To get permission to enter Germany, you might need to present different documents. The most important of those documents is the visa. It is crucial to make sure to get that document prior to getting your travel ticket. So the earlier you start processing the papers for it, the better.
Depending on the country you come from you and the reason why you want to visit Germany, there are different types of visa you can apply for. For those who intend to study in the country, they might need either a Schengen Visa or a National Visa, depending on the amount of time needed to complete the course.
For a person to take a short summer language course, this is the appropriate visa to apply for. With this, one can stay in the country for about 90 day. The disadvantage of this type of visa is that you may be forced to leave the country once the visa has expired. This implies that the Schengen Visa is not the best document to apply for when you want to take a much longer course. For that you will have to apply for a national visa.
Students that want to stay in Germany for a period longer than 90 days will have to apply for a National Visa. This will be the visa to apply for if you want to go for a bachelor’s or doctorate degree. That said, in the process of applying for that visa, it is necessary to make sure to specify that the intent is to take a course in the country. You will have to present certain documents to support your case. It is important to provide all the required documents on times or the processing will be delayed.
By preference, if you want to study in a university, you should get the admission in the institution first. That said you also have the option to get a Student Applicant Visa that will allow you to get inside the country for about 3 months in advance. Once inside you can then convert your visa into a residence permit that will allow you to stay much longer. For that you will have to be admitted into a higher education institution.
Language course visa
For those who just want to go and learn a language they may apply for a Language Course Visa. That visa is only valid for the length of time you are going to study the language. You can’t convert it back to a student visa later on so keep that in mind. In the situation where you want to learn the German language first before getting into the specific course you want to study, make sure you mention it in the process of applying so that it is taken note of.
Who needs a student visa?
The citizenship of a person will determine whether or not it will be necessary to apply for a visa before entering the country to study. Entry clearance will not be required for any citizen of the EU so far as he intends to stay in Germany for less than 90 days. This same law applies to citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Israel, Japan and the Republic of Korea. They can just apply for the residence permit after entering Germany without the visa.
But for citizens coming from countries different from the ones mentioned above, they must get their residence permit ready before getting to Germany.
How to apply
Before starting the student visa application process, make sure you already got admitted in the university or institution you intend to study in. Also you need to have enough financing to take care of yourself once in the country. In general having a bit more than $10,000 is advised.
Once you have the admission letter and financing documents in place, you can go ahead and start the real application process. First get the application form from the German embassy or consulate near you. To find the closest embassy in your country go to the Federal Foreign Office website here: http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de. There you can choose the language you are more comfortable with and browse through the website. You don’t have to read it in German. You can even go ahead a download the application forms from the website and fill them.
After filling the forms, the applicant has to submit them in person to the embassy. Here is what he needs to attach to the file he intends to send for processing
- 2 fully completed application forms accompanied with the required declaration in duplicate
- A letter of admission from the German University
- Proof of holding the necessary qualification to attend the course
- Proof of having the financial resources needed to take care of the bills (at least $10,000)
- Health insurance policy
- Proof of either speaking German fluently or having the intent to study it once in the country.
- 2 passport ID pictures
- a valid national passport
- A utility bill serving as proof that the applicant really has a residence in the district where he is applying from
- The visa fee ($92)
Concerning the passport, it is important that you present one for which the validity extends to 3 months after the course taken is over. Also the embassy requires it to have at least 2 pages left blank. It should not be more than 10 years old.
After sending the file, the applicant will have to wait for about 25 days for the papers to be processed. The documents will be forwarded to the Aliens’ Office (Ausländeramt) where hopefully a residence permit will be issued. It is that residence permit that will take the form of a visa.
In case everything goes well and the student is granted a visa he can then go to Germany but on arrival he will have to report to the registration authorities. In the town where he is going to be attending classes he will have to go to the foreigners authority to apply for a residence permit which will allow him to stay in the country throughout the study.
Benefits of studying in Germany
German universities have built a good network with other reputable institutions around the world. That has been made possible because of the high quality education and accessibility for international applicants.
The fact is Germany has a really strong economy and that has to do with the way the students are educated. They are thought to think fast, and take opportunities as they come. This is done within an environment where the learners have a first hand experience with things that are practical and can be applied to their direct environment.
The German government is one the the world’s biggest investors when it comes to research. Every year it spend a lot of money in universities’ research facilities. This is one of the reasons why a lot of students want to study there. Going through this world class research oriented education can open more doors to a graduate who dreams of having a career.
The higher education institutions in Germany continuously adapt their educational programs to reflect the needs of business enterprises and industries. There are also specialized private business schools available that students can rely on to be trained with a stronger focus on career. All this shows that a graduate from any of the prestigious universities in the country is equipped with the practical knowledge required to fit anywhere in the world.
Germany is not only a nice place to study, it is also one of the safest. The standard of living is excellent, it is everything an international student would hope for. The transport systems works perfectly. The students can choose between trains, trams and buses and they are all very affordable. Because the country is set in the heart of Europe the future graduate can always get a chance to visit other European cities nearby. Germany itself already has beautiful cities like Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg so they there certainly will not get bored exploring the place.
Some of the most popular German universities are: