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Visa and Residence Permit

Depending on your country of origin, there are different entry and residence regulations:

  • EU and EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland): Valid passport or identity card
  • Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand and USA: Valid passport (If you plan to stay in Germany for more than three months, you will have to apply for a residence permit (Aufenthaltstitel) directly after arrival or before three months have elapsed).
  • Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino: Valid passport, on condition that no employment is taken up
  • Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro: Visa exemption for holders of biometric passports
  • Macao and Hong Kong: Visa exemption for holders of SAR-passports
  • All other countries: Visa from the German Embassy or German Consulate in home country.

Please contact the German Embassy / Consulate in your home country for detailed information. Please note that, if you require a visa, it must be issued for study purposes. A tourist visa or a so-called “Schengen visa” is not enough. It is not possible to change the type of visa after entering Germany. If you intend to enter Germany more than once (e.g. after returning from a home visit), we recommend that you get a “multiple entry visa”.

A visa for study purposes is generally issued for three months. We advise you to apply to the foreigners’ registration office (Ausländerbehörde) for a residence permit (Aufenthaltstitel) directly after arrival. If you are not a citizen of an EU or EFTA country, plan to stay in Germany for more than three months, and did not require to have a visa to enter Germany, you will have to apply for a residence permit (Aufenthaltstitel) directly after arrival or before three months have elapsed.

You will find more information in the Handbook for Exchange Students.

Responsible for content: International Office


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