The top universities in Germany and their rich repository of STEM courses attract some of the most gifted and trained minds from across the world. Further, in comparison to other popular destinations to pursue overseas education, the cost of studying in Germany is extremely favourable. This can be attributed to the fact that the European country houses scores of public universities that offer free education in Germany. However, having a Germany student visa is a major requirement to start your higher education in the “land of ideas”. Let’s explore the types of visas and the application that you should know about.
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Types of German Student Visas
Depending on the duration of your stay and time of application, there are some categories of Germany student visa that you can choose from:
A Schengen Visa is the most popular form of international visa granted for individuals from other countries and is valid for a stay of 90 days in a six month period. Typically, many students going for short-term programs such as language courses, training and foundation courses can submit an application for a Schengen Visa. You can travel through all the member EU countries and it is non-extendable as well. This form of Germany visa is also valid for business and travel purposes.
Bachelor’s, master’s and PhD courses are classified under long-term study programs as they have a duration of more than 3 months and thus, a national visa is required for such studies. The validity is 3 months to one year but can be extended in cases of exceptional circumstances.
The Germany Student Visa is a subcategory of the above national Visa category. It further has the following types:
- General Student Visa: Those students who fulfil one of the following are treated as admitted students if they already possess an unconditional offer of admission from a German university for the pursuit of master’s, doctoral or postdoctoral level degree programs or if they have already been offered a full scholarship for higher studies in a recognised German institution.
- Prospective Student Visa: If you are awaiting your admission decision from a recognised university in Germany or due to appear for an entrance examination, you are permitted to apply for a Prospective Student Visa. This is valid for a period of 3 months and can be extended for six months if you get an offer of admission from a higher education institution or enrol in a foundation course/ preparatory German language course during this period.
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Germany Student Visa: Document Checklist
Here is a list of required documents that you must have while applying for a German student visa.
|Valid Passport [must have been issued in the last 10 years and valid for at least 12 months after scheduled return]|
|1 A4 size Copy of Passport’s Data page|
|3 Passport Pictures as per biometric specifications|
|Cover Letter aptly describing the purpose and duration of stay|
|Admission letter [electronic version] from a German University|
|Evidence of Payment of Study Fees, only if applicable|
|English Proficiency Test scores (like IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge English, TOEIC, etc.) and/or German language proficiency like TestDAF, DSH, etc. [German language proficiency is required only in case wherein the German is the medium of instruction during the course]|
|Evidence of Other Academic Qualifications, only if applicable|
|Proof of Financial Means in order to cover the full duration of your study costs in the form of either Confirmation of Scholarship/Stipend or Formal Obligation Letter from Sponsor Living in Germany.|
|Travel Health Insurance which covers the period maximum of 30 months from the date of your departure to the date of enrollment.|
Note 1: To provide proof of financial means in your Germany student visa application, you can set up a blocked bank account with any banking or finance company. While there is no restriction of any specific company, in general, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Cox and Kings Financial Services Limited offer services of blocked accounts in India which meet the requirements and regulations of the visa procedure.
Note 2: There is a withdrawal limit of 853 Euros per month/10236 Euros per year from your blocked account Sept 1, 2019, onwards. However, during the first few months of your arrival in Germany, your monthly spend may exceed this limit owing to expenses of a rent deposit, utility deposit, furniture, stationery, books, etc. Thus, it is strongly advised that students must have access to other financial resources in order to sustain such extra expenses.
Germany Student Visa: Application Process
There is a simplified application process that you need to follow to procure a Germany Student Visa. This includes filling out the application form and scheduling an appointment at the German Embassy in New Delhi or the German Consulate General in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata or Bengaluru. Further, before appearing for a visa interview, you must submit your application form along with the visa fees required. The visa fee for applying for a Germany student visa is around 75-80 EUR (roughly 6,200-6,620 INR) and is commonly required to be paid through bank transfer but the specified payment methods might vary as per one embassy to another.
The processing time of a Germany student visa usually spans across 25 days but it mainly depends on the German embassy and the country you are applying from. If there are some issues with the visa application, it might take 6-12 weeks and the longest processing time mainly extends across 3 months.
Getting Student Resident Permit in Germany
After getting your student visa, you will have to obtain student resident permit once you arrive in the country. International students must register their residential address in Germany at their nearest local residents’ office and then schedule an appointment with the nearest immigration office to apply for the student resident permit. Having a student residence permit along with Germany student visa, you can avail the following perks:
- You can pursue full-time work opportunities for 120 days or part-time work prospects for 24 days a year throughout the duration of your study programme. But you must keep in mind that you can’t sign long-term contracts with a student residence permit.
- In case that your chosen course extends for longer, you must visit the nearest immigration office and apply for an extension on your student residence permit along with submitting the required fee amount which might differ as per the duration of the extension.
- If you plan to stay for a few months to pursue work opportunities on the completion of your course, then you can get an extension for up to 18 months and if you get a full-time job during this period, then you can further apply for a German Employment Residence Permit.
The application process for a Germany student visa is quite simplified but a time-consuming process and that’s why it is important to that you have the required documents and application essentials for the visa interview to ensure that you get your application processed in time.
Yes, students can pursue work opportunities in Germany with a student visa but you are only allowed to work full-time for a total of 120 days or part-time for 240 days in a year.
The fee for a Germany student visa is 75-80 EUR (roughly 6,200-6,620 INR) and is generally required to be paid through bank transfer though the payment method might vary from one embassy to another.
Having a Germany student visa, you can stay in Germany for the initial 3 months and within this duration, it is important that you apply for a student residence permit which is issued for the maximum period of 2 years.
Needless to say, if you are looking to apply for a Germany Student Visa, you need to add every point of information carefully while also keeping yourself updated with the deadlines. Take the assistance of the experts at Leverage Edu who can guide you in completing your visa application while also taking care of the hassles of writing impressive an SOP and LORs thus staying by your side at every step of your study abroad application and making sure that you get successfully shortlisted into your dream university.