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?
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: With a limited‑withdrawal bank account (also known as blocked account) you can provide evidence during the visa application process that you have adequate financial resources. A monthly amount of at least 720.00 EUR (8,640.00 EUR for a whole year) has to be at your disposal when studying in Germany.
We know of the following providers in Germany who currently offer limited‑withdrawal bank accounts for students:
If you want to open a blocked account with Deutsche Bank, please read this information leaflet carefully:
Blocked Account Opening with Deutsche Bank PDF / 258 KB
Required Documents (Original + 2 copies of each document)
- Studying in Germany PDF / 335 KB
- High School Exchange Year PDF / 334 KB
- German Language Course PDF / 339 KB
- Scientific Research PDF / 333 KB
- Researcher PDF / 239 KB
- Internship PDF / 338 KB
- Voluntary Service PDF / 340 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.