International applicants  

International
applicants

Visa and entry regulations

Students from the European Union, the European Economic Area and some other countries can enter Germany without a visa.

All other international students usually require a “Visa for Study” – especially if they plan to stay in Germany for more than three months.

Find out in advance about the entry regulations applying to your country, preferably at the German Embassy or Consulate in your home country.
When you arrive in Germany, you must present your visa to the Foreigners' Authority, who will convert it into a “Residence Permit for Study”.

What visas are there?

A visa for Germany is always issued for a certain purpose. Students apply for a student visa or a university application visa. To do this, please contact the German Embassy or German Consulate-General in your country. Do not enter Germany with a tourist visa, since you will not be able to convert it into a “Residence Permit for Study” in Germany.

For the visa, you will always need a passport, a Zulassungsbescheid (Letter of Admission) from Leipzig University or confirmation of application and – very important – proof that you can finance your period of study. You can obtain further information from the German Embassy or German Consulate-General.
If you have already been admitted to a course, you can apply for a student visa. You can apply for a university application visa if you show that you have applied to Leipzig University but have not yet received a Zulassungsbescheid (Letter of Admission).

The visa is valid for three months. In Germany, you must have it converted into a “Residence Permit for Study”.

Proof of financing

If you are paying for yourself: at least 7.776,00 EUR for one year of study (two semesters) must be paid into an account in Germany, with the proviso that no more than 648,00 EUR can be drawn monthly. You can also open a bank account in Germany at a German bank in your home country. You must show plausible proof of any further financing by submitting appropriate documents.

Guarantee: Guarantee by a person resident in Germany in the form of an unrestricted statement of commitment and an irrevocable bank guarantee.
The guarantee relates to travel costs, costs of accommodation, costs of treatment if you become ill, administration costs, etc.

Declaration of Formal Obligation: A Declaration of Formal Obligation must be applied for before a student leaves to study in Germany. Applications can be found and submitted at any German diplomatic mission in the country of origin. By signing the Declaration of Formal Obligation, the signer formally declares that they will support the student studying abroad, make sure all basic needs (food, clothing and housing) are met, and cover any costs arising from health-related issues. This obligation is seen as irrevocable and remains in effect for the entire period abroad.

Where do you have to apply for your visa?

The database of the Auswärtiges Amt (Federal Foreign Office) will direct you to the people to contact if you have any questions about a visa and entering the country.

Visa forms on the internet

You will find further information about the visa procedure, entering Germany and application forms on the website of the Auswärtiges Amt (Federal Foreign Office).

No visa is required for citizens of these countries

Citizens from the EU and from EEA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway):

  • Residence permit: not required
  • Identification papers: valid passport or identity card
  • What to do when you arrive: register at the Einwohnermeldeamt (Residents’ Registration Office) or Bürgeramt (Citizens’ Office) within the first two weeks. There you will automatically be issued with a certificate for a “Residence Permit for Study”. To receive this, you have to provide credible proof that you have health insurance and can pay for your period of study from your own resources.

Citizens from Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Switzerland and the USA:

  • Residence permit: any necessary residence authorisation can be applied for after entry to Germany
  • Identification papers: valid passport
  • What to do when you arrive: register at the Einwohnermeldeamt (Residents’ Registration Office) or Bürgeramt (Citizens’ Office) within the first two weeks. Apply to the appropriate Aliens Department for the “Residence Permit for Study” within three months.

Citizens of Andorra, Brasil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco, San Marino:

  • Entry visa: only required if you want to work in Germany before or after your period of study.
  • Residence permit: any necessary residence authorisation can be applied for after entry to Germany.
  • Identification papers: valid passport
  • What to do when you arrive: register at the Einwohnermeldeamt (Residents’ Registration Office) or Bürgeramt (Citizens’ Office) within the first two weeks. Apply to the appropriate Aliens Department for the “Residence Permit for Study” within three months.

last update: 11.08.2017 

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