Visa & 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. EU s​​​tudents, coming from countries within the European Union, only need their passport to enter Germany
     
  2. Students from so-called „positiven Drittstaaten“ including USA, Israel, Brazil or South Korea 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

Please find further detailed information regarding visa regulations which apply to your specifc country of origin on the webpage Study in Germany and of the Federal Foreign Office


Students from so-called "positiven Drittstaaten" 

Students from so-called "positiven Drittstaaten" such as the USA, Israel, Brazil or South Korea 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. 
 

Further information 

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 § 55, Abs. 2 RStV:
Eva Quel