Germany offers a large variety of opportunities to study, and some German Universities rank among the best in the world. Particularly, there are attractive international courses, such as Bachelor’s, Masters and Doctorates. Many courses offer the possibility for students to take the course in foreign languages such as English or French.
The VISA for studying in Germany specifically applies to preparatory measures in order to attend higher education institutes. These include language schools, preparatory classes for colleges, and full-time doctoral studies at German higher education institutions.
VISA for Studying in Germany Requirements
If you are a third-country national requiring a VISA to enter Germany for the purpose of studying, it is important that you fulfill the following requirements:
- You have been officially accepted to one of the recognised higher education institutions in Germany.
- Provide proof of a recognised degree or diploma from a higher education institute, or a secondary school diploma allowing you to study at higher educational institutions.
- You are able to cover the entire cost of living for the duration of your study. This can be proof of a scholarship, a declaration of commitment or a blocked account of at least EUR 10,236 (valid for 2020).
- You might need to provide proof of language knowledge required to complete the program. Generally, a minimum level of B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is required.
Keep in mind that together with these requirements for obtaining the VISA, your educational institute might have specific admission requirements as well.
The Duration Of the VISA for Studying
Once you have entered Germany with your VISA, you can apply for a residence permit. The residence permit is valid for a minimum period of one (1) year and a maximum of two (2) years. If you have not obtained your qualification within the two-year timeframe, it is possible to request an extension.
As part of your residence permit for the purpose of studying in Germany, you may also work 120 full days or 240 half days during your stay without the need to apply for a VISA or residence permit for jobseekers.
Partially Study In Germany
If you have obtained a VISA from another EU country, the mobility arrangements for students allow you to complete a portion of your studies in Germany for up to 360 days without a residence permit.
You must on the other hand inform the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) together with the EU state your VISA is issued from of your plans to stay in Germany for the purposes of study. Some documents will be required in order to study part of your course in Germany.
Working in Germany After Completing Your Studies
Often, students create a network by completing internships during their education. If you would like to remain in Germany to work after you have completed your studies, you can apply for a residence permit for jobseekers.
This residence permit is issued for up to 18-months in order to find qualified work in Germany. During this time you can perform any kind of job in order to sustain yourself. Once you have a job offer or employment contract, your residence permit for the purpose of studying will be converted into a residence permit for qualified professionals or to an EU Blue Card.
Furthermore, foreign graduates of German higher educational institutes can apply for a settlement permit after working in Germany for a minimum of two (2) years.
If You Have Not been Accepted Yet To a Recognised Institution
If you have not yet been accepted to one of the recognised higher education institutions in Germany, it is still possible to enter Germany. In this case, you can apply for a VISA for the purpose of applying for a course of study.
This means you can enter Germany without having fulfilled the first criteria above: “you have been officially accepted to one of the recognised higher education institutions in Germany”. However, the remaining requirements remain in place.
It is important to note that the main difference from these two VISA’s, is that for the purpose of applying for a course of study, it only allows you to remain in Germany for up to 9 months and cannot be extended for the same purpose. You are also not allowed to take up any employment during this time.
So whether you have been accepted into a recognised higher education institution or not, you still have the possibility to enter Germany in order to study. If you already have been accepted, make sure to apply for the first type of VISA so you have better benefits and flexibility.
Health Insurance Requirements in Germany
Depending on the length of stay, you may be required to obtain health insurance in Germany. EU nationals are covered with their European Health Insurance Card for up to one year. For a longer period in, and for third-country nationals wanting to study in Germany require valid health insurance. Either private health insurance in Germany or covered within statutory family health insurance.