Current issues & deadlines
Before you apply
- Undergraduate studies
- Master & international programmes
- uni-assist exceptions & special procedures
Once you have applied
You need a specific visa to be allowed to live in Germany for study purposes ("Studentenvisum"/"Visum zu Studienzwecken"). This can be applied for with the German embassy or another diplomatic mission in your home country. You should first check here whether you need a visa or what entry requirements apply for you. The DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) offers general information.
Please be aware that getting an appointment and the entire process of obtaining a visa, may take up to two months, and even longer in isolated cases.
For a visa for study purposes, you need to have an admissions notice from Goethe University. Goethe University usually sends out admissions notices 4-6 weeks after the applications deadline. If you do not receive an admissions notice in time for you to apply for a visa, please contact the International Office.
Exceptions - Entry without visa:
- Students from EU or EEA countries and Switzerland can entry without a visa, they just need a valid ID or passport
- Students from the following countries can entry also without a visa, but they will have to apply for a residence permit for study purposes ("Aufenthaltserlaubnis zu Studienzwecken") once they are in Germany: Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand, USA, Andorra, Brasil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino.
In some rare cases a German diplomatic mission may accept the uni-assist assessment report ("Prüfbericht") in order to issue a visa. You will get this assessment report if you have submitted all required documentation for your Goethe University application to uni-assist. We therefore recommend that you take your Goethe University admissions notice when you go to apply for a visa.
Please make sure that you do not apply for a tourist visa! A tourist visa cannot be changed to a visa for study purposes once you are in Germany.
Student applicant visa & language visa
We recommend that you do not apply for a student applicant visa or a language visa. If you enter Germany with a student applicant visa, you must be enrolled at a university within 9 months (three months visa + a maximum of six months of residence permit).
If you apply for a language visa, you have to leave the country after completing your language course in order to apply for a student visa.
Please also apply for a student visa if you plan to attend a language course before taking up your studies. Once you have a residence permit for study purposes, you can take 2 years to prepare for your studies.
Apart from the admissions notice, the German embassy will also ask for further documents, for example proof of financial means and proof of health insurance cover. Please enquire directly with the embassy which documents you will have to provide.
Proof of financial means ("Finanzieruungsnachweis"):
This is to show that you will be able to finance your studies. At a minimum, this means complete funding of your living expenses for the first year. As a rule, you have to show proof of income or assets currently amounting to € 8,820 for the first year, i.e. € 735 per month. Higher amounts may be required.
Note: Please make sure to get the relevant information from your German embassy or diplomatic mission so you know how to prove sufficient financial resources.
As a rule, proof of financial resources is possible by way of:
- evidence of sufficient income or assets of the student’s parents
- a German resident gives the immigration office a guarantee that she/he will cover your costs
- a deposit (Sicherheitsbetrag) of € 8,820 is paid into a blocked account >> you can open a blocked account e.g. with Deutsche Bank or Fintiba (individual app-based support)
- you provide a bank guarantee
- you provide proof that you are receiving a scholarship
What do I have to do if I can’t get my visa in time?
- Contact the International Office, by email (email@example.com) or in person (Applications Advisory Service)
- It may be possible to transfer your application to the following semester. This means that you can undertake the application procedure again for the following semester and then, provided you get a place, you can take up your studies.
- You require a confirmation from Goethe University that you have applied to study here? Then contact the International Office immediately!
- You can enrol now and only come to Germany later during the semester. This secures your place. Please note: The later you come to Germany and take up your studies, the less likely it is that you can still follow courses in the first semester as all lectures, seminars etc. start mid-October and mid-April respectively. Please be aware that you will miss a lot and that things will be much more difficult for you if you take up your studies at a later point.
Once you get to Frankfurt
In Germany it is mandatory to be officially registered if you are living in one place for more than three month and also if you are moving within one city. Once you have found a room or a flat in Germany, you must register within two weeks with the registration office – the "Einwohnermeldeamt" or "Bürgeramt" – of the town where you live. For this registration, you will need, as a rule: a passport or ID and a confirmation from your landlord/landlady that you have moved in (the so-called "Wohnungsgeberbestätigung"). This confirmation can also be obtained from a hostel or hotel in case you haven’t found a flat or a room yet. Once you have registered, you will receive a "Meldebescheinigung" (confirmation of registry), which you will need e.g. for opening a bank account. More information is available on the website of the registration office: Bürgeramt Frankfurt. Information about the "Wohnungsgeberbestätigung" is available here.
You can also make an appointment online in order to avoid long waiting times.
Non-EU citizens who are required to have a visa
Changing your student visa into a residence permit: After moving into an apartment or other accommodation, you go to the local registration office ("Einwohnermeldeamt"/"Bürgeramt") and register there. Wait for two weeks, to let them forward your data to the immigration office. Then you go to the local immigration office and apply for your residence permit.
Registration & immigration offices for students living in Frankfurt:
Ausländerbehörde – Ordnungsamt (Immigration Office)
Service-Center Ausländerangelegenheiten (SCA)
Mainzer Landstraße 323-329
60326 Frankfurt am Main
Website of the Ausländerbehörde