Germany Visas and Residence Permits

Planning Your Studies in Germany Visa and Residence Permits

Who needs a Germany visa for studies?
The numbers of foreign people choosing Germany for their abroad studies are increasingly growing each year. Most international students will likely need to get a German student visa at a German consulate in their country before they can come to Germany to study.
Depending on the country you come from, you might be exempt from needing a visa to study in Germany, but you are still required to obtain a residence permit for studies lasting more than 90 days, once you arrive in Germany.
Do I need a Schengen Visa or a National Visa for studying in Germany?

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For studies that last up to 3 months, you need a Schengen visa.
For studies that last more than 3 months, you need a German national visa

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If you enter Germany with a national visa you have to extend your stay by getting a German residence permit for studies at the Foreigner’s Office. You should do this while your entry visa is still valid.
The first thing you’ve got to do is to find out if you need a visa to study in Germany as an international student, and if you do, what type of visa you need to apply for considering the length and nature of your planned studies.
Types of Germany Study Visas
You may be issued a Germany visa for studies for a range of study levels and degrees. This includes undergraduate, exchange, graduate, or postgraduate studies. 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 Language Course Visa. You need this type of visa to study for a German language course in Germany.
German Student Applicant Visa. 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 Student Visa. This is the standard student visa for international students who have been admitted to a German university and are ready to start their studies at a full-time university program.

There’s a wide range of levels and types of studies for which you might need to get a visa.
Here are the activities for which a Germany visa for studies can be issued:

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Non-academic language course studies. A course lasting 3 – 12 months, with at least 18 hours of lessons in a week. The course must not be aimed to prepare you for further academic studies.
Pre-academic measures. A course lasting more than 3 months, aimed to prepare you for full-time academic studies.
Pre-academic German language courses. Participation on a preparatory course before sitting any of these recognized tests before studies must be a university prerequisite before your final admission in studies.
Preparatory foundation course ‘Studienkolleg’ studies. The course has to prepare you for the qualification test ‘Feststellungsprüfung’. By passing this test you must expect to obtain a recognized university entrance qualification ‘Hochschulzugangsberechtigung’. (This applies if your foreign high-school leaving certificate is not recognized in Germany).
Propaedeutic course studies. These courses must offer language and academic skills and specific knowledge regarding the education system and methodology in Germany. They must be held by the education provider you’ll be studying at.
Partaking in a mandatory preliminary internship. Participation in an internship must be a precondition for admission in the study program, i.e. at the University of Applied Sciences.
University degree awarding studies. You must have received the confirmation for admission in studies from a recognized higher education provider here. This is relevant for studies leading to a recognized higher education degree, such as Bachelor (BA, BSc, BSEng), Master (MA, MSc, MEng), or PhD.

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