Entry Requirements and Student Visas
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Visa issues can be a bit complex, and visa processing can take several months. Get started early. Contact the German Embassy or German Consulate in your home country to find out if you need a visa to study in Germany, and if so, what type of visa you need.
We’d also like to point out that all visas must be issued specifically for study purposes. A tourist visa, or a so-called Schengen visa, is not enough, and it is not possible to change your visa type after entering Germany. If you intend to enter Germany more than once (for example, after returning from a home visit), we recommend that you get a “multiple entry visa.”
An entry visa for study purposes is generally issued for three months. If you will be staying longer than three months, you must go to the Munich Foreigners Office to apply for a residence permit after arriving in Munich and before your entry visa expires.
Exception for Exchange Students
If you are planning to stay in Germany for no longer than one year, you can get a special visa for study exchange that is valid for 12 months. Note: When applying for your visa in your home country, you must explain to the German Embassy that you do not need a visa for study purposes, but for exchange!
Residence Permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis)
The Munich Foreigners Office is part of the Kreisverwaltungsreferat. If you are entering Germany with a study visa, apply for the residence permit directly after you arrive in Munich (and before your visa expires).
Hauptabteilung II Einwohnerwesen
Monday: 7:30am – 12:00pm
Tuesday: 8:30am – 12:00pm and 2:00pm – 6:00pm
Wednesday: by appointment
Thursday: 8:30am – 3:00pm
Friday: 7:30am – 12:00pm
You’ll need to bring the following documents:
- A valid passport
- A valid university registration (Immatrikulationsbescheinigung or student ID)
- Proof that you have the financial means to cover the period of your stay in Germany (further information available at the German Embassy or German Consulate)
- Proof of adequate health insurance (not travel insurance!)
- Biometric passport photograph