Study PHD in Germany 2023
Basic monthly living cost
Rent in a shared flat524
Share of utilities85
Sample lifestyle cost
Fast food combo9
Pint of local beer4
- Language Course Visa (Visa for Language Learning) – the perfect option for those that want to learn the German language in Germany.
- Student Applicant Visa (Visum Zur Studienbewerbung) – if you want to study in Germany, but are still trying to find the right program or you still haven’t got the confirmation letter from your University.
- Student Visa (Visum Zu Studienzwecken) – if you have already been accepted to a German university.
What type of Visa do you need?
Language Course Visa; Student Applicant Visa; Student Visa
Price and currency
You should expect to pay €60 (~US$74) for your student visa to Germany.
Who can apply for the visa?
For citizens from the EU or from Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, or Liechtenstein, it is only necessary to have an identity card to enter Germany. It is not necessary to have a visa.
Citizens from Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea, and the USA can apply for their visa even after they arrived in Germany.
For citizens from other countries, it is necessary to apply for a visa before coming to Germany.
If staying less than 90 days in Germany, there are even more regulations. Citizens from certain countries can enter Germany for this time without a visa. These are Venezuela, Vatican City, Uruguay, Singapore, Seychelles, Paraguay, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, Mauritius, Malaysia, Macau, Croatia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Chile, Brunei, Brazil, Bolivia, Bermuda, Barbados, Bahamas, and Argentina.
Visit the website of the German Federal Foreign Office for the latest visa requirements for all countries: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/einreiseundaufenthalt/visabestimmungen-node
Where can you make the application?
German embassy or consulate
You’ll need to apply for a visa from the German embassy or consulate in your home country.
How to make the application?
First, you need to schedule an appointment for a visa interview. On the day of the interview, you should offer your visa application documents.
The documents you typically need are:
- Completed application form
- Valid passport
- Two photographs
- Letter showing you’ve been accepted by a German university
- Transcript of academic record
- Certificate of German language proficiency or proof that you intend on attending a language course in Germany (if studying in German)
- Proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself while living in Germany (€8,700 per year, which is roughly ~US$9,390)
- Certificate showing you’ve purchased health insurance
- Declaration of the authenticity of documents submitted
Dependent on the embassy, you may also need to show proof that you don’t have a criminal record.
Everyone needs to register with the local registration authorities (Einwohnermeldeamt) in the first week of arriving in Germany. You’ll need to take your passport/national ID (and visa if appropriate), proof of your address in Germany (eg. a rental agreement from your landlord) and possibly the registration certificate from your course. You’ll be given a confirmation of registration.
When should you apply?
Examination of the visa application usually takes about 6 to 8 weeks for a language course. However, if the language course is longer than three months, the time taken for processing the application can extend up to 8 to 10 weeks. And during peak travel season, applications can be sent under the waiting period. Thus, students requiring a student visa for Germany should submit their applications well ahead of time before the commencement of the course. You should apply as soon as possible, and at least three months before your move to the country.
Study visas are valid only for the length of the course or program. The resident permits are usually issued for a year but may be extended.
Citizens of EU/EEA countries and Switzerland can work freely in Germany but for no more than 20 hours a week during term time.
EU/EEA/Swiss citizens (now including Croats as of July 2015) are permitted to work up to 120 full or 240 half days a year (including voluntary work) without permits. You can work more hours if employed by the university as a student or graduate assistant; for other types of employment you will need permission from the Agentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency) and the Aliens' Authority to exceed the 120/240 limit. Studienkolleg and language students need permission from these authorities in order to take on any work. Students can’t be freelancers or self-employed.
Hours per week
Why do you need this type of visa?
These are the main reasons why your visa application for a German student visa may be rejected:
- Poor financial status
- Poor academic profile
- Lack of preparation for your interview
- Insufficient language level (German or English)
- Inconsistency with your choice of study program
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