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Immigration and visas

Depending on which country you are from, you will need a visa to get permission to enter Germany. You have to apply for it at the German Embassy or Consulate in your home country. Special regulations apply to citizens of the following countries:

  • Students from the European Union, the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland do not need a visa or residence permit to enter Germany. Within the first two weeks after their arrival, they simply need to register with one of Leipzig’s Bürgerämter (Citizens’ Office) and will automatically be issued a 'Residence Permit for Study', provided they can show proof of sufficient funding and health insurance coverage. 
  •  Students from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of South Korea, and the United States of America as well as Brazil, El Salvador, Andorra, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino do not need a visa to enter Germany. In addition to registering with one of Leipzig’s Bürgerämter (Citizens’ Office) within the first two weeks after their arrival, students from these countries need to apply within three months to the local Ausländerbehörde (Aliens’ Registration Office) for the 'Residence Permit for Study'.

All other students require a German student visa (issued by a German Embassy) prior to entering Germany. Please note that even if you come from a country (apart from those mentioned above) whose citizens can enter Germany with a simple tourist visa, you must possess a German student visa in order to apply for the residence permit. Tourist visas cannot be converted into residence permits under any circumstances. So if you don’t have a student visa at the Citizens’ Office, you will be required to return to your home country. This regulation applies both to holders of a residence permit from another EU country and to persons who entered Germany with a tourist visa. There is absolutely no exception to this regulation and HTWK Leipzig will not be able to assist you.

applying for a student visa

Apply for your student visa at the German Embassy or Consulate in your home country. Visa processing will usually take six to eight weeks. In some cases it may even take longer, so plan to apply well in advance. Your visa will be valid for up to 90 days. You will normally be required to submit the documents listed below. The Embassy, however, can ask for additional documents or further clarifications. The information provided by them takes priority.

For further questions please refer to the German Embassy or Consulate in your home country. Addresses are available at the website of the Federal Foreign Office, which also features further information on the visa process and the appropriate application forms.

Letzte Änderung: 28.8.2012
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