Visa & residence permit

Klemmbrett mit Formular zum Antrag auf ein Schengenvisum

In many cases, international students need a visa in order to be able to travel to Germany. Sometimes, they also need a German residence permit (also called eAT = elektronischer Aufenthaltstitel). Whether you require a visa or residence permit depends on your nationality and duration of your stay in Germany. We recommend using the Visa Navigator of the Federal Foreign Office.

Traveling to Germany without a visa

Citizens of EU countries, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland only need a valid ID card or passport to enter the country. You will obtain your residence permit automatically when registering at the residents’ registration office in Eichstätt or Ingolstadt.

Citizens of the following countries can also travel to Germany without a visa: Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea and the USA. If you want to stay in Germany for more than three months, you have to apply for a residence permit (eAT) after your arrival in Eichstätt or Ingolstadt. The same applies for students from Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco or San Marino. They are allowed to travel to Germany without a visa if they do not plan to work in Germany after their studies. Student jobs that are carried out during the course of study are exempt from this rule. In any case, it is recommended that you consult a German embassy or consulate general in your country to obtain more detailed information.

Applying for a German residence permit (eAT)

When applying for a German residence permit after your arrival, you will need the following documents:

  • Valid passport
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Biometric passport photo
  • Registration confirmation (Meldebestätigung) issued by the residents’ registration office
  • Certificate of enrollment issued by the KU
  • Copy of rental agreement (signed by all parties)
  • Proof of sufficient financial resources

Proof of sufficient financial resources

In order to obtain a German residence permit (eAT), you must provide proof of sufficient financial resources of € 861.00 per month. This means that you will have to provide proof of a blocked amount of € 5,166.00 for studying in Germany for one semester and an amount of € 10,332.00 if you want to study in Germany for two semesters. You can provide proof of your financial resources as follows:

  • Blocked account with Fintiba, Coracle, Deutsche Bank or Expatrio with the required blocked amount (€ 861 times the number of months in Germany)
  • OR: Declaration of commitment in the original (Please contact the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in your home country.)
  • OR: Scholarship certificate (€ 861 times the number of months in Germany). If you receive a smaller scholarship, the required blocked amount for a blocked account will be reduced accordingly by the amount of the scholarship.

Traveling to Germany with a visa

Usually, international applicants require a visa to travel to Germany. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. More detailed information on the visa requirement is available on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

If you require a visa, please make sure that you apply for the visa in your home country in due time. The German representations abroad (embassies or consulates general) are responsible for issuing visa. Depending on the duration and reason for your stay, they can either issue a Schengen visa or a national visa. The Schengen visa is valid for a short stay of up to three months, e.g. for holidays, language courses, summer schools and business trips, and cannot be extended. The national visa is intended for longer study stays.

Applying for an entry visa

Please contact the German embassy or the consulate in your home country if you would like to apply for a visa. The exact addresses of the German representations abroad can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office. Here, you also find information on the required documents for application. Generally, all application forms and required documents can be downloaded directly from the websites of the German representations abroad.

As soon as you have received a letter of acceptance from a university, you can apply for a student visa. If you are still waiting for the acceptance letter or if you have to complete an entrance test, you can apply for a study applicant visa. This visa type is valid for three months. If you receive your acceptance letter from the university or are admitted to a preparatory college or a preparatory German language course within this period, this visa can be extended by six months.

PLEASE NOTE: Often, it takes months until a visa is issued. Therefore, it is important that you apply for your visa in due time, even if you have not yet received a confirmation for your place of study. You can apply for a study applicant visa and have it converted into a student residence permit once you have arrived in Germany. Please note: A tourist visa cannot be converted into a student visa retrospectively.