Germany is known for making high-quality and low-cost higher education accessible to the residents as well as to international students. Along with that, its robust research infrastructure, way of teaching and prospects for career growth are among the best in comparison to other countries.

If you have got through the admission process of a German University, you will soon find out if you need a German Student Visa. If you are in the exempted category, you might just need a residence permit. If you are not, then you must apply for a German Student Visa at the German Embassy in your country. Although there is no timeframe for the application process, it is suggested to do it in earnest, well before the actual trip date.


The typical fee charged for a German Student Visa is approx. USD 70. You must also put all your documents in order and ensure their accuracy before submitting the application. Here are some of the other German Student Visa Application Tips:

Use a Blocked Account

The German student visa application form mandates you to provide proof of having sufficient funds to support yourself for one year when you are living in Germany. As of the year 2018, a foreign student spends an average of 720 Euros per month. As per the requirement, a student visa applicant needs to give proof of having 8640 Euros in the bank account for further processing of the application.

This is where a German Blocked Account comes in to play. This Blocked Account is a unique kind of bank account for international students in Germany. You must use this account and park the required funds to show that you have enough funds to support yourself for a year. Since it is a blocked account, you cannot use these funds until you reach Germany.

Document List for Visa Application

Three months is a reasonable time to apply for a German student visa in order to complete the process on time. The documents you will need for this application are:

  • Fully completed application form
  • Two latest photographs
  • Academic Record Transcripts
  • Valid Passport
  • A letter that shows your acceptance to a German University
  • proof of having sufficient funds to support yourself for one year when you are living in Germany (8640 Euros per year)
  • Certificate of buying health insurance
  • Self-declaration of document authenticity

In addition, you might also need to prove that you do not possess any criminal record.

Student Applicant Visa

A student applicant visa can be used to apply for entry into Germany if a German university has not accepted you as yet. This visa permits you to stay in Germany for 3 months to find out and enrol in a university program while being present in Germany.

This visa can be extended to six months if you have not been able to enrol in a university. If you get enrolled in this period, this student application visa will get converted to a national visa, which needs proof of a German university’s acceptance of your application.

Application for a residence permit

After reaching Germany, you must register with the local Alien Registration Office within 2 weeks of your arrival. In this office, you have to apply for a residence permit for educational purposes. The following documents are required for this process:

  • Proof of current health insurance
  • Enrollment certificate from the German university
  • Proof of adequate finances
  • Valid passport
  • Present Visa
  • Residence permit fee

A 2-year residence permit costs 100 euros with an additional 96 euros for each extension.

Residence permits for EU students

Students from EU/EEA (including Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein) do not require a residence permit, but they have to register with the local registration authority within 1 week of their arrival. You also need to keep your registration document provided by the university for this confirmation.

EU students must also prove the presence of money to cover yearly expenses, statutory health insurance for candidates aged less than 30 as well as working proficiency of the language of instruction of the course. For insurance policies, students from certain countries having bilateral agreements with Germany can show their home country’s policy.

Tips for Visa Application Interview Questions

The ambassador can ask the following questions for a typical visa application interview. You must answer these questions truthfully and without hesitation

Q1. What made you select this university and how did you look out for it?

Answer Tip: Explain how you went through university rankings, profiles of notable faculty and alumni on websites to shortlist the university based on the course you wanted to pursue. You can tell that the curriculum of this university was most closely aligned with my interests and needs.

Q2. What made you select Germany for higher studies? Does your country not offer this course in its universities?

Answer Tip: You must brief about the quality of education offered in Germany. If you believe it is top-notch, feel free to mention it explicitly. Talk about how this course might not be available in your country and if available, it is not as advanced as the curriculum offered in Germany. Mention the latest research in the area and how it connects with the curriculum in the German university.

Q3. Can you pinpoint the location of the university?

Answer Tip: It is desirable to have a fair idea about where your university is located in Germany and about its various campuses if any. Use mapping software to exactly locate the university and tell the details to the ambassador.

Q4. Do you plan to continue working in Germany after the completion of this course?

Answer Tip: Tell the officer about your plans after completing the course at a German university. If you plan to opt for higher studies, you could elaborate on that and the subsequent reason. If you plan to work, be careful to mention about new visa requirements that may need to be fulfilled. If you plan to return back to your own country, you can inform of your decision to join a family business or anything else.

To conclude, the Visa application for students opting for a German university can be completed smoothly by keeping a few simple instructions in mind. This will also help you avoid any unexpected shocks during this long and tedious journey.

Muhammad Usman

Research & MEXT Scholar  at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan) with Graduate Major in Global Engineering for Development, Environment and Society


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