From the preparations to the application forms: This step-by-step guide shows you how to get a visa for studying.
Would you like to study in Germany? A German degree opens many doors. There is a wide range of international study programmes and fees are low. For this purpose, obtaining a visa to study in Germany is a great option. A residence permit in accordance with Section 16(b) AufenthG (German Residence Act) also applies to preparatory measures taken prior to attending a higher education institution, such as language courses, attending preparatory colleges or similar facilities or doctoral studies as part of a full-time program at a German higher education institution.
To find out whether you require a visa to enter Germany, see Who Needs a Visa?.
What are the requirements to receive a visa for studying?
- You have been accepted to an officially recognised higher education institution in Germany. To learn about how to apply to study at a German university, see Study.
- You can provide proof of a secondary school diploma enabling you to study at a higher education institution or proof of a recognised degree or diploma from a higher education institution.
- You can cover your costs of living for the duration of your studies. This can be done by way of a blocked account (with at least €11,208 per year as of 2023), a scholarship or a Declaration of Commitment.
- You might be required to provide proof of the language skills to the German Embassy or Consulate depending on the admission requirements for your study programme. If you are required to provide proof of your German language skills, you will generally have to be at a minimum level of B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
Do you meet these requirements? Learn about the procedure for the entry and visa process.
What opportunities does the visa for studying offer?
The residence permit for study purposes can be issued for a minimum of one year and a maximum of two years. If you have not obtained your degree within this time, you can request to have your residence permit extended.
Throughout your studies, you may work 120 full days or 240 half days, in addition to performing student jobs.
Staying in Germany after obtaining your degree
After successfully obtaining your degree, you can extend your stay in Germany by applying for a residence permit for jobseekers in accordance with Section 20 (3) no. 1 AufenthG (German Residence Act). The residence permit is issued for up to 18 months as a means to find qualified employment in Germany. You are allowed to perform any job while searching for qualified employment. As soon as you have received a job offer, you can apply to have your residence permit for study purposes converted into a work permit for qualified professionals or into an EU Blue Card. Further information regarding the options available to you while studying in Germany and after obtaining your degree can be found in the Prospects After Graduating section.