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

Depending on your country of origin or nationality, different entry requirements apply:

  • EU and EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland): Valid passport or identity card required
  • Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand, United Kingdom and USA: Valid passport required
  • Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino: Valid passport required, provided that you are not planning to work
  • Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Northern Macedonia and Montenegro: Visa exemptions apply for holders of a biometric passport
  • Macao and Hong Kong: Visa exemptions apply for holders of a SAR passport
  • All other countries: Visa required from the German Embassy or Consulate in your home country

Visas for the purpose of studying

If you are planning on studying your visa is usually issued for three months. As soon as you arrive, please apply for a residence permit at the Ausländerbehörde (Foreigners Office) in the Kreisverwaltungsreferat, KVR (Department of Public Order). If you are not an EU or EFTA citizen wanting to stay in Germany for more than three months who 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. Be careful to ensure that the visa is issued for the expressed purpose of studying. A tourist visa or a so-called "Schengen visa" won't be sufficient. Once you have entered Germany, it will not be possible to change the type of visa you have. For multiple entries into Germany, such as returning after a visit to your home country, we recommend that you apply for a "Multiple Entry Visa."

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