The Ultimate Guide For German Student Visa
All you need to know about securing a student Visa to Germany and realize your dream of pursuing higher studies in the country.
Over the years, Germany has attracted the attention of many students aspiring to study abroad. With its excellent education system, and universities which are highly ranked and recognized globally, it has become one of the prime choices for students to attain their study abroad dreams. If you are an international student who has already secured an admit into a German University, you would need to obtain a Student Visa and later Student Resident Permit (‘Visum zu Studienzwecken’ in German).
The student visa success rate for Germany is exceptionally high, with an acceptance rate of 95%., which means, most students who apply for the visa manage to get it easily, there are still certain factors that you need to be mindful about so as to avoid being one of the few who get rejected.
Types of Student Visa
Before we begin with learning about the process for Visa applications, Let us first check out the student visa types of Germany, one can apply for. There are three visa types that Germany offers for studying purposes. These are as follows:
1. German Student Applicant Visa
This is the type of Visa that allows you Not to study, but just visit Germany, for reasons such as in-person university applications, visiting campuses, and selecting your desired university, before the application. It is only valid for the university application processes, for a period of 3 months which can be extended up to 6 months, in some cases. It comes under the category of Schengen Visa (duration of 3 months to 1 year).
2. German Student Visa
This is a type of National D Visa, which students can apply for after receiving acceptance from their chosen universities. This visa allows you to stay and study in German Universities. However, it is valid only for a period of 3 months, after which you need to apply for a student residence permit to continue. It comes under the category of a German National Visa (duration of more than 3 months).
3. German Language Course Visa
This is the type of Visa, which is required for studying a university-recognized course in the German language, offered only in Germany. It is valid for a maximum period of 1 year, thus coming under the category of a Schengen Visa.
Now that we have seen the different types of Visas that Germany offers, we can move ahead to learn about the process of Student Visa Applications in Germany. In this article, we focus on the German Student Visa.
German Visa Rejection Reasons
The following can be various reasons why a German Student Visa can be rejected, such as:
1. Lack of adequate funds/financial stability to support the study and living expenses in Germany.
2. Unsatisfactory academic achievements or lack of eligibility for the chosen course of study.
3. Unrelated choice of study with the academic background or career goals.
4. Failure to demonstrate strong ties to the home country or inability to provide a convincing reason to return home after completion of studies.
5. Inability to meet the language requirements of the program.
6. Incomplete or improper set of documents submitted with the visa application.
7. Any false or misleading information provided in the application or during the interview process.
8. Criminal record or history of visa violations in other countries.
If you believe your financial background could raise an issue in securing the Visa, we recommend getting on a free consultation call with our financial planning team.
While we wouldn’t be able to correct anything that could lead to Visa rejection due to the last reason, we are confident that if you stick to the student visa process that we recommend, you would be able to easily secure the Visa you need to make your German education dream come true.
As a student, you may need to demonstrate your proficiency in German language in order to obtain a student visa, depending on the course you choose to pursue. This requirement falls into two categories.
In case your course is to be conducted solely in English, the university will provide you with a letter stating that proficiency in German is not necessary for your enrolment or completion of the program. This means that you can submit your visa application without providing proof of your language skills.
However, if your degree program is conducted in German, you will need to submit a certificate of German language proficiency of at least B1 level obtained from a recognized institute, as part of your visa application. In certain cases, the visa officer may also ask you a few questions in German during your visa interview. It is essential that you familiarize yourself with the student visa requirements. Creating a student visa checklist can come in very handy.
In November 2022, Germany introduced an additional requirement for Indian students called APS certificate. It is mandatory for Indian students to procure the APS certificate when it comes to studying in Germany. For details on how to move forward with the process of obtaining the APS Certificate, you can visit this link.
Aside of the APS Certificate, you need to keep the following documents ready with you before you begin with your Visa application:
1. A duly filled and signed Visa Application form and Declaration.
2. Valid National Passport, issued within the last 10 years and valid for at least another year on the date of visa application. The passport should have at least two empty pages; keep A-4-sized photocopies of the same, handy.
3. Birth Certificate.
4. Passport-size photographs (45 mm X 35 mm) created as per biometric specifications, with face and ears visible and neutral expression (at least 3).
5. Updated Curriculum Vitae (CV), Statement of Purpose (SoP)/Motivation Letter.
6. Letter of Acceptance from the German University and its photocopies.
7. University certificates and transcripts- Degree certificates and mark sheets.
8. Proof of Language proficiency for English and German, or mixed-language programs; IELTS scorecard (in case, English proficiency is not mentioned in the acceptance letter).
9. Proof of funds (€11,208) in the Blocked bank account; Savings Account balance to show tuition funds in case you are going to a private university; Scholarship letter, if applicable.
10. Proof of Visa Application fee (Demand Draft); It is around €75.00 (6,200 INR) for a National Visa and €80.00 (7088 INR) for a Schengen Visa.
11. Travel Health Insurance: There are no medical tests conducted for a student visa in Germany. However, you do need to have a Travel Health Insurance valid on arrival in Germany, to the date of enrolment at the university, to apply for a visa.
A 4-step guide to German Student Visa applications
1. Writing the Visa SOP/Motivation Letter
Writing a Statement of Purpose (SoP), also known as a Motivation Letter is an essential requirement to obtain a Tier D National Visa.. While you may have already written a statement of purpose (SOP) for your university application, the visa SOP or cover letter for your German student visa application is a different document that requires some additional information.
To begin with, you need to address the letter to the appropriate authority at the German embassy or Consulate where you’re applying, and ensure that you cover the following points:
a) Your academic and professional background
Include a brief description of the relevant coursework you have studied, any relevant work or internship experience you have, and how these have led you to your decision to pursue higher education in Germany.
b) Your career goals post-completion of the program
Demonstrate your strong ties to your home country by showcasing how you plan to apply the knowledge you would gain through the program in a manner that aligns with your future career goals.
c) Reasons for applying to the German University
Justify why you decided to apply to the specific program at the German institution – You may talk about the course-work, the ongoing activities that you wish to be part of, the campus life, and so on.
d) Evidence of financial support
Provide evidence that you have the financial means to support your studies in Germany. This includes details of your own financial resources, scholarships or grants you may have secured, and support from your family.
As the process of framing and iterating a befitting Statement of Purpose is time-consuming, it is advised to begin working on it early. While you are working on your Statement of Purpose, you may simultaneously move ahead with the applications.
2. Opening a Blocked Account
The first step in the process is opening a Blocked bank account. Now the question that arises here is what is a Blocked Bank Account. A blocked account is a unique type of bank account that foreign students applying to German universities need to open. Once they open the blocked accounts, they need to deposit the amount of money required to transfer an amount equivalent to one year of living expenses in the blocked account. This account is only accessible once you land in Germany; you cannot access it outside of Germany. The blocked account serves as proof of financial resources. You are required to demonstrate an amount of €934 per month or €11,208 per year.
Click below to open a blocked account from Deutsche Bank:
Blocked Account – Deutsche Bank
Click below to open a blocked account from Kotak Mahindra Bank:
Blocked Account – Kotak Mahindra Bank
Click below to open a blocked account with Fintiba:
Blocked Account – Fintiba
3. Filling out the Visa Application Form
You need to fill the Visa Application form accurately, without making any errors with the required details.
To access the Visa application form, please click on the following link
<Type D National Visa Application Form>
Once you have duly fulfilled all the requirements, you can now proceed with your Visa Applications.
4. Biometrics and Document Submission
Once you have filled out the Type D National Visa form, you need to collect the documents mentioned above. After this, you would need to visit the German Embassy or Consulate, submit the application form, and book an appointment.
Once the appointment is fixed, you will get a call for a visa interview. When you go for the visa interview, submit all the above-stated original documents, along with an adequate number of photocopies for each.
German Student Visa Fees
The fee for the student visa in Germany is €75.
Visa Processing Time
The German Student Visa processing takes approximately 25 days. The entire visa process takes around 6 to 12 weeks with the longest time being 3 months.
After the approval of your Visa, you are most likely to require a student residence permit to stay in Germany, for a period of more than 3 months. A student residence permit allows you to stay in Germany while you pursue your studies at the university. It is issued by the Ausländerbehörde (Foreigner’s Authority) after you land in Germany and is valid for up to 1 or 2 years. It can also be extended to suit the duration of your program.
Germany is one of the most suitable nations to provide international students the opportunity to combine their studies and work. Any person, holding a work visa or residence permit, is permitted to work in Germany. There are a number of German companies that offer student-job opportunities to international students. Click here on how to secure a post-study Work Permit for Germany.
How We can Help
Look back at the Reasons for Rejection of the German Study Visa. We already mentioned that there’s nothing we (or anyone) can do about the last reason. However, we can help in avoiding the other reasons.
We already mentioned that our financial planning team would be more than eager to help you plan your finances. This includes not just guidance on how to present your family financial situation to the embassy, but also help in securing education loans and opening blocked accounts.
Reasons 2, 3, and 4 can be avoided through an appropriately framed Visa SOP. Under the guidance of our expert counsellors at Collegepond, you will be able to frame an apt Statement of Purpose, which would considerably help you increase the chances of securing your Visa.
Reasons 5, 6, and 7 can be addressed through appropriate career and university selection counselling as well as through expert guidance on filling out the Visa forms. We also help in verifying the documents that you would submit to the Embassy.
We have a proven track-record in helping students secure study visas to Germany in a hassle-free and systematic manner, and we would be happy to help you too.
Yes, international students with a valid German Student Visa are allowed to work part-time for up to 120 full days or 240 half days in a year. However, during the semester, students are allowed to work only 20 hours per week, while during vacations or holidays, they can work full-time.
Yes, it is possible to extend your German Student Visa if you need more time to complete your studies. You should apply for an extension at least three months before your current visa expires. The extension is granted on the condition that you have made satisfactory progress in your studies and have sufficient financial means to support yourself.
To be eligible for a German student visa, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must have secured admission to a recognized German university or higher education institution.
- You must have adequate funds to cover your living expenses in Germany.
- You must have health insurance coverage for your entire stay in Germany.
- You must have a valid passport and be a resident of the country where you are applying for the visa.
- You must have no criminal record and must not pose a threat to the security of Germany.
- You must fulfil the language requirements for the course you have enrolled in.
- You must have a good academic record and demonstrate your academic achievements and future plans.
If you are a student with a German student visa, you are generally not allowed to bring your family with you. However, if your spouse or children want to join you in Germany, they can apply for a separate visa for family reunification. This visa will depend on your ability to support your family financially during their stay in Germany. It is advisable to check with the German embassy or consulate in your home country for more information on the visa requirements for family reunification.
If your German student visa application is rejected, you have the option to appeal the decision within one month of receiving the rejection letter. The appeal process involves submitting a written appeal to the immigration authorities explaining why you believe the decision was incorrect. It's important to note that the appeal process can be time-consuming and there's no guarantee that your appeal will be successful. If your appeal is also rejected, you may consider reapplying for the visa if your circumstances have changed or if you can provide additional information or documents to address the reasons for the initial rejection. Alternatively, you may explore other options such as applying to study in a different country or pursuing alternative pathways to achieve your academic and career goals.