Entry clearance requirements depend on the citizenship of the applicant. Citizens of many countries do not need a visa to visit Germany for stays of up to 90 days. Please check our country list if you are not sure whether you need a visa. Visa Country List
Where and how to apply?
Citizens of the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the Republic of Korea, as well as EU citizens may apply for their residence permit after entering Germany without a visa. However, please note that some German Aliens' Authorities require a prior visa application - even for the above mentioned citizens - due to an overload of residence permit applications and the unavailability of appointments. In cases where an employment is intended to begin directly after arrival in Germany (e.g. work, internship, research), a visa (which includes the work permit) has to be issued in advance, since it is not possible to start working in Germany before having the obligatory work permit.
Citizens of other countries are required to apply and obtain a residence permit prior to entry at the German Embassy in Washington or the Consulate Generals in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York or San Francisco.
All German Missions require that you schedule an appointment in order to apply for a visa. Appointments have to be booked via our free online appointment system.
Click on the Consulate Finder below to find out where to submit your application and to learn about any specific application procedures. Due to local particularities handling and processing may vary slightly among the German missions involved. Except for rare instances, you have to submit your application in person. Consulate Finder
Upon submission of all required documents the application will be forwarded to the Aliens' Authority (Ausländerbehörde) competent for your intended place of residence in Germany. Student visa applications take about 25 days to be processed. Scientists holding a scholarship by a German scientific organization may be granted a visa within a few days by the Embassy or Consulate General. For all other applications processing may take about 1 - 3 months. After the application has been approved by the Aliens' Authority the German Mission will issue a residence permit in the form of a visa. The Aliens' Authority requires all residence permit holders to register upon their first arrival. A final residence permit will be granted in Germany after Arrival.
What do I need to fill out and bring?
- Residence Visa Application Form
- Visa Delcaration of Accurancy
- Visa Photo Examples
- Visa Fees
- Information on Data Protection
Proof of sufficient funds for studies or language courses in Germany
The applicant has to show proof of sufficient funds for the entire duration of the studies or courses (no less than 720.00 EUR per month). There are two options to finance your stay:
1. Scholarship: proof of scholarship, stating duration and amount of monthly allowances
2. Self-financed stay: When applying for a visa, you can provide evidence that you are able to meet your cost of living by opening a blocked bank account (“Sperrkonto”) in Germany. You have a free choice of provider. Information on providers that offer this service worldwide is available on the Federal Foreign Office website.
Required Documents (Original + 2 copies of each document)
- Studying in Germany PDF / 304 KB
- German Language Course PDF / 304 KB
- Researcher PDF / 296 KB
- Internship PDF / 311 KB
Please Note: Although the information on this website has been prepared with utmost care, we can not accept any responsibility for inaccuracies contained herein.