With a massive number of students reaching international institutes for higher education, it has been estimated that over 6.2 million international students enrolled in higher education programs globally in 2023. Modern degrees are considered a sure shot to enhance career growth and employment chances in the ever-evolving market.

To gain higher education, students opt for countries that have high standards of education and low cost of living. One such country is Germany, which is a popular destination for overseas students seeking higher education. This is due to its massive economy and strong focus on education. Education in Germany is ranked the 3rd best in Europe according to recent surveys.

It has an esteemed educational system that provides degrees recognized all over the globe. The German Accreditation Council oversees and verifies the educational institutes in Germany. The quality assurance of educational programs is ensured by them, which has consistently raised the bar of the country among the best higher education-providing countries worldwide.

Low tuition fees, diverse subjects, and high accessibility make it an excellent place. Alongside this, the low crime rate of Germany makes it a top priority for foreign students. Gaining a student visa is the primary step to gaining entrance into Germany for foreign applicants.

However, getting the visa is a challenging process as it requires preparing the required paperwork, going through administrative processes, etc. To get further information on how to get a German student visa, the necessary documents required for it, and the whole process, we have created an in-depth article below.

What Documents Do You Need to Apply for a Student Visa in Germany?

The eligibility of the student and study intentions are the main priority when applying for a German student visa. The German consulate and embassy however can ask you to provide the required documents that can support your claim to obtain a visa for the full duration of your stay to pursue your education in Germany. However, some general documents need to be submitted to gain a student visa (Schengen Visa) in the required time.

  • The first requirement is a valid passport. The passport must have a validity of 6 months after the completion of the degree.
  • A High School Diploma/certificate is required to be provided with the total marks obtained by the student mentioned on it.
  • Certificate in completing German Language Proficiency Test with required grades. Zertifikat Deutsche (ZD) is one of the credible tests and is widely accepted with different proficiency levels elaborated on it.
  • Proof of financial records that the student can cover the living expenses for his full duration of stay in Germany. Bank statements should be provided that showcase at least one year of funds for the study.
  • A certificate of valid health insurance should be provided along with other documents. The health insurance should cover the entire duration of stay in Germany. The health insurance should cover at least €50,000 for medical expenses.
  • Proof of admission from a recognized German educational institute. The official acceptance letter should be attached to the visa form.
  • Give written proof or receipt of intended accommodation within Germany.

Can International Students Work Part-time During their Studies in Germany?

Yes. After getting a student visa from Germany, students are permitted to work up to 120 full days or 240 half days per year. This is equal to 20 hours per week. Self-employment and freelance work are not allowed in this part-time work allowance. No separate work permit is required for students to work part-time. This applies only in case you have a German student visa.

Alongside this, the student to be granted permission to work in the country part-time needs to get their visa registered. This registration is done through the Foreigner’s Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde). Field jobs are allowed in this student permit and the applicant can apply for specific jobs mentioned by the embassy properly.

How Much Money Do You Need for Germany’s Student Visa?

The nationality of the student and the type of visa applied are the main factors that define the entry visa fee for a student. The general Schengen visa fee is €80 for applicants aged 12 and above. No single online source is available for international students to gain information regarding German student visas.

For over 3 months of stay, a National visa is required, which requires an application fee of €75 for applicants aged 12 and above. However, you can contact the German embassy/consulate for more information. Some countries come under a visa fee agreement with Germany. This results in low visa fees or even exemptions. Find out If the applicant’s country falls under these categories.

Steps on Applying for a German Student Visa

For some students, it might be hard to understand the complete process of applying for a German student visa. For our international students and their convenience, we have outlined all steps of the process in detail below.

Step 1. Complete the requirements

The first step is to study the documents required for the student visa, which we have mentioned in the list above. Make sure that you have all documents available and verified before applying for the student visa. Passport-sized photographs should also be kept for attachment with the visa application firm.

Step 2. Book a Consulate appointment

The next step is to choose the right visa type. According to the country the applicant is applying from, schedule an appointment with the German consulate for visa submission. Biometric data needs to be provided in this appointment duration by the applicant. This needs to be done at least 3 months before joining the course within Germany. Discuss the study plans with the visa officer and show him all the documents that are necessary for visa approval.

Step 3. Pay the application fee

After all prior requirements are clear, pay the visa application fee for the type of visa the applicant has opted for. The applicant will be provided with a visa application form. This needs to be filled with accurate details. After filling out the form, recheck for any spelling mistakes. Attach all required documents with the German visa application form in the respective order.

Step 4. Submit application form

Check the application form and ensure the attachment of the correct documents with the form. Submit the application form. Visa processing time may take several weeks before the applicant receives a decision of their approval of a German student visa.

Once approved, you may visit Germany throughout the visa’s validity term. Make sure to visit the local Ausländerbehörde (Foreigners’ Registration Office) within two weeks of your arrival to register your residency.

Submit an application for a residence permit to the local Foreigners’ Registration Office during the first few months of your arrival in Germany. This will authorize your stay for the length of your studies.

Germany is considered a culturally rich and educationally advanced country, with its institutes ranking among the top universities in the world. Gaining admission to one of these universities is one step, but getting a German student visa is another step that ensures your safe entry into the country without any hindrance. We hope this article helped you understand how to get a German student visa effectively.

We hope that this article on how to apply for a student visa in Germany was helpful. If you are interested in studying in Germany, you can start by checking out the Available Programs in Germany and Study in Germany pages for more information!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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