ASL is happy to help all students who are required to obtain a visa before attending one of our German courses. However, there are numerous questions that can be pre-empted by following these helpful instructions and tips:
Any non-EU citizen applying for a university place in Germany is required to obtain a visa. Exemptions are made for applicants from Australia, Japan, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, the USA, Switzerland, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino.
The appropriate type of visa may differ from applicant to applicant. It is important to notice that it is not possible to convert a tourist visa into a student visa. With the Tourist Visa, you are not allowed to study in Germany. Therefore, applying for the correct visa is crucial.
For international students and applicants, there are three types of visa:
A Language Course Visa, which cannot be converted into a Student Visa,
A Student Applicant Visa which is typically issued for a three-month period, but can be extended up to 18 months if attendance on a German language course can be proved,
A Student Visa which is issued for one year.
To obtain a visa, you need a passport, a letter of admission from your German university or the Foundation Course provider (Studienkolleg) and proof that you can finance your studies. In case you a an au pair: After one year, the visa can be converted into a Student Applicant Visa after one year if the requirements for studying are fulfilled.
In order to apply for the Student Applicant Visa, the following documents are required:
– a valid passport.
– passport photos,
– a university entrance qualification which is recognised as equivalent to a German higher education entrance qualification (e.g. matriculation certificate or equivalent). Applicants from certain countries need official approval of their certificates from an accreditation office (“Zeugnisanerkennungsstelle”).
– proof of booking a language course
– information about previous academic performance
– proof of financial resources
To apply for a Student Visa, you furthermore need a Letter of Admission from your German university or the Foundation Course provider (Studienkolleg). In few cases, the university’s confirmation of application can be sufficient. You can apply for a visa at the German Embassy or at a German Consulate in your home country. We recommend that you submit your application as early as possible. Regarding further specific visa formalities, you can make enquiries at the German Representations Abroad.
If the unlikely event that your visa application is refused, your course fees will be refunded (minus a small handling fee). It would also be possible and free of charge to postpone the start date of your course.