Visa and Entry: Information for International Students
Before coming to GermanyBefore packing your suitcase to go to Germany, you should check whether you meet all the requirements for your stay abroad. Should you require a visa, make sure you apply for it as early as possible, as visa processing usually take several weeks or even months.
Who needs visa?
In order to study in Germany (longer than 90 days), non-EU-citizens have to apply for student visa. European Union (EU) citizens and those from the Schengen Area do not need any visa in order to enter and study in Germany. Furthermore, visa obligations for short-term stays (no longer than 90 days) have been exempted for citizens of some countries. An overview of all countries and information whether visa is required can be retrieved online at the German Foreign Office page:
Overview of visa requirements/exemptions for entry into the Federal Republic of Germany
Where do I apply for visa?
You can apply for visa in a German diplomatic mission in your country (Embassy or Consulate). The application papers for your requested visa are free of cost and available in your national language. In general, you should hand in your visa application personally with all documents required.
In order to avoid time consuming requests for additional information or documentation, you are advised to consult the website of the respective mission well in advance to find out about the visa procedure and about the documentation which has to be submitted.
Here you will find addresses of German missions around the world:
Addresses of German missions around the world
Which kind of visa do I need?/ Which documents are required?
The following documents are normally required for a successful visa application:
- acceptance letter from the University
- valid passport
- proof of student health insurance
- proof of financing
- proof of accommodation
- two biometric passport photos
This visa is commonly valid up to 90 days. After the arrival to Germany, you will have to apply for a residence permit, which will be valid for the whole period of your study.
You can also apply for student applicant visa for up to six months in case you need to stay in Germany whilst applying and preparing your studies. Changing your student applicant visa into a regular student visa is possible after admission to the University.
Do not enter Germany with a tourist visa as it not possible to change that one into a student visa. Only student applicant visa can be changed into student visa!
For further information please refer to the webpage of the German Embassy/Consulate in your country. Document requirements and application procedures vary from country to country.
Information about the mentioned documents
In case the University accepts your application for a place of study, you will be sent an acceptance letter by mail. The acceptance letter confirms that you are offered a place of study you applied for.
Your passport should be valid at least for three months before entering Germany. It would be best, however, if your passport was valid for your entire stay!
Proof of student health insurance
Health insurance is mandatory by federal law for all students of German universities. Therefore you will need valid health insurance in order to apply for a German visa and to enrol at the University of Göttingen. First, you should obtain a travel health insurance from your country of origin, which will cover the first weeks of your stay in Germany and enable you to apply for visa. Once in Göttingen, you should obtain a German health insurance for the period of your stay in Germany.
Proof of financing
In order to apply for visa you have to prove you have enough financial resources (approx. 8000 Euro/year) before staying abroad. This can be done by either presenting an account statement of a blocked account (Sperrkonto) or a confirmation of financial support by a third party, i.e. financial support by your family or a scholarship. Please note that a part-time job is not sufficient for self-financing in Germany.
Make sure to inquire at the German embassy in your country as to which form of financial proof is required.
Further information on opening a blocked account can be retrieved at
Study in Germany - Proof of financial resources
Proof of accommodation
Before entering you should take care of accommodation. A rental agreement (be it a room in a shared apartment or a dormitory room) is sufficient.
After enteringResidence permit:
If you plan to stay longer than 90 days, you will need a residence permit which you have to apply for at the Foreigner's Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde) within the first 90 days of your stay. When applying for it, you must present the following documents (please note, that it may be necessary to submit further documents):
- completed application form
- certificate of enrolment at the University of Göttingen
- proof of financial resources (if applicable)
- confirmation of health insurance coverage
- valid passport and valid entry visa
- proof of accommodation
- biometric passport photo
- confirmation of registration from the Resident Registration Office
- money for the fee
In order to apply for the permit, you should make an appointment during the telephone office hours of the Foreigner's Registration Office: Monday and Tuesday - 2:00pm-3:30pm.
Students A - G, J Junioroffice 0551 400-3202
Students H,I,K,R,S Ms V. Duntemann 0551 400-2308
Students L - Q Ms Mathusczyck 0551 400-2181
Students T - Z Mr Ische 0551 400-2688
Goethe/Erasmus Ms Noll 0551 400-2071
Students VE's Ms Rozeck 0551 400-2163
Your residence permit is issued in the form of a chip card which contains your personal data, such as your passport photo and finger prints. Four to six weeks after applying, you will be notified by the Foreigner's Registration Office that your residence permit has arrived. You must pick it up in person.