get a full-time job or miss out on your classes at a German university.

    Ques- How to get a Student Residence Permit in Germany?

    Ans. Along with a student visa, you must apply for a residence permit for study purposes. A residence permit is valid for two years and should be renewed before it expires. You must register for the residence permit with the local Alien Registration Office (Bürgeramt or Einwohnermeldeamt) within two weeks of arrival. Rental contract, your photographs, your passport, permanent address proof in Germany, proof of finances, proof of being admitted in the German University, and the application fee of 100 EUR is required to apply for the residence permit.

    Ques- What is the university conditional admission confirmation letter?

    Ans. It is a decision taken by the university admission office after you apply, but that conditions you to complete a few more requirements before you become a student of that university officially.This may usually include participation in preparatory measures and/or passing specific pre-academic tests.

    Ques- Am I allowed to bring my spouse or a dependent minor?

    Ans. 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 proof that there is sufficient living space for their dependent members in Germany and that the family is financially capable. The dependent visa fee for adults is USD 70 and for children, it ranges from USD 34 - USD 40.

    Ques- Can I get some tips for my visa interview preparation?

    Ans. We recommend you to visit the webpage of your university and keep notes of key features about its so-far activity, including the statistics. Remembering numerical data to justify why you wantto pursue education in Germnay rather than in Canada or the US will add an extra value to your seriousness as a prospective student.