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Do I need a visa for my course?

Whether or not you need a visa for your educational visit in Germany, depends upon your nationality and the planned duration of your stay. Students from the 28 nations of the EU, from Australia, Brazil, Israel, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Switzerland and the U.S. do not need an entry or residence permit. Applicants from other countries need to apply sufficiently early for a student’s or study applicant’s visa. This table by Germany’s Federal Foreign Office lists the nationalities requiring a visa.


What type of visa do I need?

A short-stay or Schengen visa (Category C) entitles you to a stay of at most 90 days within the entire Schengen zone including Germany. As a rule, it cannot be extended or converted into another visa type or residence permit. Citizens of the countries listed here may also apply for their residence permits after arrival in Germany.

A national visa (Category D) is valid for a period of more than 90 days and entitles the bearer to stay in Germany. Using a national visa to visit other Schengen states is only possible under specific circumstances. For our collegiates, various different types of national visa are suitable, depending upon their personal circumstances.

  • Language course visa: If you want to participate in an extended (longer than 90 days) German language course and afterwards leave the country, you should apply for a language course visa. This visa entitles you to a stay equivalent to the duration of the German course. While applying for the visa, you need to prove, by means of the registration certificate that we issued you with, that you have booked a German course lasting more than 90 days. This visa type cannot be converted to another visa type or residence permit. Upon completion of your German course, you need to leave Germany. The maximal total duration of your stay is 12 months. Additional information on the other requirements can be found on the website of the responsible German embassy or consulate-general in your home country.

  • Student visa: If you are planning to attend university in Germany and either have enrolled in one of our Foundation Courses or if you already have a (conditional) offer of a study place from a German university but first need to take a German course such as our DSH-Course, you should apply for a student visa. This type of visa entitles you to stay in Germany for a longer period of time. When applying for it, you need to present our registration certificate. Information on the other requirements can be found on the website of the responsible German embassy or consulate-general in your home country.

  • In exceptional cases, a study applicant visa is another possibility, for those interested in studying in Germany who do not yet have an offer of a place at university or for a preparatory course like our Foundation Courses, but only an invitation to sit the aptitude test. It is valid for three months and can be extended by another 6 months at most. While applying for it, you need to prove that you are actively looking for a study place at a German university and that you will attend an intensive German course during such time as your degree programme starts. If, subsequent to staying in Germany for the purpose of applying to universities, you commence a degree programme or a “preparatory measure” like participating in one of our Foundation Courses, your residence permit can be altered accordingly. Information on the other requirements can be found on the website of the responsible German embassy or consulate-general in your home country.

Would be happy to advise you which type of visa is the right one for you before you apply for a visa. After you have enrolled in one of our courses and paid the course fee in full, we will send you the registration certificate that you require for your visa application


How do I apply for a visa?

Applications for national visas (Category D) often take three months or more to process. Your planning must allow for that waiting period and you need to submit all required documents as soon as possible to the responsible German embassy or consulate-general in your home country. Further information can be found here.


How do I provide proof of financing?

When applying for a visa, you need to prove that you are able to finance your entire stay du (course fees, accommodation, food etc.) In Germany. The responsible German embassy or consulate-general in your home country decides which form of proof they accept. Generally speaking, the following possibilities exist:

  • A declaration of commitment or “Verpflichtungserklärung” from a person resident in Germany who guarantees the local Aliens’ Registration Office that he or she will finance your stay if necessary.

  • Funding from your parents For this, proof of income and evidence of assets need to be submitted.

  • A blocked bank account into which 8,820 € are paid. Each month, you can only withdraw 1/12 of this sum, i. e., 735 €. Such blocked bank accounts are offered for example by Deutsche Bank and Fintiba.

  • A non-revocable bank guarantee, whereby another person assumes full responsibility for all your eventual liabilities vis-à-vis a bank in Germany.