At a glance
Non-EU nationals generally require a visa for studying in Germany.
To apply for a visa you need your Letter of Acceptance.
You must apply for a visa as soon as possible after your admission.
If you are coming from a country outside of the European Union you generally will need to apply for a visa before coming to Germany. One of the requested documents for the visa application is your Letter of Acceptance from HSD which we send you once we have received and accepted your application.
You must apply for a visa at the nearest consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany in your home country. Please apply for the visa as soon as possible as it can take some time until it is issued (often about 3 months).
Certain nationals are exempt from the visa requirement (e. g. nationals from the UK, Korea, USA, Japan, etc.). However, we recommend all non-EU students to apply for a visa before coming to Germany.
This might spare you applying for a residence permit once you are here
and/or will make it easier for you to leave and re-enter Germany during
If your visa expires before the end of your exchange, you must apply for a residence permit after your arrival in Germany.
EU mobility arrangement
If you are a non-EU national, but you have a residence permit for study purposes in an EU country,
you do not need to apply for a visa at a consulate. Instead you must
submit the requested documents to us and we will transmit them to the
Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). For further
information, please check the BAMF website.
Please get in contact with us if the EU Mobility arrangement applies to you.