Visa and Residence Permit for Exchange Students

Do I need to apply for a visa? 

The entrance regulations for Germany vary according to the applicants nationality:

  1. Citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland only need a valid ID card or comparable document to enter the country.
     
  2. Citizens who come from from so-called „positiven Drittstaaten“ such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea or the United States you can enter Germany without a visa. 
     
  3. Non-EU students, from other countries outside the European Union, need a student visa that entitles them to participate in a study programme in Germany

Find further detailed information regarding visa regulations which apply to your specifc country of origin on the following webpages: 


Students from so-called "positiven Drittstaaten" 

As mentioned above, students from so-called "positiven Drittstaaten" such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea or the United States can enter Germany without visa.

However, if you plan to stay longer than 3 months in Germany, you need to apply for a residence permit, the so-called "Aufenthalterlaubnis", after your arrival to Germany.
The application must be submitted to the Immigrations Office "Ausländerbehörde" within the first three months of your stay in Germany. The International Office will support you during this process.

 

Non-EU students 

As Non-EU student, you usually need a student visa  to enter Germany for which you need to apply in your country of origin before you move to Germany.

Please make sure that you apply for a so-called "student visa" which allows multiple entries into the country. It is impossible to study in Germany with a tourist visa or a visa for “cultural/academic/language purpose”. Please apply as soon as possible since the visa process might take several weeks at the German consulate/embassy. Read more details concerning the application for a student visa here.

If you plan to stay longer than 3 months in Germany, you need to apply for a residence permit, the so-called "Aufenthaltserlaubnis", after your arrival to Germany. The application must be submitted to the Immigrations Office "Ausländerbehörde" within the first three months of your stay in Germany. The International Office will support you during this process. 

 

NON-EU students who study in a EU member state 

NON-EU citizens who study in a EU member state do not need to apply for a visa for Germany as the EU's mobility arrangements (REST Directive) enable you to study in other EU member states (with the exception of Ireland and Denmark) for up to 360 days if you hold a residence title for study purposes in the respective EU member state where your home university is located. 

Find more detailed information about the EU mobility within the REST Directive.

Here you can find more general information about studying in Germany and the legal framework conditions for immigration and residence of foreign students and scholars. 

 

Redaktionell verantwortliche Person nach § 18 Abs. 2 MStV:
Eva Quel