Visa and Entry Requirements

Visa and Entry Requirements

The minimal requirement for entry into Germany is valid identification (e.g. identification card or passport).

It is your responsibility to check with the German Embassy or Consulate in your home country as to whether you will need a visa during your stay in Germany. More importantly, you will need to find out which entry and residence requirements are to be met as well. Keep in mind that visa requests can take time to process (up to two months). This means you will need to plan accordingly.

Information as to visa (non-) requirements can be obtained at the Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtige Amt).

Do not apply for a tourist visa! A tourist visa is only valid three months and cannot be extended.

The following documents are necessary in order to apply for a visa:

  • Valid passport
  • Invitation letter from the supervising institute of higher education (=Zulassungsbescheid)
  • Proof of financial support (e.g. savings, letter of award/scholarship, etc.)
  • Passport photos (with biometrical features)
  • Proof of health insurance

Students, who need to apply for visa, might need the admissions letter before February/August. Please contact incoming(at), in order to ask for a preliminary letter of admission. Of course the preliminary letter can only be issued, once we have received your complete application.

As soon as possible, upon arrival into Germany, a residency permit must be applied for and your residence must be registered with the police. The proper authorities to complete these processes are the “Ausländerbehörde” (Immigration Office) and the “Einwohnermeldeamt” (Registration Office) in Germany.

Who does not need a Visa? Generally, EU- Citizens and citizens from the following countries do not require a Visa for entry into Germany:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Honduras
  • Iceland
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Korea (Republic of Korea, South Korea)
  • Liechtenstein
  • Monaco
  • Norway
  • New Zealand
  • San Marino
  • Switzerland
  • United States of America

The entry requirement is a valid passport. Usually, the passport has to be valid for the entirety of your stay in Germany. If your residency in Germany should extend beyond the three month visa waiver period, then you are required to notify the Immigration Office (Ausländerbehörde). In any case, registration with the police via the Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt) is an absolute essential.

More Information from the Office of Foreign Relations (Auswärtiges Amt) at the bottom of the page.

Mobility within the EU for the Purpose of Studying – EU Directive 2016/801

Regulations on mobility within the EU applying to students of non-EU nationality (third-country nationals) coming to the EU for the purpose of studying have been eased, but this only applies if the host university offers this service. It is not an automatism or a visa-waiver. 


More Information from the Office of Foreign Relations (Auswärtiges Amt):