Germany offers foreigners the opportunity to apply for three different types of student visas: the language course visa, the student application visa, and the student visa.

After receiving a student visa last week for my Master’s studies, I have now officially had each of these three types of student visas sometime within the last year. So, since I am now a professional German student visa applicant, I figured I would share some of my knowledge with you.

Here are each of the three types of German student visas and how to get them:

1. Language Course Visa

The language course visa is the perfect option for those that want to spend time in Germany as they learn the German language. 
    German language course visa
    To apply for this visa, the following documents are required:
    • Passport
    • Health Insurance
    • Proof of Finances
    • Biometric Photo
    • Fees (60-100 Euro)
    • Proof of Enrollment in a Language Course
    Officially, the language course must meet for at least 20 hours/week. However, I was able to get this visa by being enrolled in a course that only met for 3 hours/week. Therefore, it is best to ask at your local Foreigner’s Office (Ausländerbehörde) for the specific requirements.
    For more information about this visa, read my full post about the German language course visa.

    2. Student Application Visa


    If you think that you want to study in Germany, but are still trying to find the right program, then you are allowed to stay in Germany on what is known as a student application visa (Studienbewerbervisum).

    German student application visa
    To apply for this visa, the following documents are required:
    • Passport
    • Health Insurance
    • Proof of Finances
    • Biometric Photo
    • Fees (60-100 Euro)
    This is a relatively easy visa to get since you do not need to prove enrollment in anything, you just have to have all of the standard documents. If the people at the Foreigner’s Office give you problems in trying to get this visa like they did to me, just show them paragraph 16 from the German law on foreigner’s permits. The visa is only for 3 months, but it can be extended two times for a total of 9 months.

    For more information about this visa, check out my full post on the German Student Application Visa.

    3. Student Visa

    Once you have already been accepted to a German university, and you have officially enrolled, then you can apply for a German student visa. 
    German student visa
    To apply for this visa, the following documents are required:
    • Passport
    • Health Insurance
    • Proof of Finances
    • Biometric Photo
    • Fees (60-100 Euro)
    • Proof of Enrollment at a German University
    As long as you have official proof of enrollment at a German university, getting this visa should be quite simple. If you have already been living in Germany for awhile and are currently on a different visa (such as the student application visa), then they will simply stamp it “invalid” before giving you your new student visa, just like they did to mine:

    To read about my experience in getting a student visa, check out the following posts: Confusing Process of Getting a German Student Visa, Student Visa Update, Day of German Bureaucracy

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