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.

If you wish to study at Goethe University under an exchange program and have already been issued a residence permit for studies in another EU member state, you can come to study at Goethe University without having to apply for a visa for Germany. In this case, you have to submit additional documents to Goethe University (incoming(at) in). Then, Goethe University can apply for a confirmation for your stay here. Without this confirmation, you are not allowed to come to Germany for studies!

Mobility within the EU is facilitated under the following conditions (not valid for Great Britain, Ireland, and Denmark)1

  • Studies in an EU member state with a residence permit of this EU member state for the purpose of studies
  • Studies at Goethe University under an exchange program (ERASMUS, bilateral exchange program [e.g. direct exchange Charles University Prague], departmental exchange program)
  • Studies at Goethe University for a maximum of 360 days
  • A residence permit of an EU member state that is valid for the duration of studies at Goethe University (if necessary, have the residence permit extended in due time before the mobility!)
  • Submission of the additional documents to Goethe University by

15 July (for winter term; earliest planed arrival: September)
15 January (for summer term; earliest planed arrival: March).

Note: The complete notification has to be made available to the National Contact Point (Federal Office for Migration and Refugees) at latest 30 days before the planned entry into Germany. In order to avoid delays in your arrival, it is your responsibility to make sure that the International Office of Goethe University receives the complete documents, in the format described below by the above stated deadline, in order for the International Office of Goethe University to have enough processing time to forward the documents to the National Contact Point.

If the documents submitted are incomplete or submitted after the deadline, Goethe University will not be able to apply for a confirmation for your stay. In that case, you will not be permitted to come to Goethe University for studies! 

Documents to be submitted:

Submit all documents in PDF format and name it with your family name and the document type: e.g. Family name_Pass.pdf. Submit the documents to incoming(at)

  1. Complete notification form.
    Document title: Family Name_Mitteilungsformular.pdf
    Information for completion:
    Section 4: name of the institution: Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, address of the institution: Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, International Office, 60629 Frankfurt am Main
    Relevant contact person in the higher education institution: Julia Freier, phone: +49 (0)69 798-15080, freier(at)
    Section 5: delivery address for certificate of mobility: Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, International Office, c/o Julia Freier, 60629 Frankfurt am Main
  2. Copy of the residence permit of the EU member state (validity for the duration of the stay at Goethe University)
    Document title: Family name_Aufenthaltstitel.pdf
  3. Copy of the passport
    Document title: Family name_Pass.pdf
  4. Proof of financial resources in the amount of EUR 861 / month
    E.g. current print out from your bank account or your parent’s bank account; in case you receive an additional grant: letter of award from the scholarship donor.
    The proof needs to show that a continuous support is taking place and that you have sufficient resources to cover the monthly costs while studying at Goethe University (approx. monthly allowance: Euro 861 (Bafög-Satz)
    Document title: Family name_Lebensunterhalt.pdf
  5. Health insurance certificate (copy of EHIC)
    Document title: Family name_KV.pdf
  6. Admission letter
    Guest students receive the letter of admission approx. in February for summer term, in August for winter term. You may ask for a preliminary letter of admission after the International Office has received your complete application form via postal mail.
    Document title: Family name_Zulassung.pdf 

[1] If you study in Great Britain, Ireland or Denmark, you have to apply for an entry visa with the German embassy when you want to study at Goethe University. These EU member states do not take part in the simplified mobility scheme. Further information on entry requirements can be found above.

Please keep in mind that the certificate for mobility issued by the Federal Office pertains to the originally planned study period. If you extend your study period, you must contact incoming(at), in order for the International Office to request an extension at the Federal Office.

Additional Information:

Federal Office for Migration and Refugees:

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