Most international students are required to apply for a German study visa.
Studying in Germany is a dream of every international student.
Germany has 46 universities in the top 1000, 12 universities in the Top 200, Seven universities in the top 100, and 3 universities listed in the Top 50.
Studying in Germany is free, there is no Tuition fee & it applies to almost all programs in public universities.
So Luckily if you got admission to a German university, the second step is to fulfill the requirement of a German student visa.
The rules are changed in recent years, this detailed guide will prepare you step by step & answer all your queries.
Don’t miss the question-answer session at the end.
Go ahead, Bookmark this ultimate guide, you literally don’t need to google anything else.
Check Australian Study visa guide.
Read about Hungary study visa guide. & Canada study visa guide.
Table of content:
1. Which countries don’t need German student visas?
2. Type of visa required for students to study in Germany
3. Office Responsible for Germany student visa
4. German student Visa requirements
7. FAQS about Germany student visa
check Italy study visa for Pakistan
Details about German study visa for Pakistan.
1. Which countries don’t need German student visas?
Students from different nationalities can check here, whether they need a German student visa or not.
For Quick information
- EU/EFTA students are only required to register at German registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt).
They don’t need a visa to Germany.
- Countries like Canada, Australia, Israel , Mexico, USA & other list of countries do not need to apply for Schengen visa.
However, they are required to apply for a residence permit if they intend to stay more than 90 days.
- UK students (after Brexit) are not required for visas or residence permits for study or research visits not exceeding 90 days. Unless they do not pursue any economic activity.
2. Types of Germany study visa
There are two types of Germany Student visas.
1. Long-term stay ‘student’ visa (German national visa)
2. Short-term stay ‘student’ visa (Category C- Shengehen visa)
Long-term stay ‘student’ visa (German national visa)
This type of visa is applicable in cases, where the applicant intends to stay in Germany for more than 90 days.
The following 6 types of applicants need to apply for Germany Long term stay ‘student’ visa.
1. If the applicant is applying for a full-time Master’s, bachelor or Ph.D. program because such programs take years to complete.
2. Applicant with the intention of learning language & enrolled in “German language course”, that can last up to one year. (or more than 90 days)
3. If the Applicant is involved in some kind of Academic research that can take more than 3 months of stay in Germany.
4. If the applicant has the intention to visit Germany for training or Apprenticeship, which mostly lasts for 6 months.
5. International exchange students will also apply for Germany long-term student visa. Their program mostly lasts for 1-5 years.
(The parent’s consent & boarding fee etc is necessary in case they are under 18 )
6. “Student application visas” are study visas without an offer from a university. This mostly last from 3 months to 9 months.
In all the above cases the applicant must apply for a German long-term stay visa.
FEE for long-term stay- Germany student visa:
The standard cost of the German long-term student visa is 75 euros, but for those Under 18, the cost is reduced to 37.50 euros.
Visa process time for long-term stay- Germany student visa:
It can take from 6 weeks to 3 months. Strictly depends upon the individual case & nationality.
Remember the job seeker, Aupair, employment, family reunion, Internship, guest scientist, voluntary services, and self-employed visas also come in long term stay visa category.
Short-term stay visa (Category C- Shengehen visa)
This visa category is mostly used by students who got enrolled in some short German language or training program, that last 3 months.
The students still need to prove that they have sufficient funds to support themselves during this time.
FEE for short-term stay- Germany student visa:
The standard cost of the German short-term student visa (Schengen visa ) is 80 euros, but for those Under 18, the cost is reduced to 40 euros.
Visa process time for short-term stay- Germany student visa?
It can take up to 15 working days. Strictly depends upon the individual case & nationality.
Remember Business visas, Visit visas, Tourism visas & Airport Transit Visas, all come under this category.
3. Office responsible for German student visas:
BAMF Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge – BAMF is the government agency that is responsible for issuing every kind of visa in Germany.
Here is our detailed guide about the Netherlands Study visa.
4. Germany student visa requirements:
2. Three Passport Size pictures
8. Correct processing visa fee receipt
9. NIC (National identity card)
10. IELTS or TOFEL certificate
11. Previous Visa rejection reason (if applicable)
12. Proof of German language skills (For bachelor)
14. Family unit or Family registration certificate (FRC)
15. Copy of flight booking, & Hotel reservation
17. Polio & Corona vaccination certificate [Optional]
19. Statement of purpose/Cover letter/Letter of motivation [optional]
20. Other certificates [optional)
21. Police clearance certificate
22. Sponsorship letter (Optional)
23. Marriage certificate & child birth certificate
1. Online Visa application form:
Download the correct Visa form for a student visa to Germany.
Application for German National visa form (Long term stay )
Application for Schengen visa (short-term stay)
Fill, sign & date it accurately.
The majority of the students need to fill out the “ German National student visa” form.
If their specific course is taking less than 90 days they should fill out the Schengen visa application form.
2. Passport Size pictures:
The general picture format for a German student visa is the following.
- Three recent (within 6 months) passport-size (35x45mm) photos.
- White/grey background with neutral facial expressions. (Unedited)
- Avoid uniforms & the head should be 80% in the photo.
- The applicant should look at the camera.
- one photograph should be glued to the visa application
while the other should contain the applicant’s full name on the reverse side, & should be attached with a paper clip to the visa form.
The same rules apply to every Schengen country.
Check our detailed guide about Finland student visa.
3. Valid passport:
A: A passport must have at least 18 months of validity from the date of visa application.
B: Applicants will also provide visa copies (if they have any).
C: Passport must have at least two blank pages.
D: All the previous passports must also be attached. (If they have any)
4. Academic documents:
This includes all your certificates & academic record like
A: Bachelor’s transcript & certificate (If a student is applying for a master’s)
B: Master’s transcript & certificate (if the student is applying for Ph.D.)
C: Metric & FSC transcripts (10-12th Grade) (A level) (DMCs) and certificates (if the student is applying for Bachelors)
D: English proficiency certificate from the university.
E: Course summary (to explain your courses & how your previous courses & studies resemble your future studies in which you are applying)
F: Three Letters of recommendation from the university & also the detail of the Referees.
(It requires specifically in case of university admission, but good to carry them along with your educational documents)
The above-mentioned academic documents must be attested & translated by the responsible authorities. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs or ministry of education in your country, or other public authorities who issue official certifications, etc ).
5. Admission letter:
Without a university admission letter, the Applicant can’t apply for Germany study visa.
A: Confirmation of admission in studies “Zulassungsbescheid”.
This letter shows that the student is confirmed by the university. This letter must be signed by the applicant & it should contain the
1. Course name
2. The Estimated duration of your course
3. Official Dates on which course will begin
4. Tuition fee
5. language course
B: Conditional admission (Bedingter Zulassungsbescheid) and a confirmed intensive course (Intensiv-Sprachkurs).
This letter means that applicant will take a language course (more than 6 months & not less than 18 hours per week) before getting final admission to the university.
The letter can also state whether the applicant needs to fulfill any further criteria or not.
As proof for this letter, the applicant must provide
1. confirmation as an applicant,
2. “Uniassist” letter,
3. Paid fee receipt of 3-4 months at least
4. Any else communication between applicant & university
C: Admission in “Studienkolleg” (University preparatory course)
In easy words to go for “Studienkolleg” applicants must give the exam of “Aufnahmeprüfung”. which is a German Language & math test for a bachelor.
As proof of this letter, the applicant must provide
1. Proof to be a member of the course
2. “Uniassist” letter,
3. Any else communication between applicant & university
6. Block account:
The most important part of a German study visa is the applicant’s economic status.
German study visa requires a Block account of Up to 11,208 euros.
In simple words, it is an account in which a student has to deposit a minimum amount of 11,208 euros, which will be given back in installments of 934 euros per month for the next 12 months.
The student will not have direct access to the blocked account, but upon arrival in Germany, the block account will be transferred to a German bank, where the student can withdraw 934 per month.
This is the student’s one-year security with the government regulators.
It is proof that they have all the financial resources to survive in Germany.
Because According to the calculations of student scholarship regulators in Germany, the student will need at least 934 euros per month to survive in Germany, so in total, you have to deposit 11,208 euros.
Students can also use the account of a guardian or close relative for this task.
& then by reaching Germany this block account should be opened in a German bank account.
There are 6 Methods to open a Block bank account.
In other words, student can access 6 providers which can help them make the GBA (German block account)
Applicants don’t need to make a block account if they have a sponsor. Click here
Students cannot withdraw more than 934 euros per month from a blocked account. This is applicable from 01.01.2023.
So at the beginning of the stay, a student might need to spend more than 934 euros in a month (for a rent deposit, etc). It is therefore advised to have sufficient funds.
7. Proof of all legal fees:
It’s the proof or receipt of the university application fee, or language course, or preparatory course fee.
It could also be the fee for the first semester or the whole year of university fee. (depends on the situation)
Check our detailed guide about Norway student visas.
8. Correct processing visa fee receipt:
The Visa fee is not refundable, so make sure the form is correctly signed & filled.
Also, you need to show your visa application fee receipt at the time of the interview.
National identity card, Domicile & birth certificate. ( Depends on individual nationality)
10. IELTS or TOEFL certificate:
IELTS= 6.0, and TOFEL= 550 is the minimum score requirement for a German study visa. (If the courses are offered in English)
The applicant must provide one of these certificates.
Want to score 7 bands in IELTS? don’t miss our ultimate guide.
11. Previous visa Rejection:
It’s important to let the consulate know about the previous visa rejections.
The applicant may have missed the deadlines or the visa got rejected for financial reasons.
Whatever the reason was, They should mention it.
12. Proof of German language skills (For bachelor)
If the applicant is applying for a bachelor’s then a minimum C1 certificate is enough.
For masters, the applicant must need DSH1 & DHS2 is required.
However, it is advised to contact your university & ask about the level of German language needed in your course.
13. Travel & Health insurance certificate:
Applicants can apply for two types of health insurance
1. Public health insurance,
2. Private health insurance
Students under 30, who are enrolled in a degree course at a German university, can apply for public health insurance.
However, the same option isn’t available for Ph.D. students or students above 30. They can only apply for private health insurance.
Remember students from some countries like Iceland, Israel, Morocco, Tunisia, and Turkey, etc are not required additional health insurance.
Their home country’s public insurance plans are totally valid in Germany.
14. Family unit or Family registration certificate (FRC):
This document specifically contains the names & information of your siblings & parents. (or spouse in some cases).
The name may vary according to some countries. Please check with the German embassy in your country.
This information is also needed sometimes in need-based scholarships.
15. Copy of flight booking, & Hotel reservation:
The booking confirms your date of arrival in the country and in the particular city.
The hotel reservation shows that the applicant has a place to stay.
(Entirely depends on the individual case)
It is mostly required to incase of Sponsorship.
Affidavit of the Parents/uncle or any guardian & even in some cases your own saving and job certificate to show that you can support yourself.
17. Polio & corona vaccination certificate:
(Entirely depend on individual cases)
The polio vaccine certificate could be still important in cases of some specific countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc.
There is no need to quarantine or do the PCR test anymore, but the vaccination record is important.
Cv is optional in embassy visa cases but compulsory for university admission.
It’s good to keep it along with your academic documents.
Germany mostly accepts cv in Europass format.
It should contain all your academic information & contact details.
19. Statement of purpose/cover letter/Letter of motivation:
Statement of purpose is optional in visa embassy cases but compulsory for university admission.
A well-written cover letter & Letter of motivation always add extra points to the scholarships/admission you wish to achieve.
Remember LOM (Letter of motivation) is necessary in some German embassies around the world. Like German consulate in Karachi specifically ask for it.
20. Other certificates:
This is optional but students can add more certificates from their internships & course portfolios. Some embassies also It can make your case stronger.
21. Police clearance certificate for a student visa to Germany:
(Depending on the individual case)
Applicants don’t need it for a short-term visa, but for a long-term stay (Germany Student visa) PCC certificate is needed.
A police clearance certificate shows that there is any criminal case pending against the applicant at the time of the visa application process.
22. Sponsorship letter (Optional)
The sponsorship letter is required in cases where the applicant doesn’t need to show the GBA (German block account).
it can be given even by “Blue card holder”.
A German passport holder for a sponsor is not necessary.
The sponsor must make a “Declaration of commitment” for a long-term stay (national visa)
[ Verpflichtungserklärung für langfristige Aufenthalte].
HOW A SPONSOR CAN MAKE Declaration of commitment for a long-term stay (national visa) FOR PAKISTANI OR INDIAN STUDENTS?
Step by Step process,
- First, the applicant needs to apply for a German national visa at the German embassy in their country.
- Then the sponsor will take an appointment with the “Foreign registration authority” in his city. like for example if the sponsor is living in BERLIN, then they will take an appointment by Email or post.
Email: B5@lea.berlin.de (attachments should only be sent in PDF format)
post: Landesamt Einwanderung, B 5, Friedrich-Krause-Ufer 24, 13353 Berlin
Sponsors living in other cities should do this according.
3. In the email the sponsor should mention visa type & sponsorship reason.
(Either study or marriage intended etc)
4. All the details related to the sponsor’s job & income should be mentioned.
The amount of the monthly minimum net income depends on your marital status and maintenance obligations.
Marital status is important because the authorities want to do the necessary calculation that how sponsors will support the visa student with the number of kids.
5. After getting all the details the “Foreign registration authority” will let the sponsor know about the additional documents.
How much is the minimum income required of the sponsor for a German Study visa?
The details are given:
To visit a language course/school:
2,410 euros without any maintenance obligations (Means after cutting the taxation)
3,340 euros with maintenance obligation for 1 person
3,906 euros with maintenance obligation for 2 persons
To study / for vocational training:
2,450 euros without any maintenance obligations
3,400 euros with maintenance obligation for 1 person
3,935 euros with maintenance obligation for 2 persons
For job search or a wedding:
2,590 euros without any maintenance obligations
3,590 euros with maintenance obligation for 1 person
4,029 euros with maintenance obligation for 2 persons
Documents required from the sponsor for a german study visa:
1. German ID-Card (Personalausweis) oder passport
2. Passport copy of the person applying for a national visa
3. Information about marital status and existing maintenance obligations to spouses, life partners, or minor children
4. Proof of creditworthiness
for example the last 6 proofs of net income or employment contract
5. Completed form “Zusatzerklärung zur Verpflichtungserklärung”
6. Proof of the main residence
7. Certificate of registration at the main residence or lease and written confirmation of occupancy from the landlord
More documents In individual cases further documents may be required.
All the forms can be downloaded in the link. Link for Berlin:
Fees of the sponsor:
The fee for the sponsor form for German study is 29.00 Euro
23. Marriage certificate & child birth certificate
The married applicants should provide their marriage certificate & children’s birth certificates. They can ask their local authorities for family registration.
NOTE: Students should carry all these documents along with their photocopies when applying for a German study visa. the German embassy reserve the right to ask for additional documents, which is why it’s good to carry the optional documents.
The passport will not be returned until the final decision on the visa is taken.
5. How to book a Germany study visa appointment?
- The applicant should take an appointment for a German national visa (study visa) or Schengen visa at the German embassy or consulate in their home country.
- Read the checklist. Fulfill all the document requirements discussed above (Ie block bank account, admission letter, language certificates, health insurance, etc)
- Pay the visa fee, prepare the visa questions & be there on time.
6. Germany study Visa interview questions and preparation
Students are expected to ask the following questions.
They should be ready to answer it according to their understanding.
1. Why did you choose Germany and not another country?
2. Did you already search for opportunities in your home country?
3. Some specific questions must be asked about the host university to know whether applicants know or not about their university.
4. The reason for selecting the (Specific) course & its objective?
5. What is your course structure or Course summary?
5. Who is your sponsor? What is your relationship?
7. What are your plans after the completion of the course?
9. What is the course commencement date? (When will your lessons/classes start?)
10. Where will you stay in germany?
11. How much do you expect to spend per month at your destination city? On your rent, food & fee.
7. Frequently asked questions about German study visas
Q: Is a German study visa without IELTS possible?
YES, it’s possible. It entirely depends on your course & citizenship.
If the course requires only the German language or If the applicant’s native language is English then IELTS can be skipped.
If you are from Pakistan where IELTS is mandatory for English courses, and the institution clearly mentioned in their admission letter that they are satisfied with your language, then IELTS can be skipped.
in the case of India, no such option is available, though.
However, it is advised to take the IELTS or TOEFL because it clearly smooths the visa process a lot.
2. How much time it takes for the German student visa process?
Visa process time for long-term stay- German student visa can take from 6 weeks to 3 months.
while Visa process time for a short-term stay- Germany student visa can take up to 15 working days.
NOTE: Strictly depends upon the individual case & nationality.
3. Can I apply with the 7th-semester transcript to a German university?
Yes, you can. By getting a “Hope certificate” from the university.
Students can attach the “Hope certificate” along with all the academic documents & fill the admission application.
Most German universities give conditional admission letters with a hope certificate that if the student sends the 8th-semester transcript their admission will be finalized.
Plus German university admission process mostly takes time due to a huge number of applicants from around the world.
So students can get the 8th-semester transcript by then.
What is Hope certificate?
In simple words, It is a certificate based on the previous semester’s performance, that indicates that the candidate will pass the final exams with excellent results.
4. What if I put the wrong visa category while applying for a German student visa?
Unfortunately, you have to submit the application again.
Cancel the visa appointment and book a fresh one in the correct category.
Because the automated booking system relies on the information that the applicant entered.
So nothing can be done.
So always be careful to enter only correct data.
5. what if my German study visa got rejected? What should I do?
The main reasons for German study visa rejections are Financial incompetencies Language deficiency or sometimes Previous study is not aligned with future study.
Anyways Appeals and complaints about student visas in Germany can be done.
The applicant can appeal within one month of the consulate visa verdict by writing a convincing appeal letter.
If the applicant is unhappy with the reassessment, It can still be challenged in administrative courts later in Germany, Berlin.
6. While applying for a German study visa, Can I attach the sponsor letter instead of a block account?
Ans: yes you can. Even if your sponsor is not a German passport holder but a blue card holder.
In that case, The sponsor must make a “Declaration of commitment” for a long-term stay (national visa)
[ Verpflichtungserklärung für langfristige Aufenthalte]. See the details
8. SUMMARY OF THE WHOLE BLOG:
- Check your visa type, in most cases, it may be a student long-term visa.
- Make the (GBA) German block account of 11,208 euros.
- Take an online appointment at a nearby German embassy.
- Complete the right application form & fulfill all the mentioned requirements above. Ie IELTS or German language, Health insurance, etc.
- Do the visa interview & wait for the result. It can take up to 12 weeks.