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Residency permit for students from states outside the EU/EEA

Residency permit for students from states outside the EU/EEA 

  • Überblick


    Potential students from certain countries may enter Germany without a visa but require a residency permit for students for residency longer than three months. You’ll find further information under the service description Apply for a student visa. 

    Potential students from countries outside the EU/EEA who enter Germany with a student visa must apply for a residency permit for the purposes of study before the visa expires. This residency permit will be for a limited period of time and is valid only for this purpose of residency. You must apply for an extension to the residency permit in good time before its expiry.

    The length and requirements for the residency permit depend on the purpose of residency:

    Residency permit for participation in a language course

    - For intensive language courses, you can obtain a residency permit for a maximum of 12 months.

    - For preparatory measures for a course of study (e.g. attending a language course or preparatory college, preparatory internships), you may obtain a residency permit for a maximum of two years.

    Residency permit for university application

    - The validity period is nine months maximum. Within this period, you must provide evidence of admission to university or admission to a preparatory language course or to a preparatory college.

    Residency permit for purposes of study

    - Validity period of 1 - 2 years, whereby the permit may be extended for two further years in the case of a positive development of the course of study and secure financing. You must apply for an extension before the expiry of the initial validity period.

    - The field of study will be indicated as purpose of residency on the residency permit. For this reason, a change in your field of study or place of study must be reported to the foreigners’ registration authorities immediately.

    - Internships in a company that are part of the course of study do not effect the purpose of residency. You will, however, require an additional permission by the foreigners’ registration authority, which must first obtain approval from the Employment Agency under certain circumstances.

    - Apply for student visa

    Who do I have to contact?

    - Please contact the German overseas representation (embassy/ consulate) for the issue of a visa before travelling to Germany.

    - after entering Germany: the foreigners’ registration office in the district in which you normally reside.
    The foreigners’ registration authorities in Hesse are the district administrators and mayors of independent towns and of municipal towns with more than 50,000 inhabitants.

    Tip: The Foreign Office has a list on its website of the representations of the Federal Republic of Germany abroad.

    - List of representations of the Federal Republic of Germany abroad.



     You must apply for a residency permit with the foreigners’ registration authorities before your entry visa expires. If you are allowed to enter without a visa, you must apply for a residency permit with the foreigners’ registration authorities within three months after arriving in Germany. Responsible for you are the foreigners’ registration authorities in the district in which you usually live (depending on the location, the district council of the administrative district or the mayor of independent cities and towns).



    Requirements for the issue of the residency permit are:

    - Study at a

        public or

        state-recognised institution of higher education (university, teacher training college, art academy, university of applied sciences) or

        a comparable educational institution

    - Study as the main purpose of residency

    This includes all phases of training/education:

          Language course or preparatory college as preparation for study
          Language testing
          Internships to prepare for the study (provided these are recommended or required by the university)
          Course of study (basic course, main course, study-related internships, interim and final examinations)
          Further, additional or supplementary courses or doctoral courses
          Practical activities at the close of a course of study (if these are a required part of the course)

    - that your subsistence and health insurance in Germany are secure.

    - that you fulfil the requirements for entrance into the course of your choosing.


    - Certification of the purpose of residence (admission to a language course or course of study, enrolment certificate, evidence of progress through course),

    - Financial evidence (e.g. statement on parental income and assets, payment of a security to a blocked account in Germany, scholarship agreement),

    - Evidence of health insurance

    - Passport (valid for at least the duration of the residency permit applied for) – in the case of Swiss citizens, a valid personal ID card is sufficient,

    - two recent passport photos.

    Please enquire with the responsible authorities as to which documents are required.


    - €100 – €110 (depending on length of validity),

    - Young people under the age of 18 pay half of the fee,

    - Persons who are being awarded a scholarship from public funds are exempt from the fee.

    Legal foundations

    - Section 3 Residence act (AufenthG) (Passport obligation)

    - Section 4 Residence act (AufenthG) (Requirements for right of residency)

    - Section 5 Residence act (AufenthG) (Subsistence, health insurance, general requirements for issue)

    - Section 16 Residence act (AufenthG) (Study, language school, attending school)

    - Sections 39-41 Residency ordinance (AufenthV) (Obtaining a residency permit in Germany)

    - Section 45 Residency ordinance (AufenthV) (Fees)


    Foreign students with a residency permit for purposes of study may work alongside their studies for 120 whole days or 240 half days without requiring approval.

    After successful completion of the course of study, the residency permit for purposes of study may be extended for a period of 18 months maximum for looking for employment appropriate to the course of study. During this period, any type of employment may be undertaken.

    Processing time

    If you enter Germany on a visa, you must apply for the residency permit before the visa expires; if you enter Germany without a visa, you must apply within three months of entry.

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