Entry and visa requirements

Whether you need a visa to study in Germany depends on your country of origin and the length of study.

Entry requirements

Different entry requirements apply depending on your country of origin or your nationality. If you come from an EU or EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) country, you do not need a visa, only a valid passport or identity card, to enter Germany.

For all other countries: Please check the Visa Navigator of the Federal Foreign Office to check which regulations apply to your home country. We recommend that you check the entry regulations regularly as changes can never be ruled out. Further information on visas and residence issues can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

Please note that it is your responsibility to apply for a visa and make sure that you do so as soon as you have received your letter of admission from LMU. The visa process can take some time so we recommend that you apply as soon as possible. Students who do not have appropriate legal status for the entire duration of their stay in Germany must expect serious consequences.

Visa for the purpose of studying

  • For international full-time students, a visa for the purpose of studying is usally issued for three months. Hence, please apply for a residence permit at the Ausländerbehörde (Foreigners Office) at the Kreisverwaltungsreferat, KVR (Department of Public Order) as soon as you arrive.
  • International exchange students, on the other hand, receive a visa for the entire study stay (6 or 12 months).
  • If you are not an EU or EFTA citizen, wish to stay in Germany for more than three months and did not require a visa to enter Germany, you must apply for a residence permit within three months of your arrival.

Please contact the German representation in your home country for more information. Make sure that the visa is issued for the expressed purpose of studying. A tourist visa or a so-called "Schengen visa" is not sufficient. Once you have entered Germany, it is not possible to change the type of visa you have. For multiple entries into Germany, for example if you wish to return to Germany after a visit to your home country, we recommend that you apply for a "Multiple Entry Visa."

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